Monday, December 14, 2009

Loss Leaders

I’m glad to hear the Bush Administration misplaced 20 million emails; now I don’t feel so bad about losing my house keys. And you can throw in all those sunglasses as well.

When I think of the intolerance others have shown when I’ve searched for keys, well, it makes my blood boil. But now I have the perfect retort: “What are you so mad about, it’s not like I’ve done this 20 million times.”

5,000 times, maybe. Which is less than a drop in the official statistical bucket. If 20 million is the new yardstick by which all loss must be measured, 5,000 times means I didn’t really lose any keys at all. Mathmatically, from a key-loss perspective, I'm practically a virgin.

Most of my life has been spent in the company of orderly people, and they can’t understand why my keys are never on the hook labeled KEYS. Or why my shoes never sleep together, or what the hammer is doing on the dining table, or why the ladder is still in the kitchen.

These are very difficult questions for a disorderly person to answer. The closest I can come is that things, things that don’t breathe, have no weight for me. Once their momentary utility ends, they cease to exist. They disappear. Mine is a life free of clutter.

Whereas my neat and orderly friends, their life is spent in the service of demon clutter -- they spindle, stab, staple, fold, file, label, worry, pack, unpack, and pack it again.

My friends and I, we’ll never fully understand each other. We’ll always be impatient with each other. My friends will never concede that finding the order you want takes as much time as finding what you want in disorder.

35 comments:

  1. Um, am I supposed to take the lead here?

    wv gringly
    Gringly bells
    Gringly bells
    Gringly all the way

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  2. I'm with you, Karin. I never know how things seem to wind up in disarray. I don't really notice them. Then months later, I'm clearing off a table, and I'm reminded, "Oh, this was the time when I put that picture up... when was that...four months ago?" Clearing off a table can be like looking at tree rings.

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  3. This is the constant debate in our home, and I am firmly on the missing keys side. I've tried all the tricks; they don't work for me. My man is going to have to accept me as I am, no matter what I'm missing.

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  4. Does locking your keys in your car about three times a year count as losing them?

    Even so, it will never add up to 20 million.

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  5. Well now, we'd make an interesting group of roommates. Four cars and no keys.

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  6. "Practically a virgin" is a more interesting debating point than lost keys. Go get the set you stashed at your daughter's!! Keys that is, not practical virgins.

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  7. Oh, it's only, loss leaders. I thought you said Lots of Eaters!

    Oh well. Better next time.

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  8. I kind of side with the Egyptians on loving my non breathing objects. If I could take them with me, I probably would. Of course sunglasses don't count. In this we are similar. If I loose them, never fear. With a 99 cent store down the street I'm close enough to walk to my supplier (should I loose my keys).... this is LA.

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  9. You mean to say that all the years I spent labelling things were wasted?

    My WV is orricl. I feel I should have had something profound to contribute.

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  10. Didn't you just know Wayne was a chronic labeler???

    Moi, I"m practically a virgin these days myself, but that's beside the point I guess. I've almost got my family trained to keep up with my keys. Why exactly is that so hard for us KB?

    Gotta run and take the step ladder out of the living room where I left it yesterday when I started, but didn't finish, decorating the $#%@ tree!

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  11. I am on Mister Earl's side. Everyday (er, everytime) I lose my keys in my purse, I find something I didn't remember I had. A gift certificate to Fresh & Easy in a pocket of my bag! An email address on a stick 'em that obviously didn't stick! 9 tubes of Chap-stik (I miss 'em more than my keys!). Titles of books I want from the library, my niece's 2nd grade school photo that was supposed to go straight into my wallet... I am Indiana Jones!!! What an adventure hunting for keys can be.

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  12. I'm convinced the only reason my husband and I go so well together is that we seem to lose track of things at exactly the same rate. I help him look for his driver's license, and he doesn't get quite so annoyed when I lose the keys (twice this year already, and with 15 more days to go, who knows what will happen). I'm pretty sure, actually, I knew he was the one for me when he lost track of his keys a few months into the relationship.

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  13. Basically, I'm the orderly type, though I like to think of it as dispensing with the demon clutter rather than being in its clutches... my daily To Do notebook, though, would make you proud, KB. That's where my cup of disorder and randomness runneth over.

    wv: brust. Let me get the brust pan and dush.

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  14. Karin: where are your keys now? Remember: where they were the last time you saw them?

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  15. PA, I go into 99 cent store and buy 10 pair at a crack. There's a rule: the cheaper the glasses, the less likely you'll lose them.

    Let's see, we've got Wayne, Shell, and probably Italo on the orderly side (I'm not surprised).

    Brenda, you with Chapstick, me with Double A batteries.

    Quid, amazing that relationship works out, but I guess you take turns.

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  16. Oh....that explains so much about my parents. They're actually orderly and I'M the neurotic one. Uh huh....

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  17. ai yi yi-don't get me started...

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  18. If I put things away, I'd never find them.

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  19. I've been so disorganized during our "extended" renovation, out of necessity, that with the move and the finessing, and the everything I'm all about organizing, completely fixated on it. I imagine after a couple of months I'll settle back into my usual where are my keys, you'll have to call my cell phone to see where it is, hop around the house for my wooden leg, have detailed discussions at the dinner table about where the dog's leash went, like it slithered away. The usual.

    I'm the clutter to super, super organized to clutter again. I have to admit, when I lose one thing, it's amazing how many other things I end up finding that I didn't know I had lost in the first place.

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  20. If there are any organized journalists in the world, I've never met one. One of my good reporter friends had roofers leak tar through his roof/ceiling in several places. Thankfully, there were so many stacks of newspapers on the floor, the tar didn't hit any actual carpet.

    I can't even find my keys when they're in my purse.

    Beyonce said in an interview once that Jay Z gets fed up with how messy she is, because "her shoes are always by the front door and her purse is always on the kitchen counter." What tha? That's messy? Heck when my shoes are by the front door and my purse is on the counter, I consider those things to be 'put away'!

    So now I think of Jay Z being like that psycho guy in the Julia Roberts movie where she learns how to swim to escape from her abusive marriage, and picture Beyonce franctically lining up the labels on the canned goods in the pantry so they all face forward.

    I bet if I spent less time daydreaming about Jay Z abusing Beyonce, I'd have more time to organize.

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  21. Sorry, no time to blog...I have to organize my closet, my study, my kitchen, my purse, my car and....again...and again....and again....

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  22. I wonder if the 20 million emails the Bush Administration lost were about anything in particular.

    It is unusual for me to misplace things accidentally. The bohemian hellhole I call "home" loves to suck certain things up into its bipolar vortex when the thing, paper, rock or scissors is troublesome to me.

    I am not trying to be a gee dub basher, just for today.

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  23. OK, somebody's got to ask this, so here comes a fool rushing in: might it be gender thing, at least with keys and shades? Also, isn't the dramatic flapping about the lost item as . . . problematic . . . as the losing itself?

    I'm pretty chaotic, and I routinely flap dramatically by misplacing this or that, especially paper items. But keys, wallet,
    (cheap) shades? Never. They go THERE. Period. Harrumph. You gotta be ready to flee.

    I love the new cop show lingo, "He's in the wind." Well, how'd he get in the wind without his keys?

    And one more thing! KB, you're amazing at hitting on these little things that might be big things--like schmoozy letters from your good pal, the phone company, or whether to and how to write holiday cards.

    Finally (finally!), you imply there are SOME not-object things you do keep tidy--would that be, maybe, ideas? words? people? animals' health? If so, pretty good priorities if you ask me (and you didn't. sorry).

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  24. You are welcome to misplace your keys at my house anytime. We will have the now practically sentient dust bunnies help us.

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  25. I've lost my keys twice and still have flashbacks that chill me to the bone as a result! Now I'm uber-careful about it, to the point where I feel like one of those OCD sufferers -- checking over and over again to make sure they're still in my purse.

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  26. Recently, I was getting out of my car trying to talk on my cell phone, carry a bunch of stuff, balance a beach ball on my nose, and spin a plate on a stick. Somehow, my car keys disappeared. I suspected they were outside and I was concerned that a cat or dog might make off with them, because I heard that Mercedes keys smell like Snausages to a pet. Luckily, the next morning I found them, perched in a rose bush, just where I left them.

    Check out the show Hoarders on HGTV. That will scare you. We all have a little bit, more or less, or hoarder in us.

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  27. OH just you all wait till you're my age and the need/obsession for reading glasses completely eclipses the need/obsession for sunglasses. They're the least of my worries now. I buy reading specs by the bag full at the Dollar Tree etc.

    It's a little scary where I find my keys nowadays. I think to myself, "Where is the dumbest place you could have laid them and voila!!! They sometimes appear.
    v

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  28. Farm Girl kind of hit it, we just have way too much on our minds.

    Now, any volunteers to get this place in order? I can't find my WV.

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  29. LOL!

    I'm on the side of orderliness, but ya know, if the hammer gets left out, it means I probably have another project to work on it with. I've been accused of being tightly wound at times---however, if you were able to compare me to my dearly departed mother, she'd have ranked a type A, I'd still be somewhere around a type S, comparatively (mom was more like Martha...and we knick named her the great glass snatcher b/c a coke with ice was not safe anywhere in the house other than in your hand).

    I think I've lost my keys twice in my life, BOTH times, due to someone else taking them from where I left them. Most of the time, they are either in my pocket, or on the night stand. period. Tho I have scared myself SILLY of late---due to my thumbthingy, I had to change pockets to store the keys in...reach down, empty pocket..cr@p! cr@p! cr@p! how'd that...oh, right, other pocket!

    It irritates me when my life is impacted because of those less organized, but I've learned to let the little things go. It's sooo not worth it.

    But it is somewhat problematic that the "shrub" admin seemed to "lose" 20k emails...yeah, uh-huh...like 18 minutes of tape?

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  30. I am confused. You mean a hammer doesn't belong on the dining room table?

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  31. hee-hee-hee!
    Now just imagine living with one of those friends. I guess opposites attract.

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  32. I used to misplace my keys, my glasses all the time. One time I put my glasses in my shoes. Then I trained myself not to misplace them any more. I occasionally leave my keys in the lock (outside), but that's all.

    I wish I could misplace my memories of the Bush administration. Or the whole administration. All I need is a very large time machine.

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  33. I missed this one while I was rearranging my office. No, seriously.

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