I suppose there are some people who never lose things. I am not one of them. In fact, there are certain things that I lose consistently, so much so that I plan for their loss. That would be jewelry, and earrings in particular. Losing things that you really like is heartbreaking, but at the same time it opens the way for some really good stories of recovery.
In my early 20’s I had one boyfriend (and only one) who had really good taste in gifts of all kinds – flowers, adventures, restaurants, and jewelry. He bought me a pair of yellow gold earrings that were simple but beautifully designed. I loved everything about them. I must have lost them at least half a dozen times. Once they were lost for over a year before I found them under the bed in the guest room at my parent’s house. The first time I lost them was the most traumatic though. I had only been married for a few months (but not to the guy with the good taste in jewelry) when the husband and I took a camping trip. We were tenting for a week in Tennessee at a big reservoir near Oak Ridge. The campground was super nice with big tent sites and a convenient bathhouse. And then one day my earring was missing.
Why is it that no one ever tells you that you have only one earring on? My ears are right out there in plain sight, but I am always the one who suddenly realizes that one is gone. I ransacked our tent, shook out all the sleeping bags, went through our suitcases, looked in every crack and crevice of our van. I backtracked to all the places I had walked. Pretty much went around looking at the ground for at least half a day. Then on the day we were leaving, I decided to have one last look in the bathhouse. I found it in a pile of slime and hair over the drain of one of the showers. Gross. But did I care? No. I was just in awe that I even thought of looking there.
One year for Christmas I told my daughters to tell the husband about a set of jewelry that I had admired in a store. That’s how I have to do it with the husband – but that’s not a bad thing because I always end up with something I like that way. There was a necklace, a really pretty bracelet and earrings, and he got it all for me. It wasn’t long before I lost the bracelet. Everybody at work helped me look until we finally gave up. I was so upset that I went back to the store and bought the bracelet again. Somehow that helped, It was expensive but it helped. Then I lost one of the earrings. Back to the store, but you know they won’t sell you just one earring. You have to buy a pair. I decided having three was a good idea for someone like me. I never knew when I might need a spare. Months later I found the bracelet. It had come off during a cooking demonstration when I was getting a pan out of the oven drawer of the range. I still have two bracelets and three earrings. Good insurance.
I really like silver, but because it tarnishes all the time, I like white gold even better. One vacation I splurged on a pair of white gold hoops. (Okay, I got them in Walmart, but they were real gold and they weren’t cheap.) These hoops have a clasp that drives me crazy – they come open with very little provocation. I’ve lost them three times, one time for every year I’ve had them. The first two times I found them in really crazy places involving strange medical equipment that is hard to describe, so I won’t. But the last time I again gave up after several days of searching parking lots and offices I had visited. I bought another pair which I did not like as well. That was two months ago.
Last week, after my medical check up, I decided to re-take my blood pressure at home because I didn’t like how high it had been. I have the old fashioned cuff and stethoscope, and there around the tubing of the stethoscope was my earring. Who knew? Good thing Walmart has a good return policy.
I told the story to my eldest daughter, who also loses things. She said “I wish God loved me as much as he loves you…” Oh yeah, it’s nice. But I am quite sure he loves us both the same.