Thursday, October 15, 2009

Call Me Gumshoes

When I was younger - a little girl, even - I loved to be organized. I had all of my kitschy knick-knacks arranged in specific order on my shelves, right above my descending height-ordered books and specifically placed stuffed animals. My mom always gave me the task of unloading the dishwasher, I'm convinced, because she knew I'd settle the tupperware into nicely nested stacks and the glasses into neat rows. When I grew up and got jobs and had bills, I paid those bills quickly and efficiently. All two of them.

Somehow over the years, though, my well organized life has squeezed out the edges and spilled over the sides and spread its messy fingerprints everywhere. My life laughs in organization's face; My life needs a swift kick in the backside to get its slovenly act together. I misplace things on a regular basis, and because the house is generally in a state of bordering disarray, it's heck to find anything that isn't right where it should be. Our bills are paid in a 'What day is it? The 15th?! Crud...I'll be right back.' sort of way. There are clothes upon clothes in the girls' closets that no longer fit or are for the wrong season, and since I've yet to sort them all out, the clothes that do fit are piled on tops of dressers. It's a sad situation with nowhere to place the blame but on my own disorganized shoulders.

As bad as that last paragraph sounds, it's not the worst of it. The worst of it is that I'm always cleaning or straightening something, so I know the problem is not lack of cleaning skills or gumption. The problem is disorganization. If there was a method to my madness, I have a feeling there would also be a lot more peace in our household. Maybe more fun. Maybe. Because sometimes the losing objects part can be entertaining.

Case in point - the latest item to go missing around here was my cell phone. Yesterday I searched and searched with no luck. Meaning, I looked in the obvious places and gave up hope after that. I decided to just use the home phone to dial my cell phone and follow the ringing to the jackpot. Which would have been really simple if I could've found the handset to the home phone. It was just gone. Luckily for losers (heh - get it?) like myself, our cordless phone comes equipped with a handset locator. A little pager button I can push from the phone base to find the missing handset.

I pushed that locator button and followed the beeps to the handset which was wedged behind our TV. On first guess, I'd say that had something to do with a toddler. And I'd bet about a thousand dollars that I was correct. (A thousand dollars is a lot of money!)

Next step, dial my cell phone number and follow the ringing to find it. Dialed, listened, searched - but sadly, not found.

I dialed again, hearing a very faint ringing from somewhere in the kitchen. Scouting out the exact location was tricky. It was somewhere around my kitchen island/pantry but not anywhere I looked. Not under the pile of junk on the counter top. Not in the fruit bowl. Not fallen down beside the island. Not anywhere.

For the third time, I dialed the cell phone. This time, I recruited Mia's help. Now we were both sniffing around the pantry, looking in all the right places, moving hotter and colder until finally the phone stopped ringing again without us finding it. Had it melted into the floorboards? Become invisible? I could very distinctly hear the faint ringing when I was right by the island, but the second I'd move to a nearby counter top or stool, it got quieter. Leading me to believe it was somewhere on the island. In some secret hiding place, maybe?

Again, I dialed the phone. Dial number 4. I was on a mission this time. Mia had lost interest and wandered away, but I had my game face on, honed my x-ray vision, and crouched down to look the island directly in its wood-paneled face. Slowly, I got the impression that the ringing was coming from inside the island. Even though I couldn't imagine it being there, I pulled out the top pantry shelf thinking maybe the phone had fallen in earlier. There was no phone in sight, but the ringing was louder now; we were definitely getting hotter. After rummaging around the cereal and cracker boxes for a minute, the ringing stopped again.

But I was on to it. My phone-finding reflexes led me to reach out and grab the Pop-Tart box. I opened it, and THERE sat my phone, the screen dimming from the glow of 4 missed calls.

"A-HA!" I yelled triumphantly. My chest was heaving from exhilaration, and my eyes must have been bright with victory. Looking around to see who'd witnessed my tracking skills, I found an empty room. So empty, in fact, that I had no hesitation in doing a terribly unflattering victory dance. That phone was hard-won, darn it.

Even so, I'd like not to go through that whole rigamarole again soon. Granted, I'd bet another thousand dollars that the situation was instigated by the same toddler as the home phone misplacement, but there's got to be a way to keep our house better organized. So that next time something goes missing, I don't have to sift through piles of junk with no proper place in order to find what I need.

I can just go directly to the Pop-Tart box instead.


  1. Hahah! I love the way you tell a story! Keep your house disorganized, your blog is funnier that way! :)

  2. Rigamarole= 500 points.

    You are brilliant. Your writing, I mean, not the losing things. Although there might very well be a method to your madness; If you didn't have this unfortunate flaw, you wouldn't be able to write amazing posts such as this. See?! Sha-zam!

  3. Hehe, love it!

    When I was young all my books were in alphabetical order by author's last name, and my crayons were in "colorbetical" order. Okay, I might still have done that in high school. And into college...

  4. LOVE it! Your story kept me on the edge of my seat, and rolling with laughter! Thanks for the few minutes of pure entertainment. :)

  5. go there and find order! Not that you need it... Seriously, there are tools for helping you, even if you are the orderly type (as am I). Love reading your blog, and hearing about your adorable family!

  6. Of course the phone was in the pop-tart box.. I can't believe you didn't look there first!

  7. Haha, I love this!! Oh I have had Ella follow the ring of my cell phone many times - nice to know I'm not the only one :)!!

  8. LOL! As I read this, I was just SURE you were writing about me and my house. Except when I pressed the button on the handset locator, and it was clearly coming from the kitchen, and when I then I emptied all of the nearby drawers in a frantic phone-finding frenzy . . . it turned out the sound was coming through the baby monitor on the kitchen counter. The phone was in the nursery.

  9. I still love feeling organized, but it's the sorting clothes that gets me too. I dread the change of seasons for no other reason!


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?