Thursday, November 4, 2010


Yesterday I misplaced my cell phone. I was pretty sure it was somewhere around the house under the stacks of old newspapers, rotting mangos and cat hair, so I dialed my own number with the intention of tracking down the ring. But my call went directly to voicemail, where my own melodic voice cheerily informed me that I was not available. This “direct to voicemail” stunt happened because my phone has taken to turning itself off unannounced (which was not very convenient under these circumstances).

I called Evil Cell Phone company to see if they could turn on my phone remotely, which I thought sounded like a very plausible idea. After 10 minutes of being bounced from robot-voice to robot-voice, they told me this was not technologically possible (this could actually be a good project for DH (who works for the company) to throw into the Suggestion Box. Maybe we could win a new…cell phone).

I looked under the couch cushions but found nothing but a penny, several kernels of unpopped popcorn, rat hair and an iron-on nametag emprinted with “Thing 2.” I twisted myself into a pretzel and searched the Batmobile minivan, peering under the seats, wedging my hand inside the sticky center console, climbing into the trunk and rummaging among the loose cans of Diet Pepsi, reusable supermarket bags and a multi-colored schmattah from 1965. Nothing.

I emptied my purse onto the couch, pulled out crumpled tissues, scribbled notes, binder clips, empty gum wrappers, keys, about nine pens and a yellow highlighter. No phone there either.

I was remarkably unfazed, if a tad annoyed, because I don’t like talking on the phone anyway and if someone calls me on my cell, it’s got to be bad news (e.g., there’s a sick or incarcerated kid to pick up or bail out). But I hate to lose stuff and still beat myself up, even years later, about everything I’ve lost in my life: my Queens County library card (which I lost when I was eight, cost 10 cents to replace and later resurfaced tucked into the backseat of our Red Rambler), Thing 1’s pretzel-shaped teether, my October, 1992 monthly NJ Transit pass, and every phone number I’ve ever scribbled down on a Post-It note for later programming into my (lost) cell phone.

So today while sitting in the driver’s side of the minivan at the skate park, I reach into my purse for my comb - the purse I had completely emptied the day before - and close my hand around …what else? cell phone.

And to top it off, Dear Reader, I can't find my charger now.

I’d like to be angry, amazed, disgusted with myself or even frightened. But I’m not. I’m busy – my voicemail messages are telling me I’ve got some kids to bail out.


  1. My OLDER sister has pointed out to me that the Rambler was blue, not red.

  2. One of the things I love so much about your blog is that it brings up all kinds of memories from my own life: I recently spent 5 months looking for a lost library book in my not very big house, to finally give up and pay for the thing. One day - that's ONE day - later, I, of course, found the darn thing with a stack of other items sent down to the basement with my son.

  3. There is only one word for today's blog: "Priceless."

  4. I LOVE this posting. Wow....hadn't thought about my Dad's Gold Rambler in forever. That car took 9 of us...YES!....NINE! to Great Adventures in sweltering heat. The day must have started off cool, because the 5 of us kids had jackets on. Since I was a kid myself, I am not sure whose brilliant idea it was, but we HAD to go through the safari, which meant keeping the windows closed...and with no AC....whew! I can still feel the heat to this day....but wouldn't have changed a thing because it was one of the best times I had with my cousins : )

    Thanks Joan!

  5. Hi there Joan,

    I saw you on linkedin.

    This must be the most hillarious post I have read this week. You seem to have described my relationship with my mobile phone too!

    I love this post, I really do.

    keep writing and thanks for the chuckle this evening.

    Best wishes,

  6. What a fun story. That could have been me. Very entertaining blog.

  7. Hey Joan,

    Lovely post! One of the best blogs I've been through!

    Hope to see more of your wonderful writing!

  8. We've all been there. I regularly had to buy replacements for things I know I have but can't find. Of course I find them a few days later. Luckily it has never been my cell phone.

  9. Joan! I'm so glad you found Blogger Monday! Your post tickled the heck out of me as these things have/are always happening to me. In fact we still can't find my daughters cell phone.......
    Love your writing.
    Louise Edington
    International AuPair Finder

  10. My cell phone was missing for about a month this summer. Losing this object was one of the hardest things to let go of. It wasn’t the object itself, because days after I got a replacement of the exact same phone. And even though everything seemed like it was the same, it was not. I would do anything just to get that phone back. I loved that phone and what it represented to me: Lots of precious photos of my family, friends and trips were gone. Sigh.

    Some thought that I was silly for praying that I find the missing cell phone. After a few weeks of the phone missing, I got a call from Verizon Wireless. Someone had returned my phone back to them. I was both shocked and full of joy. I couldn’t believe the miracle. It was like God was saying to me “don’t under estimate the power of prayer, because anything is possible”.

  11. This is so funny Cora. How many times have I done the exact same thing. Your blog post really gave me a good laugh.

    Thanks for sharing.

  12. OMG I think you must be my long lost twin sister (triplet actually as I think Louise Eddington is the other one) One of the other blogs today was about clutter and if you have read my comment you will know how I can really really relate. For me it is not just the phone, it is my keys, credit care, debit card, checks to be deposited "but I just had them in my hand 5 minutes ago..where can they possibly have gone?"

    Great post. Insightful, funny, and very well written.

    Julie Labes, the…Fierce over 50 but feels like a young mom can still wrestle on the floor with the kids does not use a jogging stroller and before you ask, this is NOT my granddaughter..Mom

  13. So can relate! How can things hide in a completely empty purse???!! Hilarious. Truly enjoyable.

    Glad to have found you via Blogger Monday.

    Judy Stone-Goldman
    The Reflective Writer

  14. Hilarious! I think everyone can relate to your story. Have you ever lost your sunglasses only to find them on your head? I'm sure your charger is in your workout bag or something, lol!

    Sharon Hiebing
    Follow Your Dream Compass

  15. Very funny. Happens to me all the time, I've spend lots of time trying to find missing items.

    One of our dogs likes to run off with our shoes. She doesn't chew them, she just likes to cuddle them. One day last year, in the rain, I found one shoe outside under the trampoline. Of course I had to take my son to school in 5 minutes. Who doesn't like soggy shoes on a cold wet day?

  16. HA!HA! I lost my phone first week in October.Traveling back home from working on the road for a week normally get home on Friday but got home late Saturday. So I'm running through the train station trying to catch my connection so I can make it home at 8 pm instead of 9 pm. I heard a crash while I was running and turned to look to see what it was but since I left my glasses in the rental car I didn't see anything and kept on running. BOY was I relieved to make the connection. I was so thanking the universe and since I had an hour ride I thought I would check e-mails, voice mails etc. Frantically searching for the phone I realize THAT CRASH WAS MY CELL PHONE! Long story short - positive affirmations work I manifested myself a brand new HTC EVO.

    Lisa Ann Landry
    Vibrating Positive Energy

  17. Too funny! I've lost my phone, but usually not for long and my charger stayes plugged in, in the master bathroom. Strange place I know but, I charge it every night, and since I can't read without my glasses there is no need to have it by my bed for middle of the night calls, I wouldn't be able to see if I should answer it or not without getting up and getting my glasses on!

  18. Love your writing style! If you were really as nonchalant as you say looking for your phone, I have to give you a lot of credit. I go NUTS when I misplace something. It starts to make me wonder what else I'm missing, (like my marbles).

    Pat Zahn
    Photo Solutions Superhero

  19. Thanks so much for the laugh!!! Today I've lost my dogs (second day in a row) and of course when I head to the minivan to go holler their name out the window driving my neighborhood like a crazy women -- I can't find the keys. Well at least I know where my kids are!

  20. Love your post Joan. Made me laugh. Funny how things get lost and when you forget about them, they show up exactly where you looked for them. Only way to live well, is to laugh often.

    Jennifer Duchene
    The Home Makeover Mixtress blending cool & cozy style

  21. All that humor and the ability to throw in a little yiddish as well...why is it that so many yiddish words not only describe things well but the word itself sounds like what it describes? Welcome to Blogger glad you found your way here.

    Darcie Newton
    Using Real Estate to Retire Well

  22. ha! funny post, + i'm glad you found the sneaky cell in the end. sad to hear that your charger has gone m.i.a., but i'm sure it'll miraculously reappear sometime soon.


  23. Thanks for the funny post. Glad to know I'm not the only one this happens to.

    Amy Pryor

  24. Hey, Joan, what kind of phone do you have? If you have an Android device you can use an app called "Where's my Droid." to help you find it. Here's a blog post review of the app;

    Happy hunting!

  25. Welcome to Blogger Monday- you will be a great addition, adding humor and pathos (as we all apparently have been through the same situation).

    My most recent situation was closing out my safe-deposit box, of course requiring my keys. Despite having just seen them, I couldn't find them and had to pay $150 to have them drill, only to of course, find them the next day just where I had just seen them...

    Oh, and your charger? it's behind the big chair in the living room.

    Candace Davenport ~ Little Books with a Big Message

  26. I swear there are gremlins that hide things from us just for the fun of watching us look for them. I frequently lose things that I was just using and I haven't even gotten up from where I was sitting. AT one time I was carrying a small purse, probably wouldn't hold a pint jar. I purchased a fairly large bean bag turtle (another whole story) put it in the purse and didn't find it again for 6 months - true story. The turtle was almost half the size of the bag - how can that be??

    Anyway - what sometimes works is to stand in the middle of the room where you lost the object and demand "Give it back!". If you're alone in the house, or if your family already knows that you're a little peculiar, shout it. Next thing you know, the object is in plain sight. Not where you expect it to be, but at least it's back.

    When that fails, look in the freezer.

  27. great post Cora ~ sparked loads for me ~ nlot to mention the loss of our house phone and how we always have to 'ring' it to locate ~ but yours had switched off :( gawd ~ but isn't it the way almost as if the darned thing had become animated springing legs (as a lot does in our home) and hidden itself ~ tittering to itself while you were beside yourself searching for the little divil ~~ hope you gave it a good telling off when it was finally discovered in it's hiding place ~ brings me to mind of the famous scene in fawlty towers when basil fawlty's car breaks down ~ knod of the last straw situation ~ and in frustration he gets out and beats it with a branch from a fallen tree ~ and yes I know but it still makes me smile as did your write ~ but I am so glad you got it back ~ wishes Lib xx

  28. You post made me laugh - and wonder how many times I've lost my own cell phone! I wonder how many hours of our lives are spent looking for lost items?