It began with a pair of purple-and–tortoise-shell readers.
According to my latest numbers, I could no longer indulge in Ben & Jerry’s Fudge Brownie Ice Cream, Nathan’s Fries, and Tate’s Mint Chocolate Chip cookies. I had to do something. So I bought a pair of funky purple-and-tortoise-shell readers. Peepers.com had dubbed them Goo Goo Eyes, inviting buyers to “join the pastel revolution.” They had a good point. If I couldn’t eat my favorite goodies, at least I could read about them.
I fell in love with my new readers. Unfortunately, it was unrequited love. My Goo Goo Eyes walked.
I put them on my night table before I went to bed and in the morning they were gone. Where did they go? Why did they leave me?
I began my search in the most logical place – the dog’s dish. My hot pink readers were there but they weren’t the pair I wanted.
I rummaged through my purse; looked under my computer keyboard; and pursued every book and bookshelf in the house. No luck. I peered in the closet between clothes I hadn’t worn for years. Nothing. I even checked the refrigerator, dishwasher, and bread drawer.
I found a lot of readers – everything but my purple-and-tortoise-shell beauties.
How could I join the “pastel revolution” without them? It occurred to me that there were a lot of readers around me . . . even though they were always missing. How many did I really own? I gathered them all – the funky ones, the colorful ones, and the cheap wire ones that came ten to a pack. I emptied coat pockets, my car, and my teapot.
The situation was out of control. So many readers and no Goo Goo Eyes. Where would my funky purple-and-tortoise-shell babies hide? I enlisted the help of my grandchildren who love hide-and-go-seek. Johnny, the oldest, chose the tiniest cabinets he could squeeze into; Nicky slipped beneath tables and chairs. Four-year old Mason searched behind doors and Nana’s toys while his little sister Emma laughed at everyone.
Even with the help of these master sleuths, no one could find my Goo Goo Eyes. I had to accept the worst. They were gone.
I waited two weeks – each day surreptitiously searching different nooks and crannies in my home. They were like socks in a washing machine that magically disappear, leaving “pairs” with only one lone survivor. I asked myself why I needed the purple-and-tortoise-shell readers when I had so many others. Why was it so important?
Because. Because junk food was off my menu. Because I had to slowly negotiate the subway stairs. Because I wanted more smiles in my life.
I finally had to accept the inevitable. Goo Goo Eyes would watch me forever, lurking unseen in the dark recesses of my home. It was like a Law & Order episode that ended in “not guilty.” I took the only remaining option and ordered a new pair, secretly assuming that my readers would jealously resurface before their replacement arrived.
It never happened.
My funky purple-and-tortoise-shell readers #2 landed in my mailbox. They never looked as good or fit as well as #1. Now I dream about the day when some unsuspecting human, pet, or other critter will find the originals. Perhaps my Goo Goo Eyes took residence in the walls, beneath pipes, caught up in cable wires, or between beams? Watching my moves . . . and all those other missing readers?
The only option was to grow my stash. Now I’m up to 26 readers. Most are missing in action when I need them the most. The only ones that never get lost are the cheap wire readers that pinch my head and make me feel like Grandma Moses.
As the Ancient Mariner would say:
Readers, readers, everywhere, and not a one to be found . . .
Editor’s Notes: You can visit contributor Dr. Jeri Fink at her website, HauntedFamilyTrees.com. She believes “after fifty” is a creative, exciting time to grow and explore new ideas, places, and media – defying those creaky myths of aging. A recent project –Broken – is a seven-book series of thrillers that involves all ages, from baby boomers to new adults. She tells us: “I challenged the art of storytelling by merging fact, fiction, and photography into riveting, bestselling novels. It emerges from my work as a Family Therapist; expertise in family psychology and history; research into psychopaths and The Psychopathic Spectrum; and passion in photography and photo analysis. My 28 published books, hundreds of articles and blogs, speaking engagements around the country, and active online presence all reflect my many life experiences.”