I have the whole week off work this week, and am staying in town – devoting the time to a long-overdue clearing-out of closets, cupboards, and other dark corners of the house. I started with the pantry, so I could then better plan the grocery shopping and maybe even be organized enough to start being super-organized enough to do meal planning. …So far, so good – I discovered I had enough random odds and ends to make a lovely sausage and canellini soup for lunch today, with leftovers.
The pantry was the first hurdle – I pulled everything out of it and laid it out on all the tables, shelves, and such around my living room, carefully writing everything down and making some amazing discoveries (“Why do I have a package of mochi flour?”….”Oh, shit, I forgot I already had this marzipan, I didn’t need to buy any last month after all,”….”oh hey, I have corn flour, maybe I can try making my own tortillas”). After wiping down the counter and dutifully logging everything, I started to put it all away, with a more organized system – random Asian ingredients on this shelf, liquid sweeteners on that one…
…And I went to put away my sugar. And couldn’t find it. Which was bizarre, because my sugar canister is a bright yellow plastic tub, big enough to hold an entire five-pound bag of sugar.
I looked at all the tables. I looked under them. I checked behind chairs. No sugar. I looked on the floor in my living room, in all the corners. No sugar. Did I maybe put it in the bathroom?….I’d fetched a spray cleaner to wipe down the cupboard, maybe I’d distractedly brought it in there. I checked – no sugar. Maybe I put it in the fridge?….Nope. Maybe….in my room, because I was running out of room? Nope. In the hall closet? Nope. Any of the other kitchen cupboards? Nope.
I re-checked the living room. Re-checked the kitchen. Re-checked the fridge. My room. The bathroom. The hall closet. The kitchen cupboards. No sugar.
I remembered reading that saying the name of the thing you’re looking for makes you more likely to spot it – it’s a hack for your brain. So I then re-traced all my steps, muttering “sugar, sugar sugar sugar”. Nothing. I did it again – “sugar, sugar, sugar, SUGAR goddammit”. Nothing. I tried invoking St. Anthony, Catholic patron saint of lost objects – “Help me out here, St. Anthony, I’m losing my mind looking for this motherfucking sugar.”
Yes, I cussed at St. Anthony. I was not quite in my right mind.
All told I spent a good 20 minutes fruitlessly wandering in circles around my apartment bleating out “sugar!” and getting more and more frustrated. How in the hell could I have misplaced a five-pound tub of sugar in a two bedroom apartment, when I had only been in one room of that apartment?
I got desperate. Only a second set of eyes could help, I thought – I had clearly somehow developed a weird tunnel vision, and someone else would probably walk in and see it right away. I swallowed my pride, and called my friend Colin – sometimes he picks up art supplies in my neighborhood, so I was going to beg him that if he was going on a supplies run today, maybe he could come by and help me find my sugar.
I braced myself while the phone was ringing, trying to figure out how I was going to explain this one. Colin answered, and right as I was taking a breath to make my plea – I happened to finally look up instead of down.
There was the sugar, sitting on a bookshelf.
“….Hello?” Colin asked, tenatively, when I didn’t speak.
“Um. Hi.” I said. “Well, I was initially going to ask you a favor, but it literally just resolved itself right now, so I instead have a funny story.”
Colin laughed uproariously after I told him everything, and then suggested that maybe I should go back to sleep.