Friday, February 26, 2010

All is not lost…just avoiding me

My birthday present this year was a petite subcompact digital camera. I always wanted a camera I could easily drop into my purse and have it handy whenever a photographic moment arises. (My definition of a photographic moment has now changed so much that I find very few these days. Nevertheless, I wanted that camera.)

It’s tiny, shiny, and teal blue. I bought a tiny case to put it in, and I tucked it into one of the compartments of my purse. But this camera is so small I’m afraid I might lose it in there.

I lose things in my purse all the time. It’s usually an item I know is in there. I’m reasonably sure I didn’t take whatever it is out of the purse, and I don’t think it fell out when the purse tipped over—most likely to happen when it’s sitting on my car’s passenger seat and the guy in front of me stops suddenly, and…well, I’m sure I’ve painted the picture.

To meet my approval, purses have to have several zipper compartments, preferably on the outside too, where I like to store my keys so I can get at them quickly. That way, I always know where my keys are. Except when I absentmindedly put the car key in the wrong outside zipper compartment and then panic for a minute when I think I dropped it somewhere.

But how is it possible that in a medium-size purse (by today’s standards), I can lose a pair of bifocals in a hardshell case? Or an 8-ounce bottle of water? Or my red patent leather wallet? When I thrust my hand into my purse, whatever I’m looking for flees from my fingers and hides in a dark corner of the bag—even if I just put the damn thing back a few minutes ago!

My husband is amused while I go through the frenetic ritual of locating something—like my glasses so I can drive the car. But I get to give it back. Because men don’t (usually) carry purses, all of their daily needs end up in their pockets—front pockets, back pockets, shirt pockets, and hidden inside-the-jacket pockets. Do you really think they know in which pocket they put which items? Please… I’ve seen that self-patting down men go through just to locate a pen or loose change. And as in my spouse’s case, they sometimes discover that the item really is missing, only to find it (at their better half’s suggestion) between the pillows of the sofa or in a pair of pants they just changed out of.

Should I take my tendency to lose something that’s not really lost as a sign of advancing age? Nah. I just need a bigger purse.