Connections: Losing It

Everybody loses things, right? And we all misplace objects only to have them reappear when we stop looking for them. As you get older, you begin to wonder if such commonplace occurrences are due to age. But last weekend, when my pocketbook went missing, it seemed to be a different story.
    There was no question that I had last had it in hand in the house at about 2:30 Saturday afternoon. My now 9-year-old granddaughter’s birthday party had just gotten under way when I picked up my shoulder bag from its usual place in the bedroom to dig into it so I could give my husband the keys to the car.
    The party went beautifully. Twelve kids between 6 and 13 had a lot of fun. The weather was beautiful, which encouraged some of them to go out to the tree house while two or three young boys had a sword fight. Pizza, a marshmallow-building contest, a karaoke machine, and a cake decorated with a Ninja kept everyone busy.
    As the party wore down, though, I realized my bag was not to be seen. There was no reason why it should have taken a walk. What had I done with it? I remembered handing my husband the keys in the living room, but couldn’t remember putting the purse down there or anywhere else. By nightfall, my husband convinced me, more or less, to let it go. It would turn up, surely.
    By Sunday morning, however, I began to obsess. Perhaps I was having a sugar rush, like kids do, because I had indulged in leftover birthday cake for breakfast. I looked in every one of the drawers in my bureau, opened every closet I could think of, and searched the kids’ playroom upstairs, among the old Parcheesi sets and doll furniture.
    Now everyone in the house was becoming infected. Could someone actually have come in the front door and lifted it from a living room chair while we were all making merry in another part of the house? Should we call any of the parents who were at the party to ask if they had seen anything? Was I going to have to cancel my credit cards, phone the Motor Vehicle Department, etc. etc. etc. etc.?
    It made no sense, but I even opened the small, low cupboards in the dining room where we store vases and flower pots. As I turned to walk away, there it was. It was wedged in a space about four inches wide between a small side table, a dining room wall, and the side of the staircase. On the floor in front of the side table was a totally unfamiliar aluminum rod, the expandable kind.
    Relief. All’s well that ends well and all that, but . . . could one of the sword-fighting urchins have picked up the pocketbook and used it as something to swing around while wielding the rod as a sword? Could I have wedged it in place myself, and, if so, why would I do that? And why would I not recall having done something so peculiar?
    My husband says that if there is a moral to this story, it’s just don’t fret. Think of other things. Have a cup of herbal tea.
    As I see it, naturally, if I hadn’t been worried enough to look in the most unlikely places, like those cupboards and the refrigerator, it might have been weeks before my old Coach bag was found.