Someone broke into our house. Again.
My wife and I have incredibly bad house mojo. We have been victimized by so many break-ins over the years. It's unbelievable. It doesn't matter where we live, people break in and take things. It's happened at least a half dozen times that I can recall in 2012.
It happened again this week.
My wife roamed the house this morning, possessed, opening and closing cabinets and talking. I wasn't sure if she was talking to me or herself. I remained unsure after I stopped what I was doing and listened to her. Sometimes it's hard to tell.
( I talk to myself, too. I also talk to spiders and insects I come across in the house, the cats, emails, news, telephone, computer, and the television. She does the same. It confuses us.
It also confuses the cats. They always assume we're talking to them and offering to feed them. They meow back to us, "Yes, I am hungry. What are you going to feed me?" One cat talking to us always arouses the others. Half asleep, they stumble into the room. "Are we getting fed?")
Entering my office, my wife paused, hands on hips. Her vision roamed over the bookcases.
"What are you doing, hon?" I asked.
A little wild in appearance, she looked around again and pursed her lips. "Do you remember that can of pennies?"
"Can of pennies?"
"The Tootsie Roll can."
"Where is it?"
"We got rid of it a few years ago."
"No, we didn't." She looked around as though the can of pennies was about to ambush her. "I would remember that."
"You would remember getting rid of them but you can't remember where they're at?"
"I think someone stole them."
"Wait. Let me get this straight. You think someone stole them?"
"Someone stole the can of pennies."
"I can't find them."
"So someone broke into the house and stole a can of pennies from wherever we were storing them."
"But they didn't take anything else. Is that what you're saying?"
"Yes. Otherwise, where are they?"
She had me there.
These household mysteries often go on. We don't discover someone broke in until one us begins walking around, looking for something, and muttering. Thieves take everything - clothes, bottles of wine, cans of pennies, books, nail polish, fingernail clippers, tweezers, purses, notebook.
"Have you seen my notebook?" my wife asked last week. She's an endless list maker.
"No." I looked around, you know, in case the notebook had suddenly shed its invisibility cloak. Don't laugh; it happens. "Do you remember when or where you last had it?"
"If I knew that, it wouldn't be lost."
Uh huh. "Just trying to jog your memory, sweetie."
Nothing puts us in a fouler mood than not being able to find something that we're want. I'm riding a success streak this week, having found the book she was reading, her thumb ring, purse, and car keys.
Knowing where her purse and credit cards is critical to my wife. On my part, I need to know where the cats are, and that they're all right.
But the whereabouts of my wife's purse is a constant. We'll be doing something and she'll suddenly look around. "Where's my purse? Did I bring it in from the car?" She'll rush out to where she keeps her purse. "Oh, there it is. I didn't remember carrying it in."
Her credit cards are another matter that freaks her out. She has never forgotten a credit card anywhere but it seems to be a fear preying on her. We'll often walk away from a counter after a purchase and she'll suddenly stop and open her purse. "Did I get my credit card back?"
"Yes," I'll reply, but my assurances aren't enough. She'll look through her purse until the credit card is found. "Yes, I have it."
Her concern carries over to my credit cards, too. Whenver I pay and they hand my credit card back, she'll accept it and then hand it to me, to ensure I receive it. If she's not there to hand it over, she'll ask, "Do you get your credit card back?"
"Yes." I usually won't check.
"Are you sure?"
"All right," she answers darkly, an inherent warning in her tone, there will be an invoice from hell come due if I discover I don't have my credit card and I didn't check.
I accep tthe risk.
Many household mysteries go unsolved. We still haven't found her notebook, nor the silver coins that her father gave her. We did find the missing ashtray, though. It disappeared last spring.
As non-smokers, we only have one ashtray. It's put out when a smoker comes over, for their use outside on one of the porches. Finding it ahead of time, however, is worthy of an action adventure tale or police procedural.
"I found the missing ashtray," I announced after searching for and falling to find some missing candlesticks.
"You did?" My wife was pleased and a little astonished. "Where was it?"
"In the hall closet."
"I looked there!"
I nodded. "Somebody probably broke in and returned it."
She nodded back. "Probably."
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com