What about your mother? I find it fascinating.
For some reason I always imagine tribal jungle music playing in the background as I watch this peculiar scene unfold. https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=qmHMj1diooM (In case you’re curious)
It’s like a perfectly choreographed dance with her hands and the purse’s compartments as every item is being taken out of each pocket, looked at thoroughly, and replaced only to be repeated again as many times necessary until the desired treasure has been found and the “hunt” is over. It’s like fly fishing–in and out, in and out, in and out…
The scenario all begins with pockets and compartments and sections and zippers–too many of all of the above–in a purse too small or too big (it doesn’t matter) and the frantic need to retrieve something. When my mother “dives in” I find myself breaking out in tiny beads of sweat wanting to just take over and save the day as the digging becomes more aggressive with each setback.
The first problem, is that she abandoned her wallet years ago, so now all things “contained” are no longer “contained”. It’s just a plethora of various sized papers, receipts, gigantic checkbook with register, credit cards, pictures, keys (lots of them-for what she has two doors and a car??), glasses (two pairs), lipstick, money (big wads of it), and bunched up tissues all randomly shoved into every pocket made available by the ingenious purse designer that clearly believed the more pockets the better.
Once, I took a good portion of our evening to organize this beautiful wallet for her so she would no longer have to endure this agony (or maybe it was so I would no longer have to endure the agony) of these nerve-racking situations. I was going to free her of her burden! We talked about each pocket, where everything was, and how much simpler this was going to make her life.
Upon the next visit I saw that very wallet cast to the side empty as a Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream carton. Really? I was afraid to ask, but yes she hated it (heaven forbid making your life easier) and she said I could have it. (Oh! nice)
So, in the end, I must realize that this little scavenger hunt is a daily part of her life and must offer her some sort of solace because she keeps signing up for it, and that I must accept.
So, the next time she says, “It’s in my purse” I take a deep breath, think soothing thoughts, and enjoy some quiet giggles as I start the tribal music loop in my head once again.