Almost Lost Again
A favorite pair of earrings that I wore for years went missing one day. Well not entirely. It was only one that I lost on a teaching trip–at an airport, hotel, or possibly a grocery store. Slipping the wires in my ears each day had been a part of my getting dressed routine and I didn’t feel like I had it all together without them. I feel the same way about my apron–I’m not dressed and ready for the day unless I have put on an apron. I still had one earring and placed it in a safe place. Occasionally I would look at it and remember how much I loved wearing them.
On a teaching trip to southern California a few years back, I found a new-to-me pair of earrings in a second hand jewelry store. I wore them daily until about three months ago, when I lost one of those, too. <<sigh>>
I started wearing a mismatched pair–one of each–in my ears. Friends would say to me, “You have on two different earrings. Did you know?” Yes, I did, but both were silver and round…well, one was round and the other was round-ish.
Today on a whim, I drove into town and walked into the store where I had originally purchased the first set. I showed the lovely young woman who greeted me my one remaining earring and asked if there might possibly be another set like it. She said, “Yes, I think there just might be.” Spinning the display case around, we found it; a pair exactly like the one I had shown to her. Then the loveliest thing happened. She disappeared to the back of the store and unbeknownst to me, was conferring with the owner. When she returned, she said that they would be happy to sell me just one. How kind!
The owner came out, took my older tarnished piece, and shined it up with a cloth as we chatted. “How’s your son doing?” One of the beauties of living in a small town is that folks like shopkeepers, teachers, and librarians have watched all the kids grow up and enjoy keeping up on their news. “He’s doing great,” and I shared a few updates. She finished polishing them and told me that the older one is a little more worn than the new one, but it would catch up with its older mate soon. After I paid, I slipped them into my ears–ahhhhh–just right–and headed back to my car.
Once home, I went straight to the mirror to take a look, only to see that one was missing! I couldn’t believe it. How is it possible that I could lose one before I had worn it for 15 minutes? Had it fallen off somewhere in my scarf? A pocket? The car? The path on the way in? I retraced my steps. Nothing. With a feeling of disappointment I came back inside. Maybe I wasn’t supposed to have two. Maybe I was supposed to continue wearing mismatched sets, like the mismatched socks I sometimes put on early in the morning when it’s too dark to tell the difference.
Then I looked down. On the floor right inside the back door, lay my almost lost again earring. I picked it up, happily threaded it through my ear. I pressed the fishhook wires a bit closer together. It will probably be a good idea for me to put some of those little earring safety backs on the wires so they won’t fall off. Now, I have a matched set…at least for a while.
Is there something you put on each day that makes you feel complete, or a special item that was given up for lost and later found?