Monday, October 22, 2018

TTT: Things I've Lost

With the delightful bloggers at The Broke and the Bookish moving on to other things, TTT is now hosted by just one of their contingent, That Artsy Reader Girl .  If you want to quadruple the size of your TBR AND find a bunch of great book blogs to follow head on over and check it out!

The topic this week is: top ten villains. But I wasn't feeling it. So I came up with a completely off-topic list that isn't even related to books.

I don't understand why nobody has hired me to do their graphic design.

Are you ready? This week we're going to talk about things I have lost. Not, like, deep things like innocence or my mind, or emotional things like my parents. Just--thing-things. Objects. In roughly chronological order, here are ten things I wish I had kept better track of.

1. My cinnamon bear puppet ca. 1977
The Cinnamon Bear, for those who had a sad childhood without him, is a character from a radio show that was already nostalgic and old-timey when I was growing up in the 1970s. It's about two of the whitest kids ever, Jimmy and Judy, and their magical pursuit of the star that's gone missing from their Christmas tree. Along the way, they meet and are helped by a lovable brown bear who smells like cinnamon. Our local department store hosted Santa, who was kind of creepy with his tight white gloves, and the Cinnamon Bear, who was huggable and wonderful and gave out bear-shaped cookies. I loved him so much that my parents got me a cinnamon bear hand puppet. The first year I went off for a week at summer camp, all week long a similar puppet was held up during daily lost and found announcements, and I felt bad for the kid who'd lost their CB. Then I got home and my mom asked me how I'd liked the friend she'd snuck into my sleeping bag holder. He'd fallen out during transport, and since he was a surprise, I'd never realized that was my bear up there. Tragic.

I don't remember his smile being quite this maniacal.

2. A gold necklace ca. 1979
When I turned ten, my parents gave me a 14k gold chain. It was very simple, and it was meant to be my first piece of "real" jewelry. I loved it and put it on immediately.  I celebrated my birthday with a slumber party in my backyard, and somewhere in our games of freeze tag, it fell off. We searched and searched, but didn't find it until a week later, when my dad found it. With the lawn mower. Ah, gold necklace, it was a great twenty minutes.

3. A family heirloom ca. 1982
My mom's mom's mom's side of the family emigrated to Oregon from Connecticut in the 1800s, coming west in covered wagons. I no longer romanticize that quite as much as I did growing up--PEOPLE ALREADY LIVED HERE--but I am still awed by the courage it would take to walk away from everyone and everything you knew, knowing you'd never be back, not knowing what lay ahead. Hm, I wonder if there are any people doing that nowadays, and how they're treated when they get to their destination? Anyway, before my great-whatever-grandma left home, she went around to friends and families collecting their autographs in a leatherbound book. Like a really intense yearbook signing, with fancy handwriting. In middle school, my mom let me bring it in one day to share with my history class, and I lost it. How? I have no idea. But I did.

from an 1860's handwriting primer

4. Expensive sunglasses ca. 1985
I buy my sunglasses at the dollar store, and there's good reason for that. I was a teen in the 1980s, when designer sunglasses, RayBans, and Vuarnets were all the rage. There was no way in hell my parents were shelling out that kind of money for sunglasses, so I didn't even ask. They did, however, shell out for me to be a foreign exchange student in Norway the summer I turned 16. My mom, not having learned much from the cinnamon bear and gold necklace fiascoes, or maybe thinking I'd matured with age, gave me a pair of medium-expensive sunglasses as a bon voyage gift. (Like, twenty dollar sunglasses, which would be like, I don't know, fifty dollar glasses now?) I lost them on the plane, because of course I did. I was so embarrassed and felt so guilty. I think I ended up telling her I'd lost them on the flight home just so she'd think I at least got to enjoy them during the summer.

I wear my sunglasses at night

5. Six months' worth of film. ca. 1990
I really was fortunate in my youth. Having loved my summer in Norway in high school, I was then able to spend a semester in Denmark in college. It remains one of the best experiences of my life. It was also long before digital photography. I took tons of pictures all spring, but didn't get them developed in Denmark, because, well, everything is expensive in Scandinavia. I brought my rolls of film home to develop (or more likely, ask my dad to get developed). But instead, all that developed was a hole in my duffle bag, through which the small film rolls all escaped.

6. My dolphin ring. ca. 1992
This story is an anomaly on this list, as you'll see in a moment. When I graduated from college, my dad bought me a silver dolphin ring that I wore constantly. A few years later, I was living in a fishing village in Latvia (as one does). I'd gone down to the beach with a book one day, and that evening I realized my ring was missing. I was so sad about it that my little host brother offered to go back with me the next day and hunt for it. I figured there was no way we'd find it, but I appreciated his kindness (my host family relations were pretty fraught, and the twelve year old was the only one who actually liked me), so I agreed. He found it almost immediately, just sitting in the sand.  I wore it another ten years, before I replaced it with my wedding ring, and I still have it in a drawer.

Yes, I'm too lazy to walk upstairs, find the actual ring, and take a picture. You get the idea though, right?

7. My sapphire ca. 2016
This is the only loss on the list that's not 100% my fault. My engagement/wedding ring is white gold, with a sapphire flanked by two diamond chips. It's very me, and I love it. The day before my 15th wedding anniversary, as I was driving to work, I felt something rattling around in my glove, and shook my hand until it went away.  Later that day, my ring snagged on something, and I realized the stone was missing. I have gone over every inch of that car, as well as the parking spot I was in, and it never turned up. To make matters worse, my hand has, um, grown since I got married, and there was NO WAY that ring was coming off, so it just sat there looking dumb and snagging on things until I was able to get my niece to cut it off with her jewelry pliers. So now I have a broken ring without a sapphire. I think if it'd happened in the first few years of being married, I would have been devastated, but we've been together long enough that symbolism and pretty jewelry aren't necessary to make things feel real. It'd be nice to get it fixed or replaced someday, but I'd rather go on vacation, and it's probably more important to keep the cars actually running.

8. My first pair of prescription glasses ca. 2017
My eyesight has always been 20/20, but just as my sisters predicted, around age 45 I started to notice things getting fuzzy. I went in and got fitted with my first prescription glasses, and I loved how sharp they made everything, especially when I was driving. About a week later, I lost them. I have no idea where. Our insurance only covers one pair a year, and my eyesight isn't that bad, so I went back to squinting at objects in the distance.

9. My second pair of prescription glasses ca. 2018
A year later, I went in again and got a new pair. I went for bifocals this time, because now not only do distances get blurry, but extended periods of reading or computer work gives me headaches, and it's hard to be a book blogger without extended periods of reading or computer work. This pair lasted about a month before I put them down somewhere, never to be seen again.  That was in July of this year. Sigh. I walked into conferences the other night and couldn't find my own table because it was so hard to read the names on the signs.

Thanks, Ben, for inventing bifocals.

10. A striped shirt ca. this week
Last year I got a simple long sleeved T-shirt, black with grey stripes. I really liked it. As the weather got cooler this fall, I started looking for it. I can't find it. How does one lose a shirt?

Let me know if you see it around your place.

I guess it could be worse.



  1. Love what you've done with the list this week. A very unique list. My TTT

  2. What a fun topic. I usually forget what I have lost. Though, like you, I am still wondering about the Oakley's I lost about 20 years ago and my autographed Emily Henry poster (don't even get me started). Your family has been in the country forever! My dad got here in the 1950s, so I am always really impressed with people, who have family going back that far.

    1. My dad came her from Canada in the 1940s, and his parents and my mom's dad were all born in Europe. So I'm both a first generation American on his side and (allegedly) a DAR on my maternal side.

  3. I made a list of things I lost but I seem to have lost the list, too.

  4. I loved your list this week. So interesting. I would have been so devastated about Cinnamon bear. My boy has this stuffed cat that he got when he was 2. He carries it around with him everywhere. It's now basically a pile of rags, and I make him leave it in the car. Once he almost left it at the ticket counter at the airport. We discovered it was missing at the security line. We had to go back and get it and almost missed the flight.

  5. I didn’t know you lived in so many places. Or lost so many things. I lost my only purse in grad school. My phone and wallet weren’t in it at the time, so that’s good, but I have no idea where it went. My grandparents got me a set of fancy wooden bookmarks when I was in middle school. They were engraved with nature scenes, and smelled like cedar, and were so pretty! I lost every single one of them.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  6. I can totally relate to this list. And I laughed at you losing your glasses. My husband wore his on a roller coaster. A. ROLLER. COASTER. And was shocked when they flew off his face and he lost them. *sigh*

    As George Carlin once said, "I don't want to find them again, I just want to know where the *&^% they went!"

  7. I. AM. Dying! 😂 This is one of my favorite posts of all time hahahah. And I am also glad that I am not the only one who is still ruminating on lost crap from their childhood. I left a teddy bear on the bus in kindergarten that I am not over, and I somehow misplaced a squeaky toy in the shape of a baseball bat that I always said "looks like my mom" (which honestly didn't thrill my mom, as you can imagine). But this cracked me up- especially when you went back to squinting at a distance because um, that is my current jam.

    Also, you have had many adventures in life, sounds incredibly fascinating!


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