Saturday, December 11, 2010

Mind over Matter: Use it or Lose it...or Both

The last big snowstorm left us with a thick icy coating on our driveway, front steps, and the right frontal lobe of my brain.

For reasons known only to the voices inside my head and the Magic 8-Ball, I willingly went out to shovel/hack the driveway.

Accompanying me and my personalities was my iPod. Do not confuse this with an iPod any of my children or anyone under the age of 30 would use. It is a tiny red iPod Shuffle, possibly a prototype dropped from Santa’s sleigh years ago when nobody knew what iPod stood for. This ancient half-decade-old device holds approximately 7.2 songs.

Most importantly—it is too un-cool for my children to use, so it’s always fully-charged and right where I leave it.

I spent thirty minutes of ice-chipping, back-spasming, rocking to the oldies. I guess I’m fortunate my neighbors didn’t think I was having a seizure and call the paramedics—or that I was hopped up on something stronger than the BeeGees and call Officer Standoffish.

Interrupted by a visitor, I shed my outerwear quickly, leaving it on the stairs inside.

Later that evening I had to run an unexpected errand and thought, ”I’ll grab my iPod again.”

I snagged the white earphones and ran out the door. It didn’t take long to realize they were flapping in the wind—and it wasn’t because I was running so fast.

My little red iPod had detached from its white tether and was lost somewhere in the vast vagueness that was my day.

I retraced my steps since removing my snow gear. Stairs, couch, kitchen, couch, bathroom, couch, refrigerator, couch, bathroom. It was gone! I shook out my boots, dug in the snow bank, and even looked under the shelf among the cobwebs and Cheerios. No trace.

It must be buried deep in the banks of snow alongside my driveway. I envisioned it showing up in the spring—a rusted red shell of a music player. A shriveled-up Apple core.

I alerted my family who was sympathetic (which I think is a device they use to disarm me).

My daughter even went outside in the dark to search for it.

Daily I asked, “Has anybody found my iPod?”

Silence answered me. I decided to wait until my family actually came home to ask again.

I’m sad. I have long been without style, but now I am without style and can’t tune myself out.

Life goes on.

Today while pretending to work, I looked up and saw my little red iPod, neatly wrapped and tucked in the little cubby on my desk.

Someone found it for me! And the truly lovely gesture was—nobody claimed credit or asked for a reward. Just left it there as a quiet little present for me to find.

I waited until my family came home.

“Did you find my iPod?” I asked my dear husband.

“No, I thought it was lost.”

“Did you find my iPod?” I asked my video-game-fiend son.

“No, I thought it was lost.”

I asked the weight-room dweller who was driven by hunger enough to exchange his pint of Ben & Jerry’s for me to cook him dinner.


The 13-year-old was next and also disavowed knowledge.

The neighbors didn’t answer when I rang their doorbell. The UPS guy made a quick U-turn when he saw me sprinting towards him.

Nobody was willing to take credit for the miraculous return.

And then I saw it. The empty white earphone cord dangling from where I’d dropped it days before. Puzzled, I looked at my own iPod, Old Red, tucked into my palm—headphones wrapped neatly.

Was it possible more than one set of white ear buds exist in our house?

I wondered it aloud, “Does anyone else have white head phones around here?”

Anything but silence greeted me as virtually everyone replied, “I do.” I think I even heard the UPS guy chime in.

It dawned on me that I was the one who put away my iPod—right after I finished using it. And then I promptly forgot what I did.

My family laughed at me when I admitted my iPod was really never lost—only part of my brain was. The part that controls memory. And judgment. And reasoning. And taste in music and iPods (those last two my children added).

I learned an important lesson from this situation.

And if I remember it, I’ll share it.


Tanya Parker Mills said...

Too funny...and yet sad, as well, because I identify with this in so many ways. Thanks for the laughs!

M-Cat said...

Oh for the love of Christmas! I hope someone takes pity on you and gets you an ipod that holds more than 7.2 songs!

Anonymous said...

I don't have a ipod (is that how you spell it) First I would have to figure it out and as soon as I did I would definitely lose it. I love friends who make me feel normal :) Jane Still