Saturday, September 17, 2005

Looking for a Keeper

No, not one of those beloved books that we just can’t bear to part with, the ones that find their way to our “keeper shelf.”  I’m looking for someone to keep me on my shelf.  You know, like those people at the zoo … or the asylum.

A keeper.  Not an assistant.  You need to have your wits about you to function with an assistant.  I need someone to follow me around, tell me where I laid my glasses, what I did with that bill I just had in my hand; mention as I pick the bottle of ketchup off the grocery store shelf that I already have three bottles of ketchup in the pantry (for some reason when I need something, the need sticks long after I’ve filled the order the first few times); remind me not to walk out of the dry cleaners without the cleaning I just paid for (well, actually, the folks at the cleaners know me and are doing pretty well in keeping that particular problem in check); someone to step on the brakes when I pull away from the drive through after paying for the pizza, but before they actually hand the pizza to me – well, you’re getting the picture.

A person would think, since I’m much less pressed for time now than I was a few years ago when my children were young and I met myself coming and going, I would be better organized, or at least less distracted.  But no.  It seems where I could keep four busy schedules in play, four lives in flawless motion, I now can barely remember if I put on my own mascara.

A couple of months ago, I splurged on a designer purse (even at the outlet mall, the price made me shudder).  But, I thought, I work hard, I deserve a treat.  So I bought the bag – the small one, with the smaller price tag.  The first week I carried it, my husband and I had lunch at a sidewalk café and, you guessed it, I left my bag on the chair.  I didn’t even realize it until two hours later, when I was looking for my checkbook to pay bills.  Sadly, the idea that I’d left my purse at the café was about the fifth thing that came to mind.  I’d already searched closets and cars, accused various children of moving it … again, you get the picture.  Luckily, that story has a happy ending and someone turned it in, with cash and credit cards intact.

A month before that, I locked the keys in the trunk of my car while I was three-hundred miles from home.  During the same trip, I stepped outside my hotel room to pick up the newspaper and heard the door click closed behind me – no key of course, but at least I was dressed.

So far, I haven’t done irreparable damage.  But the key words are “so far.”

You can see the challenges presented to the person who takes on the keeper position are vast and thorny (sometimes I get a little defensive about my memory lapses).  And so far I haven’t had any takers.  It’s a big, nasty job -- but please, someone’s got to do it!

Now, what did I do with ….

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