My daughter has lost her passport.
"Where did you last see it?" we ask. "And when?"
"I don't know!" she wails. "I had it the other day. I saw it on my chest of drawers -- I know it was there!"
I feel like wailing myself: I've got a manuscript to rewrite. I ought to be doing that, not searching all over the house for a lost passport.
"So you keep it on your dresser? That's the only place?"
"Sometimes I keep it in my bag and sometimes I keep it on my dresser."
I happen to know that those aren't the only places she keeps it. Our daughter is smarter than my husband and me, but she's also as scatterbrained as they come. She goes through umbrellas and swimming suits like nobody's business. Last year she managed to lose her cell phone on a dolmuş, causing all sorts of inconvenience. But this is the first time she's lost her passport.
We turn the house upside down. Drawers, bags, pockets, shelves -- all are searched. Every time I look at the computer, I feel guilty. I ought to be writing...
"Not there, I've already looked there!" our daughter cries, seeing us rifle through drawers she has already been through. But the problem is we haven't been through the drawers.
"Just to be on the safe side!" I tell her, reminding her of my lost earrings. I bought the earrings three weeks ago, then promptly lost them. I went through everything in my bag, turned out my drawers, combed over the top of my dresser, but it was no use: the earrings were gone. Two days ago, I was amazed to find them on top of the dresser.
The earring story cuts no ice with my daughter, however. "I've looked everywhere! If it was here, I'd see it!"
We look everywhere. We don't see it.
My husband is not pleased. "Do you think you could have thrown it away?"
This isn't an impossibility. People in this family have been known to put important items into plastic bags when they go shopping. I've found money and credit cards in Tesco bags and once almost threw out a camera someone had left in a plain white plastic bag. Sometimes after the excitement of a shopping trip, the purchase is extracted from the bag which is then abandoned on the floor. Decluttering is something I now do automatically. I make no apologies for this: leave your receipts and Extremely Important Documents lying around on the kitchen counter and I am your worst enemy.
I go through my entire plastic bag collection, which is voluminous, making a few unpleasant finds (bread crusts in one bag, furry with mold; fish bones in another, the smell magically contained all this time) -- but no passport.
Every possible scenario is explored, but that passport is gone. Our daughter, in her anger and frustration, blames our kitten. "She could have done something to it! She's always playing with my stuff!"
I feel a little sorry for her. Up until last year, she had an older sister to blame. Now she's reduced to pointing her finger at the cat.
"The cat couldn't have hidden your passport," we tell her sternly.
"But sometimes she takes stuff of mine! I found my socks under the bed -- and my wallet!"
"Come on," we sigh. "Where could she possibly take your passport?"
The kitten is going through a bad patch right now: at a mere four months, she's already in heat and not happy about being confined indoors. Perhaps that is why she chooses to pee in my hat just as I have settled at the computer and begun to write.
There is no way I can write with a peed-on hat. That manuscript will just have to wait.
Yep, that cat has got a lot to answer for. Maybe she's the one who took my earrings.
Saturday, 30 January 2010
My daughter has lost her passport.