Lockdown has been a funny old time of it and the propensity to lose things seems to have increased during this strange period in our lives.
As we all know, the Ever Patient Husband’s ability to see anything that isn’t immediately in front of him, unless it’s a fish in river or a pheasant in the sky is quite remarkable. Slippers in our bedroom, milk in the fridge are all highly elusive unless they are precisely where they always are, moved two centimetres to the left or right and they become invisible to him.
We have, dear reader a trilogy of lost items to discuss, starting with his wallet. Now, the male of the species is usually permanently attached to their wallets and my husband has actually had to visit an osteopath because his wallet put his back out. He’d had it in the same pocket for over three decades and it had caused him to limp, so after a small celebration one Friday evening involving a bottle of very nice champagne he stumbled into bed muttering something about losing his wallet.
I duly ignored his drunken ramblings and fell asleep.
The next day, however, he continued to mutter something about losing his wallet and I continued to ignore him, accustomed as I am to his plaintive tones about a variety of things in life including the terrible state of the drains and gutters on our road and how much he hates artisan bread and would much prefer plain white sliced bread that comes in a plastic bag. His favourite moan at the moment is the work recently carried out by the road maintenance team who have apparently left a kerb which isn’t quite aligned to the opposite kerb. This is, apparently driving him mad.
Meanwhile, I am thinking about what to have for tea, how we’re going to pay our mortgage and which statues I would put up in place of the ones that have been unceremoniously pulled down. I’m favouring David Bowie on every corner, with the occasional Idris Elba, preferably naked.
By the time Sunday arrived, Ever Patient Husband had ’looked’ everywhere for his wallet and had drawn a complete blank. I helpfully suggested he contact his bank and cancel all his cards just after he retraced his steps from the night before.
I checked our join bank account and finding it still empty, noticed that no one had stolen money, mainly because there wasn’t anything left to steal. That was a relief. Part of me had hoped the wallet had disappeared into an alternative universe and magically put a million pounds in our account, no such luck. The unicorns had stopped listening.
In order to contemplate the wider meaning of the universe and escape his incessant grumpy noises, I made myself a cup of tea and retreated to the garden. As I unfolded the garden chair, out popped his wallet. Part of me was severely tempted to keep it a secret until he’d phoned the banks and cancelled all his cards, happily my evil ice queen persona was asleep at that moment and I immediately let him know. Relief all round.
A week later, I heard these words as I wondered once again what the family would be eating that evening.
”Where’s the garage key?” Came the cry from the utility room one Saturday afternoon as EPH made his daily foray into the green house to feed his tomatoes and tend to his enormous cucumbers.
”I don’t know.” Came my calm, yet mildly irritated reply. I think they call it passive aggression.
”Well, I can’t find it and someone must have moved it.”
”Here we go.” I thought to myself. If EPH cannot find something, then it is one hundred percent always someone else’s fault.
”I’ve not been in the garage darling.” I should win a bloody Oscar for my calm exterior whilst inside I am actually screaming ‘fuck off and leave me alone“.
”Well someone’s had it and it’s not me.” He snorted.
It doesn’t take an Agatha Christie to work out who goes in and out of the garage in our household. There are four of us and only two of us who regularly need to get into the garage for equipment relating to golf, fishing and watering the grass or having a water fight.
”Perhaps our Youngest Daughter has misplaced it, oh, centre of my world and love of my life.” I replied, without a hint of irony.
”Or that bloody lazy son of yours.” Came the response.
EPH is a saint and deserves a medal. He has put up with two step children since he hooked up with me and has stood by as they muddled their way loudly and rather erratically through their teenage years. As you know, Middle Child is currently weighing up his options in life whilst eating his own body weight in pizza and using every towel in the family nest. EPH loses his patience from time to time with such behaviour and Middle Child gets the blame for anything from not emptying the dishwasher to global warming, depending on EPH’s mood.
”Have you checked your pockets?” I helpfully suggested.
Stomping was heard as EPH made his way upstairs and rummaged through his pockets.
”It’s not there.” I could hear the irritation growing in his voice by the second.
I then got involved in the hunt for the garage door key to avoid world war three breaking out. I checked the drawer of everything in our kitchen which where most things can be found when they’ve been lost. I checked work surfaces and then decided to check the one place EPH had probably missed. The key rack.
We have a key rack because the previous owners of the house had left it. It’s a practical household item as keys are hung up there, including the garage door key. It sits on the floor of the utility room as EPH has never got round to hanging it on the wall and since he is the owner of the manly drill and I am forbidden to touch the manly drill, on the floor it remains and has done for five years.
A quick glance confirmed the absence of the garage door key on the key rack. I did, however, check the immediate vicinity and within a nano second found the ’lost key’ underneath the brush we use for sweeping floors.
There are several things to highlight at this point in the story, most of which will be blindingly obvious to all women reading this blog. However, for the men who read it, let me explain.
A brush is used for sweeping floors. It has a long handle and a brushy thing at the end. The key had obviously fallen off the key rack or been placed hastily on its hook and had somehow found its way to the floor, literally 4 centimetres from the key rack, just tucked under the brush.
”Come here!” I shouted. It was my best headmistress voice and was most definitely meant to be patronising.
”What?” Came the grumpy reply.
”Just come here.”.
EPH arrived looking annoyed as I stood next to the key rack.
”Fuck wit, twat.” I responded in my head, out loud I actually said was “Look.” as I pointed to the brush and moved it ever so slightly to the right, thus revealing the naughty key.
”Well, I didn’t put it there!” Came the response.
”Fuckity fuck fuck wit, twat, bastarding knob head.” I replied silently.
I walked away and resumed my preparations for the evening meal and poured myself a large gin.
Two days later he lost his coffee cup for life and found it another two days later in exactly the same place he left it. A lesson had been learned though Reader, he did not blame anyone or try to involve me in the search. I’d call that a result.