MISLAID MATTER | THE ART OF LOSING THINGS

I had a short lived stint with a pair of Mr Christian leather shoes I bought in a vintage shop in London’s Brick Lane. A good few years ago this was, during my rite of passage UK adventure us Aussies seem to yearn for. Aesthetically speaking, those perfectly crafted pair of shoes flawlessly married hints of high fashion and nuances of the girl next door. They were, quite frankly, wonderful in every way. It was a rather tear-inducing affair the day I discovered they were gone.

They were unfortunately pilfered, along with a trunk of my favourite clothes and an emerald green lamp I’d cherished since the day I found it on the side of a road.  That was nine years ago and it still bothers me today.  So do the pair of hair pins with little red lady beetles fused to the end I left on the seat of a train headed for Tooting Bec. They were a magnificent inheritance from my mum’s closet, she wore them the day she met my dad on a travel bus in Europe in 1972. Perhaps they were never mine to keep.

You see, I seem to have fallen victim to the curse of losing things. It’s why I vow never to spend more than a cup of coffee on a pair of sunnies. Yep, when it comes to shades, I’m a shocker. I’ve crushed a Chloe pair, scratched my DKNY’s, sat on a Sportsgirl special and lost so many pairs of Ray Bans it’s rather ridiculous. The day I dropped my Dior’s in Loch Ness looking for its elusive Monster was the day I decided never to buy pricey sunnies again. The only thing that stops me rocking in the shower is picturing Nessie- the supposed mysterious marine dinosaur- wearing them and looking really flipping fly.

Hang on, there was one exception, and good grief my eyes hurt just thinking of them. Oakley, garish bright yellow, most definitely the most sought after sunglasses in the 90’s, terribly unflattering- unless you wanted to look like a bug. Seriously what was I thinking! Strangely these hideous frames somehow survived trans-oceanic moving I almost feel they should be bronzed or something.

We have become so accomplished at accumulating and carrying stuff and yet we seem to have mastered the art of leaving it all behind. Is this fortuitous or is it an intuitive endeavour to free our lives from clutter?

Statistics tell us that 80% of what we hold on to we never use.  We wear 20% of the clothes we own 80% of the time. The rest dangle there, just in case.

Over the course of our life, we will spend a total of 3,680 hours or 153 days searching for misplaced items. On average, we spend 6 minutes looking for our keys in the morning. In fact research says we lose up to nine items daily—or 198,743 in a lifetime. Phones, keys and sunglasses top the list.

And when we lose them then what? The fury, the rage, the aggravation, the prayers to St Anthony the Saint of lost things, who must have employed staff by now….surely? All this when we probably never really needed the thing anyway.

So we are slaves to stuff and prisoners to loss.  And yet I probably wouldn’t want it any other way. Perhaps we should just put tracking devices in sunglasses instead.

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