“Where Did I Put That?”

As we age, we tend to lose things more than before, but I began to lose things years ago. Maybe that’s because I began to lose my mind years ago.

I still get frustrated when I can’t find something—especially if I have just put it down. One

thing I always lose are my glasses. Therefore I have decided to put them in a special place on my china case, which is right inside our house, whether you come in from the upstairs or downstairs. However they still go missing.

Before we had to move to Los Angeles for nine months a few years ago I made a master plan of my house, put alphabetic stickers on everything which could hold anything (where it couldn’t be seen) and made a map with matching alphabetic keys which told what was in each storage area. I thought then I could remember what was in each storage area while I was gone. Then if I needed something, I could call my son who was living in the house and say, “Send me the ___________ which is the drawer labeled “EE” in my dressing room.

It worked well enough until I lost the map with the key.

When I got back, I started rearranging things and there went my plan. I found most of the time I can’t find stuff is right after I’ve gone through stuff, gotten rid of stuff and reorganized things. (There, family, I do go through and get rid of things—you thought I never did.)

For the first while after I’ve rearranged things, I can’t remember where the new thing belongs!!!

I have decided there are four reasons things disappear in my house:

1. My youngest son: He hides them to frustrate me. No, he is not a child—he is 34-years-old, but he likes to tease me and move my glasses or purse just to see how frustrated I can get. I admit this isn’t often, but it does happen.

  • The worst thing he did was not on purpose. We had gone to L. A. for medical reasons and I’d stopped the mail and paper so he wouldn’t have to deal with it. My husband ended up in the hospital and we stayed 10 days longer than we’d planned so I called and told him to put the mail in a pile on the kitchen table.
  • We came home, I went through the mail and paid the bills. The next month I got dunned for a bill I hadn’t seen the while we were gone. I asked my son about it, and he led me to another stash of mail that hadn’t made it out of the basement and was buried under his clothes. It contained the bill I hadn’t paid.
  • The worst thing he claimed wasn’t his fault at all. He was borrowing my laptop at night when I was using it during the day at the hospital while my husband was hospitalized. One morning I was in a rush to go to the hospital and I could find the laptop in one place, the power cord in another and no sign of the cord. He’d already gone to work and I couldn’t reach him. 
  • I texted him, “where is my mouse?” and left for the hospital. When I got to the hospital I got his text, “It is on top of the cabinet.” Now remember he is 6 feet 2 inches tall and I am five feet 2 inches tall. Would I ever find a mouse on the top of a cabinet? He hasn’t used my laptop since. 

2. My oldest daughter: She comes to my house and cleans and everything left out goes

into a box and into a closet. I usually try to straighten up before she comes because anything that is left out is fair game for her. She just puts it into a box for me to put away “at my leisure.” 

But then I can’t find the box with my purse, keys, glasses, and the important papers that I was working on when she came. She has to come and tell me where the treasure box is hiding out. But I appreciate her help with cleaning more than the hassle of finding the stuff she puts away, so she’s a keeper cleaner.

3. Curse of the Gadianton Robbers: We live in the Last Days, which has been prophesied as a day when wickedness will be prevalent that no one will be able to hold onto their treasures. The Book of Mormon scriptures mention that the people will be so wicked that the land will be cursed so no one can find their treasures: I don’t envision robbers coming to steal my stuff. Neither is the stuff I can’t find real “treasures” except to me, but when I can’t find something important I remember the curse upon the land that makes all things “slippery.”

  • “Helaman 13:34: Behold, we lay a tool here and on the morrow it is gone; and behold, our swords are taken from us in the day we have sought them for battle.”
  •  Book of Mormon 1: 18 “And these Gadianton robbers, who were among the Lamanites, did infest the land, insomuch that the inhabitants thereof began to hide up their treasures in the earth; and they became slippery, because the Lord had cursed the land, that they could not hold them, nor retain them again.”

4. IL Folletto: When we lived in Italy years ago, I studied Italian at the University and through a conversation Italian class taught by the dearest Italian lady, Angela Buvoli. She taught us all about the customs, history, culture, folklore and other things about Italy that we’d never learn in a book. She told us the story of Il Folletto.

  • The dictionary says a folletto is an elfin, elf-like, mischievous, playful, sprightly, genie, gremlin, or pixie.
  •  Wikipedia’s explanation is not as innocent: “The folletto is a legendary creature typical of the folk tradition generally depicted as being a small, joker, agile and elusive, able to fly and become invisible. In folklore European shares similar characteristics with . . . the brownies , the puck, the goblin and leprechaun .Lives in burrows in the woods especially conifers or at the homes of men, courtyards and barns. Almost always comes out only at night to have fun doing mischief to the beasts of the stables and mess up the hair of beautiful women, cluttering agricultural tools and household objects”

4. La Signora Buvoli’s Folletto: Her idea of a folletto was a tiny mischievous elf who lived inside the house and was attracted to shiny objects. He came out at night and would sometimes take with him shiny objects that were lying around the house, especially if they were not put away. However, the folletto was attracted to millet (grain) and if you left a little bowl out of him, he would get busy counting the grains of millet and leave your items alone. 

So you could fool him by putting your things away correctly in their drawers, shelves, etc. all the time, or leave a bowl of millet out for him to count. Then he wouldn’t steal your items away and you’d never find them—or you’d find them in a new place, when he decided to return them.

So, who is the real culprit when I lose something and can’t find it? 

Perhaps all of the above, but I admit I am most likely the biggest culprit for not putting things away where they should have put it away, and for trying to find new ways to organize things. And of course, my poor memory.

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