Finding the lost


By Marla Boone

Contributing columnist

Everyone who has never lost their phone, raise your hand. What do we call these people with their hands in the air? Do we call them geniuses? Queens of organization? Steel-trapped minded? No. We call them people who do not own phones because everyone who owns a phone has, at some point, lost it. And how do we find our lost phones? You can’t call someone and say, “Hey, call me so I can find my phone” because, you know, you can’t find your phone to make that call. Some linked devices have an app that allegedly will find your other devices but this is just a cruel hoax perpetrated by the app people to give us false hope. My iPad cannot find my iPhone when it is lying four inches away from it. It can, however, find a decommissioned phone that hasn’t had a sim card or a functioning battery for a year. This is not helpful and makes us think unkind thoughts about technology and the monsters who create it.

Most people, unless they are living underneath the black cloud of cosmic bad luck, eventually find their phones. This is not a given, of course. Some people are better at finding things than other people are. Right now, I am fighting the towering urge to make a gross generalization. I am not a man, but I have been married to one. This might give me the right to say some people of certain genders are not very good at finding things. Or maybe they just don’t try very hard. Or maybe they have discovered that if they sort of loll around with a long sad hopeless face a person of a different gender will briskly step up and find the lost item in about four seconds.

In an attempt to atone for my previous social faux pas, I will illustrate how my personal scenario went. And it went about nine thousand billion times but who’s counting? I think this goes a long way towards earning me some absolution. The process followed a script that was remarkable only for its consistency. The late great Steve Boone would misplace something. This, in itself, is not a crime. The crime came when he would ask me if I knew where his lost item was. I would say no. He would say he could not find it. I would say have you looked for it. He would say he looked for it a little bit. I would say why don’t you look for it a lot. He would say where should I look. I would say look everywhere. Then, in a fit of snarkiness predicated on the fact that I had been witness to his idea of searching, I would ask him if he had actually moved anything in his attempts to find the lost item. Almost always, the answer was no. He had given it the good ol’ fleeting glance surface search but had not moved a stack of mail or a pillow or a sheet of paper or anything.

Because I have always been a sucker for a long sad hopeless face, I would start searching for the item myself. It was almost Pavlovian. I am not quite willing to say he knew that if he made the sad, etc. face I would come to the rescue. I am saying this is the way it always turned out. Maybe it was the thrill of the hunt. Maybe it was a vain attempt to prove I was better at something than he was. Maybe it was unshakable knowledge that there would be no rest for the wicked and un-wicked alike unless the item were found. What I am saying is that ninety-nine times out of a hundred, I would walk into the next room and see the item right in front of me. Sometimes I didn’t even have to make the trip to the next room.

While we are on the topic of lost items, I would like to make a broad appeal to those whose response to a request for help with a lost item is to ask, “Where did you leave it?” The indirect answer is, of course, if I knew where I left it, I would trot right over there and get it. I’d be willing to move a pillow to find it. Or even go into the next room.

Marla Boone resides in Covington and writes for Miami Valley Today

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