July 20, 2009

red-headed male ISO silver watch calculator

7/20/09

Exhausted from a pitch session at one of nation's finest networks, and I've got the Lulubeans in the morning, so here's our CODE WORD question for the day: what object have you lost - either recently or in the past - that still makes you sad every time you think of having lost it?

Unacceptable answers include "virginity", "sense of purpose" and the 2004 election, even though I do commiserate, y'all.

Posted by Ian Williams at July 20, 2009 11:49 PM
Comments
Posted by: kmeelyon at July 21, 2009 2:33 AM

Last July, I had a softball practice and I left my favorite purple thermal top on the field somewhere. I am still missing the soft fuzz of that top and how cozy it was.

There are a couple of other items of clothing that I lost that I still recall: a pear of jean shorts that had previously belonged to my post high school boyfriend that all my friends in Chapel Hill had decorated in magic marker in the pit one day and a gorgeous, green sweatshirt that I'd gotten in Paris. Both mysteriously disappeared from my life shortly after a trip I'd taken in 1990 during which a friend was cat-sitting for me. I've always assumed that she made off with those items, and I think about them still because both gave me such comfort and had so many memories attached. It also felt like such a violation to think that a friend I trusted in my house had perhaps stolen from me.

All articles of lost clothing are archived in photographs too.

ALSO, in my last year at Chapel Hill, 1991-1992, I sang in the Black Student Movement Gospel Choir and I got a fabulous secret Santa gift that year: a huge glass mug filled with candy and gum with my name written in script across it. I always loved that mug and it reminded me of that year and the woman who bought it for me who happened to be my favorite person in the choir. I should add that during my time in the choir, my sister died and I found the choir to be an enormous source of support. About six years ago, I absent-mindedly removed it from the dishwasher while it was still warm, and put a cold liquid in it and it cracked. I had to toss it and it made me so sad that I have since gotten a large, glass mug to replace it. This one doesn't have my name on it, but I felt the original was so meaningful that I needed some sort of placeholder for it in my life.

I know, it's not the same as a lost object. More of a....broken object, leading to the loss of it. But that was one of the more meaningful losses and it was pretty symbolic that I felt the need to find something that would keep reminding me of the original.

Posted by: LFMD at July 21, 2009 4:53 AM

My UNC class ring. It was lost around the time that we sold our old house and moved into our new one in 1997. I still think about it and get teary.

Posted by: LFMD at July 21, 2009 4:56 AM

Got my decades mixed up. It was lost in 2007. I had looked forward to giving it to Helen, but it is GONE. Damn.

Posted by: Salem's Little Sister at July 21, 2009 5:22 AM

I lost track of my first car which I had always hoped to buy back as a fun weekend car. 1979 Jeep Renegade Levi Edition, forrest green with a gold hood and loud as hell. For those of you from Charlotte, we lived on Sherwood and my mom could hear me turning off of Providence Rd. onto Beverly Dr. I loved that Jeep.

Posted by: Megan at July 21, 2009 6:21 AM

These were technically not lost, but purged by me during one of my many moves in my twenties. I had a folder full of letters from one of my best friends. He and I bonded during the first 5 weeks of our freshman year at college in Philadelphia. He subsequently went home to Chicago and then transferred to Northwestern.

We kept our friendship alive by writing long, passionate letters detailing the circumstances of our lives, our listening habits, and our mutual struggles with depression. His were sprawling, multi-page affairs written on both sides of numbered yellow legal paper and mailed in big manilla envelopes with metal clasps.

In his distinctive handwriting, I received a critically annotated Roxy Music discography, an imaginative map of his hometown which I had yet to visit, and a lovely account of his first real relationship. Sometimes mix tapes were enclosed that had similar attention to detail, such as a complete personnel list for a Duke Ellington album.

I now make my living as an archivist, so it particularly galls me that I thoughtlessly threw out such an important part of my own personal archive. I have a few left, but most of them are gone, and now that communication has gone electronic, I'll never have anything else like them. At least I still have the friend, more dear to me than ever after almost 25 years.

Posted by: craighill at July 21, 2009 6:36 AM

the 2008 election

Posted by: Bozoette Mary at July 21, 2009 6:39 AM

Somehow, some way, I lost a faded color picture of a girl clown. Big deal, I hear you cry. No really - it is, because this picture was given to me by the circus arrow man (the guy who posts the arrows that show the way to the next lot). He took the picture in the 1940s, when girl clowns were pretty much unheard of. I was the first girl clown he'd met in 30 years, he liked me, so he gave me this one of a kind photograph. And somehow, some way, I lost it, and I wish I hadn't, because I lost a little piece of circus history.

Posted by: Anne at July 21, 2009 8:07 AM

My paternal grandmother's opal ring, left to me in her will -- she died when I was 12.

My maternal grandmother was seriously superstitious, and she eventually persuaded (browbeat!) my mom into removing said ring in its old jeweler's box from my bureau drawer and getting rid of it forever. Why? Opals were "deadly" for someone born in November.

Weird, weird, weird. And of course, it's not the opal I miss; it's the thought behind it.

Posted by: Neva at July 21, 2009 9:04 AM

I've lost ... hope that we'll have any sort of effective or real health care reform passed.
I'm don't think Obama's proposal will pass with out lots of tinkering to make the powers that be happy and I've never been real happy with it anyway. My big fear is we'll pass something that is half assed that will be frustratingly mediocre, not really change anything that needs changing and therefore make Obama look like he failed. If that's the case it's because he couldn't address the thing that really needed addressing - greed - from everyone who has a stake in the process.

Posted by: cd at July 21, 2009 9:38 AM

grip on life. ever since this wedding started shifting gears from "lazy idea" to "holy shit it's ON," i've had one foot on the ground and the other doing one of three things: tap dancing, jittering like a dying chicken, or forgetting which way it was supposed to go.

oh, you meant material objects? my little prince fountain pen that i bought as a high schooler in france. i loved that pen; it never scratched, never leaked, and always made me happy to write something down. it's gone, to who knows where. i hope someone else found it and is putting it to good use.

Posted by: jje at July 21, 2009 10:17 AM

My problem is I need to lose more stuff. I'm such a pack rat. Not the serious kind that needs an intervention with Dr. Phil, but still. I have boxes and boxes of stuff that no one should really still have, like every single report card ever and "homework" from kindergarten. I've been going through some boxes from my mom's house and it's insane what kind of stuff I've saved over the years. A "signed" promo photo of Benji and Tiffany (ring a bell, or do you need to google the pair?) sent off for by my first grade teacher - seriously? Scripts from plays I did in fourth grade - yes. I need to get a handle on it because I can already tell I look at everything that belongs to the boys as "keepsakes." Somehow I doubt they're gonna be sentimental fools like me.

But there is one thing I have a little regret over in my recent purgefest.

About a month or two ago, I took a load of stuff over to the Junior League Wearhouse, which included my original Michael Jackson Thriller album.

Ooops.

Posted by: josie at July 21, 2009 10:42 AM

My wedding ring. It was the emerald cut diamond from my engagement ring set in the middle of a band that had two uninterrupted horizontal channels (?) of tiny diamonds. It was basic and beautiful and unique. We had it made in Tampa by a fine custom jeweler named Cookie. He did a beautiful job. I did not know just how talented he was until we tried to have it replicated after the insurance claim. I dislike the new one so much I just wont wear it.

Maybe the hardest part of this loss was the circumstances under which I lost it. I seem to have incredibly shrinking fingers. Long and wiry, as I age, my band size keeps getting smaller and smaller. At the time of it's loss in 2001, this ring was swimming on my finger, and I often had the habit of sliding it up and down my finger and occasionally taking it if off and on while I jabbered or watched TV.

I had last seen it while sitting in the booth of a local vegetarian restaurant, dining with a dear friend of 4-5 years, who we'll call Brian. Brian was often down on his luck, to the point where I had twice loaned him money to help fill his cash flow gaps. He always paid me back; he even pawned some of his own possessions to honor his debt. (Pawn was one other way he made ends meet from time to time).

On that day, I had hoped to cheer him up with a lunch out. I recall playing with my ring quite a bit at the table. Later that evening, I noticed it was gone and, of course, I panicked. I called the restaurant the next day, and several more days thereafter, but they had not seen it.

I went to great lengths to find it, visiting pawn shops all over town. I eventually capitulated to the fact that it was gone from my life. I made the insurance claim and set the wheels in motion to get a new ring made. The new ring was crap, even though I sent it back twice on grounds of poor craftsmanship. Finally, although I did not like the result, I accepted the ring for the silliest of reasons: I was soon visiting my extended family in Italy and I could not fathom that these very traditional country folk would approve of a married woman walking around without a ring on. (Ironically, they quizzed me as to why I didn’t leave it at home, lest someone in Naples cut off my hand to steal it).

Before this trip, and shortly after the loss, Brian called me up and told me I was a negative influence in his life and he didn’t want me to contact him any longer -- in any manner. I was cut out. The fag had dumped his hag. I felt used, hurt, rejected, and baffled. Sure, I have my neuroses, but a negative influence? Me?!?

It wasn’t until a year after losing my ring that it dawned on me that the two events - my ring going missing and Brian’s” dumping” me -- might have been linked. I remember the ring was lying on the table for part of the meal that day. Was he so desperate for cash that he pocketed the ring while I sashayed to the restroom? Did he end our long friendship because I was a “tool,” or because he didn’t want to be reminded of what he had done?

For years, whenever I had the occasion to send a really important email that merited announcement to everyone in my address book - moving to a new city, arrival of baby, new cell number, etc -- I would include Brian in the distribution list. I always hoped to get a response, perhaps kindly, with some sort of nice note and a wish to reconnect. Never did. He responded every time, with business like courtesy, requesting that I remove him from my address book. Up until last year, when I got an email from his account, written by a friend, notifying everyone that he had passed away in his home in Seattle. He was in his late 40s.

Losing this one object is not so memorable because it was my wedding ring - I don’t think my marriage is any less or more because of a ring - but having lost a close friend with it just feels weird. I’m never to know what happened.

Posted by: julie at July 21, 2009 11:19 AM

Under some of the happiest moments in my life, I was traipsing up and down Franklin Street during the aftermath of the 1993 b-ball championship. Somehow, someway during all of that commotion, I lost a gold bracelet with black cloisonne vines and flowers around it (it was really small and had a special clasp on it too - it didn't just slide on and off). It was a gift from my great aunt. My sister had its twin from my other great aunt (i.e. sisters passed them down to the only other sisters in the family). I particularly like antique jewelry, and this piece dated back to the 1940s. I don't know what I was thinking - but it was something I wore quite often without a second thought. I should have thought that second thought because I still miss not having it.

Posted by: Bud at July 21, 2009 11:51 AM

My blue Schwinn Typhoon bicycle. Lost and presumed stolen on the UNC Chapel Hill Campus in 1986.

Purchased new in the summer of 1981 at Riddle's Schwinn Cyclery in Statesville. Borrowed the money from my mom and paid it back from the proceeds of my paper route (which was why I bought it). Did that route every day in all weathers for the next four years, until I went to college.

On campus, having the bike freed up a lot of time since I could get anywhere on campus in 5 minutes. And although I'm not as much into symbols now, at the time it represented my capable, independent, entrepreneurial self. Couldn't afford to replace it and was seriously bummed about it for about a year.

I do have a Very Cool bike now, but I still miss my Typhoon....

Posted by: cris at July 21, 2009 11:55 AM

Last week I was in Chapel Hill unexpectedly, taking care of my mother in the hospital. It was a rough, grueling week. I was staying at my parents' house in Burlington, about 30 minutes away. I would drive back there, exhausted after 14+ days in her hospital room. I often remove my ring at night when I sleep and place it on the bedside table. My partner and I are not married (though thankfully we could be in MA!), so I don't know what to call it - but we've worn matching rings which we had designed for us by a jeweler in Albuquerque. One night I must have knocked the ring off the table, because in the morning it was not there. I think it must have fallen into a grate for the central AC system next to the table. I pulled up the grate, used every kind of contraption I could think of to fish it out ... nothing.

Eventually I had to stop worrying about it and get back to the more critical chore of caring for my mother. I also had to come back to Boston without it. I hate not having it. I may still be able to get some technician to come to my parents' house and tear into their AC ducts and find my ring. I may also be able to get the jeweler to make another one. Right now I just have an empty space on my finger which feels strange. As Josie said, my relationship is not changed in any way by the presence or absence of the ring, but it still was an important symbol for me.

Posted by: Claudia at July 21, 2009 1:17 PM

The favorite episodes of _Mr. Rogers Neighborhood_ I had stored on the DVR. I wince at the thought that my children will inevitably ask, "Can we see cows?" sometime soon. Thanks, Time Warner!!!!!

Posted by: Karin at July 21, 2009 2:12 PM

My dog Fredo. I know he's not lost in the material sense, but he's gone and I'm sad every day about it still.

Posted by: chm at July 21, 2009 2:16 PM

Leaving Ernest F. Ladd Memorial Stadium after the 1987 Senior Bowl, Sterling Sharpe tossed me his used South Carolina half-shirt undershirt--very much in the fashion of the old Coke commercial. Last game he played in a brilliant college career, and I haven't seen the shirt since 1994. (Not to be too dramatic about it, but the moment I got the shirt was the only time I ever saw any upside in being from Mobile.)

Posted by: Rebecca at July 21, 2009 4:04 PM

I think I've mentioned before that until I was about 25, my Father was the editor of various local newspapers around the midwest and in NC. On occasion, he would write a Sunday editorial that included a story about me or my brother, and my Mom would cut them out and save them in a manila envelope for us.

When I was in high school, I became the keeper of that envelope. I stored it in the top drawer of the dresser in my room at my parents house. I know it was there, although I did not look at it for several years.

When Matt and I were moving to Chicago, and I was really leaving NC, I went to my parents house to get some of my childhood momentos, and the envelope was gone, along with a stamp collection and several other things of value to me. My brother has cleaned out my dresser and filled it with his SHIT. It still makes me want to kill him.

Posted by: caroline at July 21, 2009 5:13 PM

A Kello Kitty purse. I was 7. Other than the loss of the purse and the $7 that were in it, which made me super sad, it traumatized me for losing 'my stuff'. I left it on a bench b/c I was 7 and not used to carrying anything with me and when I went back for it, moments later, it was gone. I have been obsessively weird about having all my stuff on me and not leaving things behind ever since. I simply can't relax about it and am ridiculously hard on myself when I forget something that I meant to have with me. It sucks that it traumatized me b/c I think it's made me have this strange, super anal quirk. Luckily, my husband thinks it's cute but I know it's not, it's just weird.

Posted by: Alan at July 21, 2009 7:57 PM

A photo from around 1900 of my grandfather as a baby on his Dad's knee next to his Mom with his grandparents behind him. To each side were the brothers and sisters in the first row, aunts and uncles in the next with the great aunts and uncles in the back. My Dad's family from about 1820 to 1900 gathered. For some unknown reason, my Dad let me take it to school in grade 5 and it was lost.

The upside is I am the archivist of all the other family photos and have been so since the day after. My brother just put up a blog post of the "Man on the Moon" headline from the Globe and Mail that he cut out in 1969 that I saved from 1975 to 2005.

Posted by: kmeelyon at July 21, 2009 11:32 PM

Two more things came to mind as I was reading through the fascinating comments that have been posted since I posted mine:

1. Charm holder given to me by my ex-boyfriend for my 16th birthday.

At the time, I was dating another boy who had "given," me his gold chain to wear as a symbol of our relationship. I didn't require such a symbol, and hadn't asked for it, but I thought it was sweet. My then-boyfriend said I should give him something similar. I wasn't sure what to give him and he requested the charm holder I'd just received as a birthday present. I loved the charm holder and it was one of the nicer (and more sentimental) gifts anyone had given me at the time. I faltered because this was not my idea and it seemed like a weird thing for my boyfriend to request. But he emphasized that it was more like borrowing and it was something we would give back to one another. Long story short: relationship ended a few weeks later, I gave him back his gold necklace, and spent the next three months asking repeatedly for the charm holder which was never returned to me. I felt really like he had stolen it from me and that he'd gotten me to participate in the thievery. It bothered me for years.

Just a month ago, I saw this ex-boyfriend on Facebook and I friended him. I looked at photos of his beautiful children and sent him a note to let him know how happy it made me to see his lovely family. But I was awfully tempted to write, "P.S. Can I have my charm holder back?"

2. Scaled model of my room that I made for Stage Shop class when I was a Drama major at UNC.

I was really proud of the to-scale model of my bedroom that I made for this class. I spent about 30 hours making it. I especially liked the tiny picture I hung in it and the tiny little electrical outlets. It was somewhat fragile and I stored it at my father's house in NC for safe-keeping. I never asked him to send it to CA where I live now because I always imagined it safely tucked away in his basement. A few years ago, he revealed to me that this art project had been ruined during some flooding that happened in his basement about ten years ago. I was so hurt and disappointed that he didn't save anything for me to sort through and throw out. He just tossed it and that kind of broke my heart.

It's interesting to me that nearly everything I have posted in this comment and the one I posted earlier is something that is not technically "lost." They are losses, but for the most part, I knew exactly where these things went. But they are all dearly missed.

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