Richard, Veronica, Lucas, and I were on our way to visit my parents who live ten minutes away when I realized I couldn’t find my phone. Again.
I had just texted my brother, which meant I had just had it in my hand. There was no logical explanation for its disappearance, yet it was nowhere to be found.
After foraging through my purse and inside my bra* I asked if anyone in the car had seen it. They all burst out laughing because yes, once again, I had misplaced my phone.
We were a block from our house and Richard offered to go back so I could look for it, but I told him not to since everyone I needed to talk to was already in the car with me. I wasn’t worried someone wouldn’t be able to reach me.
But I was worried. I was worried I was losing my mind. This “losing stuff all the time” thing was becoming really annoying. Was my life that out of control that I couldn’t remember where I put something I had just had in my hand? Apparently, yes.
Suddenly I heard my phone ring. Richard had stealthily speed-dialed my cell phone from his.
(To be whispered: The ring was coming from inside my purse.
Imagine creepy music playing. Ok, back to the story.)
I shoved my hand into the depths of my purse to find it but couldn’t. I tried every pocket. I checked every little zippered compartment. We all heard it ring, but it wasn’t there.
So, I did the only rational thing I could: I dumped the contents of my purse –which is, for those of you who don’t know me — three shades of lipstick even though I usually just wear Burt’s Bee’s lip balm, my wallet, my keys, one pound of rocks, two pounds of pebbles, and everything else I own just in case I need it – onto my lap.
(To be whispered: The phone rang again from inside the purse, but it wasn’t there. More creepy music, and back to the story.) Richard had called my phone again, this time leaving me a voicemail for all to hear in an annoying damsel-in-distress voice saying, “Help me! I’m stuck in Leslie’s purse!”
The kids thought that was hilarious. I shot him a look that, had I possessed the super power, could carve my initials into his forehead with my laser-beam-cutting eyes.
Once we reached my parents’ house I politely asked my family to go ahead inside without me because I needed a little “alone” time to:
a) Throw a proper tantrum without having any witnesses,
b) Figure out why I could hear but not find my phone, (especially since I’m hearing impaired, not blind!)
c) Violently shake my empty purse expecting it to produce my phone, or, at the very least, a rainbow, some glitter, and several unicorns.
And then I felt it. It had fallen through a cell-phone-sized slit in the lining of the purse. It was being held hostage in a black hole between the lining and the bottom of the purse with one of my Burt’s Bees lip balms, three pens (no wonder I could never find one when I needed one!), and 14 bobby pins.
Secure in the fact that I wasn’t going crazy, I ripped the lining of the purse open using just my nails and teeth. Finally, I was able to hold my phone in my hand.
I looked down at the carnage in my lap and on the floor of the car, quickly scooped all evidence of the shredding frenzy back into my purse, and went in to see my parents.
I had purchased the purse in Florida at a dollar store last spring after arriving at our hotel and realizing I hadn’t packed one.
All I had brought was my super-cute briefcase with a retractable handle (on wheels!) that fits nicely under the seat in front of me, and can easily accommodate all the things I would normally put in my purse.
But I decided I needed a real purse because I thought it would look a bit tacky if I rolled my briefcase around the Sony Open Tennis match venue in Key Biscayne, on a fishing expedition on Kelly and Scott’s boat in Ft. Meyers, and through the country club for my father-in-law’s 80th birthday party in Weston.
After returning from my parents’ house that day I looked for another purse in which to keep all my belongings when I remembered I had recently donated all of my old purses to the local thrift shop.
I couldn’t sew the lining back together because it looked like over-cooked spaghetti squash. I came to the horrible realization that I had no choice but to do the unimaginable. I had to buy a new one; I had to go shopping.
If I absolutely, positively, must go shopping several criteria need to be met beforehand:
1. I must be in a great mood and feel particularly thin that day, even if I am only buying a purse.
2. There shall be no humidity in the air causing me the least bit of discomfort due to frizzy hair and/or the tiniest bit of sweatiness.
3. The barometric pressure must not be too high or too low, and the temperature should be below 75 degrees, but above 30 degrees.
4. The sun shall be shining, but if it is 75 degrees or higher and sunny I’d rather be outside playing with my dogs.
5. My make-up shall be applied to the best of my ability and I must not be the least bit tired.
6. Other than that I’m easy.
So I ventured out on a beautiful day, looking particularly presentable, and found the perfect Kipling bag…on sale! That kind of shopping I can do, although it does require a nap afterward.
I still lose my phone all the time, but at least I know that if I put it in the new purse I’ll most likely be able to find it. If it’s not there and Lucas, my 20-year-old son, happens to be home, he asks me, “Did you check your bra?”
*A trick my friend Rosa taught me.
A word of warning: do not put a cell phone in the bra part of your bathing suit and jump into the pool. Yes, I’ve done that, too.