“Looking for My Nearly Lost Mind,” column for Nov. 18, 2014

When you think of growing old, what’s your greatest fear? Do you worry about having enough income to live on?

I worry about that sometimes. But I think, hey, I’ve been poor before, there are worse things that could happen. I don’t know what those things are, but I’m sure there are lots of them.

Do you fear losing your youth and your get-up-and-go, getting all wrinkled and gray and, of all things, uncool? I don’t worry about any of that stuff. It’s too late. They already happened to me years ago.

My biggest fear about getting old is simple. I worry that I will spend whatever time I have left wandering the Earth looking for things I can’t find. For example:

I can’t find my glasses because they’re on top my head.

I can’t find the glass of water I was drinking because I drank it and put the glass in the sink.

I can’t find the keys that I always keep in my purse, because somehow, the first five times I looked for them there, they were nowhere to be seen. Then on the sixth time, when I looked again _ after taking apart my car, my house and my sanity _ they showed up, in the purse where I always keep them.

I could swear I spend half my waking hours looking for stuff I can’t find. And not just my own stuff. My husband’s, too.

Recently, he walked out of the bedroom, where he had been putting away his laundry, and said to me (in that accusing tone he always takes when he tries to blame me for losing or breaking something that he lost or broke himself) “Did you do something with my red boxer shorts? I can’t find them anywhere.”

“Don’t fancy yourself,” I said. “What would I possibly do with your red underwear?”

“I know you don’t like those shorts,” he said. “You told me never to buy red ones again.”

Allow me to explain. I come from a long line of germaphobic women who firmly believe that some things _ sheets, towels and especially undergarments _ need to be washed in hot water.

Do you know what happens if you wash something red in hot water? That’s right, you end up with a whole load of pink.

“The only thing I have against those red boxers,” I said, “is they happen to be red. It doesn’t mean I got rid of them.”

“Well, I looked everywhere,” he said, “and I can’t find them.”

Talk about throwing down the gauntlet. For some reason, if he says he can’t find something, I feel duty bound to start looking.

I looked everywhere. In the hamper. The closet. The dresser drawers. Under the bed. Behind the toilet (you don’t even want to know what you can find back there.) In the washer and dryer. I even checked the lint screen.

I gave him a look. “Did you leave those shorts some place?”

He rolled his eyes.

“I’m not accusing you,” I said, “I’m just saying. They have to be somewhere. How about the case where you keep your bass?”

He plays bass in a band. Sometimes they play late.

“Be serious,” he said.


“They’re not in my bass case!”

I checked. They weren’t there.

Have you ever spent hours looking for something that cost next to nothing and you’re not even sorry that it’s gone?

“Tell the truth,” he said. “Did you give them to Goodwill?”

“I tried,” I said, “but they wouldn’t take them.”

Finally, we gave up and decided to go in the hot tub to soak off a little frustration.
My husband went to the bedroom to change into his swim trunks. A minute later, he came back laughing.

“Look what I found!” he said, waving the boxers like a flag.

“I don’t believe it! Where did you find them?”

“Well,” he said, with his face turning almost as red as those shorts, “I was wearing them.”

If I lose my mind, will you help me find it?


  1. We were both searching my husband’s pajama yesterday he wanted to take with him for his trip to India . he was checking in his closet ,even standing on a chair ,I was holding him so he does not fall ,he could not find it . Then I searched every where else . I remembered all 14 minutes your column ,thank God I found it downstairs in his coat closet and he put it in his suitcase safe and sound making me so tired and a few minutes of search for 12 dollars pajama made me exhausted like I searched for a lost diamond and could not find even a stone when lost . Thank you Sharon for reminder not to waste a single minute if husband is so lost with their clothes which are so less expensive . I buy a pack of needles ,and to find one needle was hard and now I lost whole pack of 25 needles . Then I bought a case having full sewing kit and I can find pack as well as many other accessories to mend my clothes .

  2. Kate Sciacca says

    That is the BEST laugh I have had all day!!! Yes well, let’s see… I have looked for my glasses when they were on my face and panicked one time while talking to a friend on my cell phone…. He could hear the panic in my voice and asked what was wrong…. “I can’t find my cell phone!” He….. “Um, dear, you are talking to me on it…” Yup, as my dear departed mama would say… “The Golden Years….. BAH! HUMBUG!”

  3. I will indeed, on one condition. You have to help me find mine first.


  4. This one is really nice . Nicer when you explained it in such a funny way to make us all roll into laughter . Thanks for putting so many beautiful words into a small experience which happens to us when we grow old . We do not look for expensive things so hard as they never get lost and if they disappear they are hard to find too as someone must have stolen them ,that is all we can predict being old .
    but we look for ugliest things all the time and wasting even few minutes do not worth it . Lot of love and keep writing ! God bless you and your husband who lets you mention in your column !

  5. Chrysti Love says

    Job 28:23-24. ” God understands the way to it, And He alone knows it’s place. For He looks to the ends of the earth and observes everything under the heavens.” This has become my life Scripture. Sure helps to keep repeating when looking for that object!
    Enjoy your column. Thanks for sharing.

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