My hat is lost forever! Wait, Terry moved it again
Burt's Eye View
“I need a new knit hat for winter,” I told Terry. “Mine disappeared.”
“Isn’t it on the hat holder by the door?” she said.
“That’s where I put it. But it’s not there.”
Terry walked to the back door. She plucked my knit cap from the far left side of the tray. She dropped it into my hands. “Right where it’s always been.”
“No, it wasn’t.” I shook my head. “You’ve been moving my things again.”
“It was on the hat tray.”
“Way over there.” I patted a spot in the middle of the holder. “I left it right here.”
“What, you couldn’t see it 12 inches to the left?”
I crossed my arms. “It wasn’t where I left it.”
“Men!” She spat “men” in the way women say it when they wish to express volumes of frustration in a single word.
Yes, I am a man. More than that, I am a man who loses things. Or I did until I applied male logic to solve the problem: Now I place everything in a designated spot so that I always know where it’s at.
Then Terry will move them to places “that make sense.” Which means I can never find my stuff because it’s not exactly where it’s supposed to be.
I carry two key rings, one for the car key and one for house keys and everything else. Grandpa warned me that the weight of all those other dangling keys would damage the ignition. I applied logic and divided my keys between two rings — one for the car, and one for everything else.
The danger was leaving home without my house keys. Again, male logic applied — I hung both rings on the same peg of the key rack, with the house keys in front. I couldn’t get to my car key without picking up — and pocketing — the other ring first. Simple and genius.
Then Terry moved them.
I don’t know if too much weight really endangers the car ignition, but it did tilt the key rack on the wall. So Terry shuffled my house keys to another peg. For balance. “Because it makes sense,” she said.
So I walked out of the house the next morning without any way to get back inside.
“They were on the next peg a half inch away. Even your tunnel vision can’t be that narrow.” She sighed. “Why is it so hard for men to see what’s right in front of their eyes?”
That old accusation again. I’ve heard it slung about dozens of times by various women, almost always involving getting something out of the refrigerator.
“The mustard is right here in the front on the second shelf,” Martha will say. “I don’t know how you couldn’t see it. If it had been a snake, it would have bitten you.”
“I wasn’t looking for a snake, I was looking for the mustard,” George will mutter. “The mustard used to be on the bottom left rack on the door, three jars to the right, right past the soy sauce and the relish. The ketchup sat next to the mustard.”
“When was this?”
“When I was single,” George will say.
“We’ve been married for 22 years,” Martha will wail. “You haven’t opened your eyes yet!”
I hope Terry’s New Year’s resolution is to stop moving my stuff to places “that make sense.” Mine will be to look slightly to the left and right before declaring a thing lost forever. Unless she’s moved my glasses again. Then I truly can’t see a thing.
— If you have advice, Cole knows to look for it at email@example.com, on the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook or @BurtonWCole on Twitter.