Skip to content

I Almost Screwed Myself

A coda to this series. My father served in the US Army in the 1950’s. He was stationed in Germany, and he visited London in 1957. His departure for his tour leads a series in honor of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubileea post you can read here. Follow the posts forward to read the series in order. His photographs of London in 1957 are juxtaposed with my own modern images to try to tell a story each day. Thanks for reading and for sharing this series with your friends.

By Roy Watkins. June 1957.

For those of you who are relatively new or sporadic readers of The Cootchie, MTM and I moved a little over a month ago. Our new space is smaller and came furnished, but that didn’t stop us from deciding we HAD to have certain items of comfort that morphed into most of our crap. The balance of our everyday detritus went into a storage unit close by.

Really, I TRIED to keep track of what went where. I created detailed inventories. Made lists. Scrawled contents all over the outsides of every box with the biggest Sharpie I could find.

I guess I sniffed too many Sharpie fumes, because, when it came time to pen this series, I couldn’t find my Dad’s photos. With three scanned on my laptop, I dove right in, convinced they would somehow walk out of hiding and fight to be included.

Two nights later, poor MTM traipsed to the storage unit alone, the sound of me screeching that I knew – I KNEW – I packed the photos in one of the boxes of books from our old bedroom sending him fleeing home ringing in his ears. Convinced of my rightness, I kicked up my feet, sipped a night cap and immersed my lazy self in a book.

Hours later, MTM emerged from a detour to a bar to drown his sorrows the storage unit, sans photos. I looked in every single box, Andra. They just aren’t there. Are you REALLY SURE you packed them?

Of COURSE I packed them. They are in one of those boxes from the old bedroom. You just didn’t look hard enough.

He gave me a bleary glare and stumbled to bed, but not before vowing to drag me to the storage unit to show me how wrong I was. The very next evening, that’s exactly what he did. With patience of steel, he pulled every box out of the unit and made me go through them. I’ve BEEN LOOKING for this Paris book………Oh, look! We can make sushi!……..Are you SURE we don’t need more dishes?………..You’re hiding those pictures from me, aren’t you? I mean, I’ve looked in every box here. I KNOW I packed them.

Back at home, I opened the same drawers and cupboards I’d already inspected fourteen million times. I scoped under the beds, pulled up the sofa cushions. Finally, I opened a drawer in my office THAT I USE EVERY DANG DAY, and there, tucked between two plastic folders I also use every day, were the Pictures I Knew I Packed.

The series went on, leaving me in debt to MTM until the next Diamond Jubilee.

At least.

By Andra Watkins. March 2009.

28 Comments Post a comment
  1. How awesome that he kept on looking for you. I’m glad you found the photos, because the whole series is fabulous. I can’t imagine how much time you spent figuring those shots out to exactly replicate the angles.

    June 3, 2012
    • I did them from memory, Jessie. It meant taking a lot of shots and hoping one or two of them lined up. :)

      June 3, 2012
      • Holy WOW you must have looked at those pictures for a LONG time before you went, because it looks like you were lining up angles as you stood on the bridge, holding your Dad’s picture up for comparison!

        June 4, 2012
      • I studied them since I was a tiny girl. I had most of them memorized from years and years of looking at them.

        June 4, 2012
      • That is REALLY impressive.

        June 4, 2012
      • Or indicative of obsessive compulsive disorder…… :)

        June 4, 2012
  2. Things have a tendency to disappear like that around here too, Andra, only for them to reappear a short time later in a place that would have so obviously been checked a million times whilst frantically searching. I call it the Black Hole Effect… it’s a very strange phenomenon!

    June 3, 2012
    • Ah, yes. My brain is a Black Hole. :) It totally is. That is the perfect name for it, Tom.

      June 3, 2012
  3. Those things that we see every day as part of the landscape become invisible when being specifically sought. Photos, keys, credit cards, rewards cards, etc., all invisible to us when we most need them. You are just a small step away from the “what the heck did I come into this room for” stage…. the good part of that is that you won’t despair over the lost since you won’t remember what you were looking for anyway.

    June 3, 2012
    • What an interesting app that I would never be able to figure out how to use properly. And, I’m already right there with you in the forgetting what I came into a room for, Lou. But, my biggest problem has always been driving half-way down the road and remembering that I forgot to pick up the whatever-I-was-supposed-to-bring-with-me that I placed in perfect sight next to the door so I wouldn’t forget it.

      June 3, 2012
  4. Ah, yes. I find things, almost always, the first place I looked only sometimes days later.

    June 3, 2012
  5. Kudos to MTM for looking, despite your crazy ;) Mine would have shaken his head and gone to bed. And again, the series was wonderful.

    June 3, 2012
    • I’m sure the next time I lose something, he won’t look, though, because he will be convinced that I haven’t looked in the usual places with enough thoroughness.

      June 3, 2012
  6. We’ve split our possessions, a time or two, between new digs and storage. The reunion is always pleasant.

    Rather like Christmas in whatever month it falls. Glad you found the pics!

    June 3, 2012
    • There was the split between “Oh, I think we need this” and “Oh, why did we EVER think we would use this again?”

      June 3, 2012
  7. Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most. ~ Mark Twain

    You truly did find a near saint in your MTM….I cannot imagine anyone I know (or have known) who would have conducted such a search on my behalf. :)

    June 3, 2012
    • MTM is a saint. I will always be the first to say so, Karen. He really is.

      June 3, 2012
  8. Moving is truly a traumatic event for those trying to preserve some semblance of the past.

    June 3, 2012
    • It was traumatic only in the sense that we had to get rid of so much stuff. We were just talking yesterday about the old house, about how much we DON’T miss it.

      June 3, 2012
  9. With that title, thought this post was going in a different direction :). Have often been incapable of finding something even though i can see it (in my mind’s eye) everywhere I think it should be. Very frustrating. But glad it’s not a lonely frustration. And glad you found those photos – they are treasures.

    June 3, 2012
    • Thanks, Julie. It is good to admit these things so that we know we’re not alone. :)

      June 3, 2012
  10. I swear to God, this is the story of my life–thngs hidden in plain sight! Drives me and my partner both nuts! Glad you finally found them!
    Hugs,
    Kathy

    June 3, 2012
    • It is always a relief after I spend time feeling stupid. Plain sight is right.

      June 3, 2012
  11. I am so sorry for your frustration, but you don’t know how much I relate…and so your experience tells me my troubles aren’t all age-related! :-) I have been known to tear the entire house apart looking for something and then two days after I’ve given up find it right under my nose! I just don’t know how that happens! Debra

    June 4, 2012
  12. I have no idea how that would occur. I’ve *cough, cough* been able to find everything during our move. There are no, ahem, boxes left to unpack, either. hehehe

    June 4, 2012
  13. I do that ALL the time, Andra.At least with you it’s a one-off….I have a long suffering husband…

    June 4, 2012

Talk Amongst Ourselves

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 15,394 other followers

%d bloggers like this: