Oh, It'll Turn Up... - Live Like a Mensch
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Live Like a Mensch

Oh, It'll Turn Up...

 Photo of a sign that ought to be hanging in every laundry room courtesy of Ched Davis.


I am married to a somewhat absentminded gentleman.

J, who is able to tell me intimate details of the particular cars of people whom he has met but once (and often times, he is able to recall what car a particular individual drives without having spoken to said individual about cars, simply because he was able to identify the comings and goings of cars in a parking lot), has a some trouble keeping track of his personal belongings.

For instance, we have made a habit of keeping any cell phones I have ceased to use when I make an upgrade, since it is likely that J will lose his prior phone long before he is ready for an upgrade himself. In the ten years I have known J, I believe this has happened approximately three times.

If ever J is unable to find his wallet, he simply shrugs and says, "Oh, it'll turn up."

This attitude has been difficult for me to wrap my head around. You may recall the nuclear meltdown I experienced last winter when I misplaced my wallet on an airplane. While I attempted to maintain a tone of ironic and amused detachment in my description of said wallet loss last year, upon rereading all three (three!) posts on the subject, I can detect in my writing the glistening, teary eyes, the lower lip tremble, and the barely contained panic that characterized my reaction. Apparently, a stoic I am not when it comes to missing personal items.

However, after years of watching J shrug off missing wallets, cell phones, iPods, watches, glasses, IDs, car keys, house keys, tools, and various other sundries which he doesn't ask for my help in finding because they live in the garage, I'm starting to see the benefit in not panicking. (It seems Douglas Adams was onto something.)

You see, more times than not, the missing item in question does turn up. And so you are really only facing a minor inconvenience when you cannot find it.

For example, sometime last summer LO and a friend of similar height, age, and temperament, had a wonderful time taking every toy LO owns and spreading them out along the floor of our living room while J and I and the friend's parents ate dinner in the next room. As I was cleaning up the incredible mess that two children under the age of two are capable of wreaking upon a home, I realized that our television remote was missing.

Since I do not need the remote in order to board a plane, pay for anything, or make a phone call, I decided to use the J system of dealing with it. I shrugged and thought, "Oh, it'll turn up."

About a week later, with the remote still AWOL and neither LO nor his co-conspirator willing to talk, I considered buying a replacement.

J talked me out of it. "It'll turn up," he said. "You know it has to still be in the house."

That may be true, I thought, but it was also possible that we would be manually changing channels until the time came for us to move out of the house--toddlers being the crafty and close-mouthed individuals that they are. But, being of a frugal nature and realizing that my life is not exactly negatively affected by having to stand up, walk three feet, and hit a couple of buttons while watching television, I decided to follow J's lead.

That remote remained missing until January of this year. (I found it shoved in the cushions of the couch, which tells you more than I'd like to admit about the regularity of our sofa-cleaning schedule.)

While I was annoyed on multiple occasions about having to get up every. single. time. I wanted to change the channel (I know, poor me), I was very glad that I had not purchased a replacement remote. Since then I would have not only wasted money, but I would have also ended up with two remotes and had to deal with the guilt of getting rid of one.

So, when J yesterday was unable to find his prescription sunglasses before heading to an air show in nearby Kokomo, I managed to tone down my immediate "Red Alert Crisis Mode" reaction with which I would normally greet such a pronouncement from J. There was no need to freak out about the cost and time of replacing prescription sunglasses. I could just sit back and wait for them to turn up.

And turn up they did. This morning, J found them in a messenger bag he'd taken with him on his most recent motorcycle ride. Crisis averted.


Now, J is just hoping someone has seen the brand new D.I.D. chain for a 1975 Honda CB400F Super Sport that he just bought.

He's sure it's around here somewhere.



frugal_fun said:

I totally understand panic mode when it comes to losing things. I'm still working on it, too. (Although losing a wallet while traveling alone with a toddler is worthy of a bit of stress. Don't beat yourself up too badly on that one - it may have even caused J some pause. :) )

Anyway, it has helped a lot for us to declutter and be "a few of my favorite things" type minimalists. (With 3 kids, I don't think life improves if we whittle our possessions down to the point of cooking with 2 pans and everyone sitting on the floor. ;) )Things turn up faster than they used to for us, although anything caught in the sofa cushions would definitely stay lost for a year or more.

June 11, 2013 10:37 AM

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