I forgot to bring my brain to breakfast. I was meeting up with my friend, Ava. We’ve been friends for years, and, as always, we talked so much we forgot to look at the menus. The poor waiter had to come back three times before we both decided to get the same thing we get every time we meet there.
We laughed and talked through our meal, and all the way out to our cars, which were parked in a tiny strip in the alley behind the dive we love.
As Ava drove off, I reached into my purse to grab my phone. I’d heard the short beep indicating a new voicemail at least 5 times during our breakfast gabfest, and I wanted to be sure the world had not ended, before I drove away.
But, my phone was not in its special slot in my purse.
I chose not to panic. This is a floppy purse. It tends to flop over. Surely, it had flopped, as it so often does, and had dumped my phone into its depths. I felt around in the cavernous bag, but didn’t feel the solid, cold, rectangular shape indicating my phone’s presence.
I felt my heart race a bit, but was pretty sure the sweat on my forehead was just from the heat of the day.
I started to unpack my purse, in search of my phone. This purse is quite large. In fact it’s too large for me to use most of the time. I use it when I travel, because it holds everything. I was still using it this morning because I hadn’t bothered to switch it out since returning from a trip last week. I’m the worst un-packer ever.
Surely my phone, the tiny organizer of my life, holder of my photos, umbilical cord to my children, had simply become lost amongst the extra napkins, bags of trail mix, and packets of ketchup stowing away in my purse.
I placed each item I pulled out of my purse onto the passenger seat. Why was I even carrying 8 tubes of lip balm? Do I think SoCal is dry enough to make my lips actually peel off? Do I really need 6 of those cute little packages of tissue? Am I expecting an epidemic of runny noses? And, who threw all of those candy wrappers in? I don’t even like Heath bars.
I was so distracted by the mess I was pulling out, I forgot about my urgent phone search and rescue mission. When I stuck my hand into my purse one last time and pulled out nothing, I remembered the true purpose of my excavation. I searched through the mound I’d made just to be sure I hadn’t missed it.
I was sure it was in my purse. It has its own special pocket. I’m OCD. It always goes in its special pocket. I figured it must have slipped out and somehow gotten wrapped in the lining of the purse. That’s why I didn’t find it when I pulled out the other contents of my purse.
I reminded myself not to completely freak out.
I’d just turn my purse upside down and give it a shake, and my beloved telecommunication appendage would gently tumble out onto my lap. Then, I remembered all the crumbs and trash I’d discovered in the depths of my purse, and decided to let my beloved connection to the Universe tumble out ever so gently onto the pavement of the alley, instead.
I was careful to hold my purse close to the ground. Even though my phone was wearing the latest, greatest anti-breakage cover, I didn’t want to chance a cracked screen.
I shook gently. A flood of crumbs rained down. Had I been storing loaves of bread in there? No phone.
I shook it again, slightly harder. A few more crumbs and 4 gum wrappers sprinkled out. No phone.
I blinked hard. Not to push welling tears of panic away. Just because it was windy. Honest.
I shook my upside down purse as hard as I could. I heard someone let out a loud, “Aaaaaaggggg!” It might have been me. No phone.
I sat back down in the driver’s seat of my son’s car. I’d borrowed his tiny car, knowing how hard it is to find a decent-sized parking space in this neighborhood. As I refilled my giant purse with the mountain of vital items I’d taken from it, I mentally retraced my steps with my dear phone.
When was the last time I was sure I had my phone? I’d thought I heard it beeping with voicemails in the restaurant, but half the people in there probably have the same phone. Maybe it was someone else’s phone I’d heard.
I knew I’d used it to text Ava that I was leaving for the restaurant. I kind of remembered putting it down on the seat of the car after that. I could almost picture myself putting it down on the black seat. Maybe it slid into the seat. Or, between the seats. Or, under the seats.
I quickly performed what I’m sure the car found to be a truly invasive exam of its every nook, cranny, and orifice. I even checked in the back seat, in case I had temporarily lost my mind and tossed my phone in that direction. No phone.
A big sigh escaped me. I heard some growling. That couldn’t possibly have been from me.
Then, I remembered the chair I pile my stuff on at home when I am coming and going. It has a black seat. Maybe I’d finished texting Ava that I was coming, and had inadvertently left my phone on that seat while I put on my shoes, and had left without it.
That made sense. It was probably still sitting safely right there on my chair. Luckily, Son#1 was home. Where could he go? I had his car!
I’d just call him and ask him to look on the chair.
Except that I didn’t have a phone!
Then, I felt doubly moronic for losing my phone and attempting to use the missing phone to locate the missing phone. Thankful once again my thoughts aren’t broadcast for all to hear.
At that exact moment, the moment when I was feeling pretty much as dumb as I thought was possible, I remembered where my phone was. And, I felt even dumber (is that even a word?).
I’d left it on the table in the restaurant. I’d pulled it out of my purse to make sure it was on silent, and had put it on the table next to my plate. I hadn’t bothered to put it back into its special pocket in my purse because I couldn’t possibly miss it sitting next to my plate like that. I remembered thinking that only a complete idiot would fail to see it there. Apparently, I’d at last become complete.
It had been 20 minutes since we’d left the table. How could I have stood there talking and laughing with Ava, while my poor, defenseless phone lay alone, a helpless victim? How could I have been so irresponsible? What kind of a phone parent was I?
Full blown panic swept over me.
Anyone who happened by that table could have easily absconded with my dear iFriend. Surely it was long gone. They’d probably stripped it for parts and shipped it off to the border by now.
All my notes, my moments of brilliance, gone.
All my contacts, my friends and business peers, gone.
All my photos, my children’s childhood memories, gone.
Oh, why didn’t I do that weekly back up my IT guy keeps telling me to do? Why didn’t I hear my own voice chastising my children for putting their belongings down on restaurant tables? Why didn’t I embrace my OCD and put my phone where it was supposed to be?
Frustration and regret swept through me as I got out of the car, slamming the door.
Then, as I shoved the car keys into my pocket, embarrassment flooded over me. Sigh.
Because the keys wouldn’t fit into my pocket.
Because there was no room in my pocket.
Because my phone was in my pocket.
Now, has anyone seen my glasses or my pen?
Or, my mind?
Laugh Out Loud!
Have you lost anything recently? Have you found something? Shoot me a comment. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it!
Photo courtesy of Freeimages.com – Used with permission.
Sheri SaretskyJanuary 26, 2018
I spent 20 minutes looking for my phone recently and finally had my husband call me so I could locate it. As it rang, I spun around the room trying to determine where the sound was coming from. Oddly, it felt like the sound kept moving…which it was…since it was spinning with me in my back pocket. Yep…I’m complete also! Loved the post, Gina!
gina valleyJanuary 26, 2018
Oh my gosh, Sheri! I did that exact thing a couple months ago! I was visiting my mom, who has Parkinson’s dementia, and often moves things and promptly forgets that she did. I was sure she must have moved my phone when I wasn’t looking. I searched everywhere. I also finally ended up calling it and hearing a moving, muffled sound. It was in the back pocket of the work pants I’d slipped on while I was cleaning in her garage. I wondered if dementia is contagious that day! Thank you for sharing a laugh with me!
Molly StevensJanuary 26, 2018
Hahaha! So relatable, Gina. I haven’t lost my phone. Lately. But I do this same exercise on almost a daily basis with other prized possessions. I’ve decided one of the fun things about aging is having a daily scavenger hunt.
gina valleyJanuary 26, 2018
Thank you, Molly! Life is truly becoming a constant Easter egg hunt! If only I was finding more chocolate! Thank you for sharing giggles with me.
Stephanie AKA Little Miss MenopauseJanuary 26, 2018
Okay darling Phone Parent! You just hit in the number one reason I don’t cancel my landline…. how else would I ever locate my cellphone in my two story house??? LOVED THIS!
gina valleyJanuary 26, 2018
You know, Stephanie, I tell people I keep a landline so the kids can call 911 easily, but it’s true purpose is cell phone location.
Thank you for your support! Always great to share a laugh with you!
DiJanuary 27, 2018
I had plenty of laughs with this tale. Haven’t we all done something like this. More than once? Glad you found it and thanks for the laugh.
gina valleyJanuary 27, 2018
I am so glad I got to give you some giggles, Di! Thank you so much for reading! Happy Weekend!