I’ve lost my shoes


The past few months have been a bit all over the place.

A bit multiple suitcases sitting in the corner, can’t really unpack though because of the air mattresses set up and puppies visiting all over the place.

I’d use the word chaos, but actually using a word doesn’t seem right. You know, suggesting depth and substance and definition in a scenario that has none.

So, all over the place. Not chaos. More flashing lights cause distractions that make it impossible to focus on anything all over the place.

A bit or order and calm is returning though, and I can honestly tell you something that many of you probably know. When insanity strikes, the signs of a bit of serenity returning are often found in the most unusual of places.

For me recently, it was the recognition that I cannot find three things. Thanks to unpacking, thinking, and a bit of time, all else has been accounted for. Everything isn’t right, but for the most part at least I feel like I know where everything is. Except: (1) A pair of boots, (2) a pair of slippers, and (3) a shower curtain still in the package with a winter theme and adorable penguins.

It’s the penguins that are bothering me the most.

(We may need to add a bit of context.)

How good are you at organizing your own mess?

I’m pretty good at it. Not organized in a neat and orderly way. But as far as my own mess is concerned, I can navigate things pretty quickly. Ask me for something, and if I have it, I’ll usually walk directly to it. At worst, might need two guesses. For instance…

Terry managed to appropriate several tools from my work benches. Amazing how wire cutters after wire cutters after wire cutters would get moved from the garage and find a new home in her crafting shop. But, since I know she did that, if it wasn’t in one of my toolboxes it was likely on the pegboard closest to her permanent glue gun setup.

And the same theory could be applied to stacks of books, scraps of paper and notes, important records and unimportant folders. It may not be where it made sense, but it was almost certainly where I left it. Give me a minute, I’ll find it.

All of which makes this penguin thing more frustrating.

The slippers I kind of get. I wear them in all sorts of wrong places. Raining outside and I need to go to the mailbox? No problem, I’ve got my definitely-not-waterproof slippers on. And… I might need to kick them off over here to dry as a result. Kick them off at the foot of the bed… kick them off under the desk in the office… kick them off in the living room… could be in a lot of places. And, since I have a couple pairs of slippers, I tend to not be too fanatical about tracking them down.

So, yeah, the slippers getting lost in the all over the place hysteria makes sense.

Same for the boots. They would best be described as a pair of all-purpose hiking-style boots, and I have two pairs of them. I mostly wear them during the winter months. With a few closets being shuffled around the house last summer and the other pair of boots on hand this past winter I wasn’t actively looking for them. And, because I wasn’t looking for them, I’m not really surprised that since I’ve noticed they were missing I haven’t been able to find them. (And once you add in that Terry has a pair that look similar, things spiral to a new level of keeping track of them.)

In both cases—slippers and boots—I’m sure they’re around and I’ll eventually find them. No worries.

But the darn shower curtain? That’s a mystery. A real mystery.

Terry has at least seven different bathroom designs. At least. Shower curtains, bath mats, counter items like cups and toothbrush holders, wall art, knickknacks for shelves and so on… a minimum of seven complete sets. Then, she has stuff that can be mixed and matched. A burgundy bathroom, light blue bathroom, dark blue bathroom, rust, brown, whales, tropical with parrots… actually, that’s seven right there, none of those are currently in use and I stopped rather than giving you more. Those are all in the basement in labeled tubs, waiting for their next turn in the rotation.

About a year ago, she bought a shower curtain with penguins on it. Thought they were cute, and she wanted to use it in our bathroom. Nice. Events of the day put swapping the bathrooms out on hold.

Recently a couple of shower curtain rings broke in both bathrooms. While getting some new rings, I decided the plastic liners needed to be replaced as well, and… you probably see where this is going. If I’m replacing the rings and the liner, I might as well do everything at once and refresh all of it.

Where are those penguins?

I suppose there’s a chance everything is under our bed. The boots, the slippers and the penguins. All placed there at a variety of moments, casually pushed a bit on this day and a bit on that day, further and further underneath, and now just waiting for me to get desperate enough to begin checking every other part of the house. At some point, I’ll look under the bed.

(Actually… have I ever looked under the bed? Hold on. Ok, nope. Not under the bed. But the idea remains, all of it is in this house. I’m just not finding any of it.)

I’m not sure what parts of this bothers me. It’s not like finding the milk next to the bowls instead of in the fridge. Not like I’m having problems remembering things. Just a couple of misplaced items that I’ve happened to notice are misplaced.

I’ll find them. They have to be here.

And… I suppose… until I do, it seems like a lot of work to swap out the shower curtains and only do half the job. That task should probably wait.


If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at Bob@inmybackpack.com