Sometime around Christmas, MEH (My Engineer Husband) lost his mittens. Let me explain. I had given him a pair of brand-new super-warm dog-walking mittens a few days before Christmas, but they didn’t fit. It was a shame because I wasn’t supposed to buy them at all. MEH had given me strict instructions to not buy him any Christmas presents whatsoever—you may recall that MEH lost his job in September.
He didn’t want me to spend any money on him, but his mittens had holes in them and we had a super cold winter so I was worried about him and decided that since they were a necessity, the mittens should be an exception to the rule. But THEN I felt guilty right before Christmas and didn’t want him to feel like I broke the rule (especially since he wasn’t giving me anything either, that was the other part of the agreement) so I gave him the mittens before Christmas morning…before our kids got home for the holidays …
(By the way, MEH broke the rule, too. He gave me a book for Christmas which can hardly be called a necessity, although an argument could be made because it is the collected short stories of Nathaniel Hawthorne, which really are kind of a necessity of life…)
Anyway, MEH tried the mittens on, and after ALL THAT, they didn’t even fit…so…he put them into a box…somewhere “we’d never forget” so we could return them right after the holidays. But…
Those Poor Little Kittens
You guessed it, we forgot where we put them. And we’ve been looking for those mittens ever since. Luckily we bought them somewhere that isn’t picky about returns (in fact, LL Bean is actually is a whole lot better than “not picky,” they have satisfaction guaranteed so you can pretty much return anything anytime, receipt or not).
I digress. MEH lost his mittens. And he’d never even worn them once. I felt pretty bad about it because he wouldn’t, WOULD NOT buy another pair. He wore a mismatching old pair of gloves (also too small) instead, the whole winter long.
Fast forward to a week ago and MEH’s trip to San Francisco: the one that I gave him for his birthday to see our daughter. Okay, I know what you’re thinking. If he doesn’t want a pair of MITTENS then how can I possibly justify a trip to San Francisco? Good question. Answer: frequent flier miles. Phew, now I don’t need to feel guilty about that anymore either.
Anyway, the day before MEH left for San Francisco, he had a job interview. It went well, but you just never know (and we’ve had six months of “just never knowing”) so we (of course) just put it out of our minds, and MEH went and had a blast in San Francisco with our daughter. As an aside, let me tell you that our daughter really knows MEH… she had planned all his favorite things: they went on a boat ride (to Alcatraz), to the Science Academy, to the aquarium, and walked all over the city at all times of day and night. They even had whiskey. MEH said it was “the best birthday present ever”!
I digress (again).
So, Here’s The Rest of the Story
MEH came home and the very next day he got a call and was offered a JOB!!! Yes! A JOB!! We were of course elated and incredibly happy, but mostly we were just really, really relieved. And it kind of felt like someone pushed the play button again after we’d been in pause for a really long time—if you’ve never experienced being laid off or living with someone who has been, I don’t know if that makes any sense, but that’s exactly what it felt like. (And, by the way, I don’t advise ever going through it, so I’m very happy for you if you haven’t been through it and just have hear about it from me.) This is a good place to say that I wish we could’ve known it was coming, that someone could’ve told us that MEH would have six months off then he’d find a job… then he’d go back to work. Then we really could’ve enjoyed that six months a lot more. As it was, I’m sorry to say that sometimes it was tense and difficult and we even had an argument or two, MEH and I. Unemployment is not good… well, that’s an understatement, but that’s all I’ll say about it because it’s over (MEH started his job today, and I’m a little lonely, but I’m mostly very very happy).
But what on earth does all this have to do with those mittens??? I know that’s what you were thinking, right? It’s just this. Over the weekend, after we pressed the start button, we did some spring cleaning. Well, to be honest, we finally felt relaxed enough to enjoy doing something non-job-search related, and we decided it was time to do some cleaning up…in particular to look for those mittens because it was kind of driving us a little crazy. MEH was pretty sure the mittens were in a room that had gotten pretty junky over the winter, a place we were basically storing stuff, and that was the “somewhere we’d never forget,” but long story short, they weren’t in there…which we didn’t discover until we tore the place apart.
After we finished putting it back together, and as I was putting away the luggage from the San Francisco trip, I spotted a box in our closet that had some fabric in it that I’d used to make some Christmas gifts. I lifted the fabric to put it away, and lo and behold, there were those mittens!!
We had another (much smaller of course) celebration about finding the mittens. Afterwards, I said to MEH, said I: why is it that you always find something the last place you look? To which MEH agreed: mittens and jobs alike, it’s always that last place. After that, it’s like pressing the play button.
And life goes on.
Have you ever been driven crazy by losing something? Have you ever felt like your life was paused and something happened to press play again?