I found two dollars in an old purse but I didn’t find my phone.
Going through and making decisions about purses that I didn’t even remember I still owned has been interesting. I made mostly rational decisions: that Maison Margiela purse that I loved but is a huge pit in which I cannot find anything and will never wear again is gone, as is the myriad of fake purses my mother-in-law delighted in buying and sending me. The real purses, too. I remember her coming back from Italy saying she got fake Gucci for herself but real Gucci for me. Such a sweet gesture. But completely not at all a purse I would ever wear. So many purses that were gifts that never saw the love that they should have are now on their way to a second life, and that makes me happy. But also: a My Flat in London purse emblazoned with a puppy that Linda got me when we were first discussing getting a dog. “This is all the dog you need,” she said, and she was right, for the moment. And I carried that structured tote for a year - until I got Maddie and in her one bout of puppy-mania chewed on the strap. The glitter tote from J.Crew kids that was my everything for six weeks until I realized the glitter was tearing up everything I owned - I still have yoga pants with fuzz patches on the upper left thigh from this monster of a (gorgeous) purse. A black Coach tote (another Linda) that I took to the dog park one day with Maddie - and then had a meltdown on the subway platform because a waterbug came crawling out of it, then darted back inside, and I was crying and emptying my whole purse and banging it upside down on the ground to get the damn thing out. I haven’t been able to use it since that day, but somehow I have refused to let it go. Until today.
What stayed: My current purse. Dress up clutches that I actually use (all now in their own dust bags, found at the bottom of the purse piles). The first purse Matt bought me, for my birthday before we were married, a very girly pink Coach pouchette that I took to Mexico for Christmas with my family and used to take lip gloss and my room key to the beach. That’s it. Nothing else.
I’ve almost stopped looking. There’s nowhere else to look. Maybe this is the new me. No phone. I’ll have to get a watch.
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All of you are very sweet and helpful, but Find my iPhone can’t physically find my iPhone. Because it’s off or because my building is a dense fortress of bricks that cell signals can’t penetrate, we’ll never really know, will we?
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Last night I watched an exciting but ultimately frustrating and disappointing football game at home with good friends. After the game, I took Maddie for a last walk and went to bed - the men stayed up drinking whiskey much later than I did.
Somewhere in there my phone disappeared. Not on the walk, that was a 20 second affair, not under my bed, I’ve crawled everywhere under there. Not where I was sitting for the game, not in the kitchen, not under my pillow, which is a common place for my phone to be. Not even in the pockets of the puff vest I wore when walking Maddie last night.
Once, probably in 2003 or 2004, I lost my car keys in my freezer. I worked a crazy job that I hated and after a long day I drove home through too much traffic and all I could think about as I drove from Ladue to the Central West End was the popsicles that I had in my freezer. I remember the longing, but I can’t remember the popsicle. Was it a chocolate fudge or a strawberry fruit? Or was it even an ice cream sandwich or an otter pop? The first thing I did when I walked in the apartment was go to the freezer and get that popsicle. And, it turned out, let my car keys fall - I assume from my purse - into the box with the popsicles. INTO THE BOX. I was almost late for work the next day as I tore apart my studio apartment that I hadn’t lived in for very long (so it didn’t have all the hiding places of a well lived in apartment), and finally, in frustration, literally retraced my steps. “I had my keys when I unlocked the door, then I went to the kitchen, and I opened the freezer and got a — OH. There they are.”
Find my iPhone is no help. My sound is off so I can’t call. I’ve turned my search into a cleaning out binge. I’ve thrown away and gone through boxes of things that should have been gone through and thrown out years ago (obviously my phone isn’t in those long-closed boxes, but, sometimes that is just what one does). I found my college ring. It was, hysterically, near my college ID. I found my first business cards. I found one neon yellow eyelet Ked that I thought was lost forever and therefore threw out its mate months ago. It was under the radiator. My phone was not.
That felt cathartic and so I turned to the bookshelf in my bedroom that I use to hold purses. Most of them purses that I haven’t used in years and will never use again. I went through them all, took out decades-old eyeliner and mascara and lip gloss, hotel pens and passkeys, ticket stubs and business cards. The trash is overflowing with the detritus of my twenties and I now have a pile of purses ready to donate.
Sitting here writing this post isn’t finding my phone, but it feels good. When I get up from here I’m to get a bag for the donations, and I’m going to go through my clothes, with this purge energy that I have. That probably won’t find my phone, either, but it’s forward progress.
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