Losing It!

By Erika Hoffman

“I’m losing it!” I mumbled to myself as I rearranged letters, cards, and ubiquitous junk mail on our foyer table.

“Dang!” where did I put that invitation to the Friday welcoming soiree” I asked Bear-Bear, my miniature female dachshund. She gazed up at me empathetically and barked twice. I headed to the niche, also in the foyer, where a huge vase holds court, and behind it I’d stuffed the stately wedding invitation to Magnolia Plantation but not the other one for the night before.

“I know I stuck it with the invitation,” I declared to Grylls, my male dachshund with the Romeo eyes. He looked worried and rushed back and forth mimicking my abrupt movements while I skirted here and there exploring all my dumping grounds. Hordes of clutter lay on the kitchen counter, on the coffee table in the seldom-occupied living room, and on the end tables in the nightly-used den. Nada.

In my mind’s eye, I pictured the heavy stock paper, the black trim, the bold font, but couldn’t recall the event’s venue, the address, or the time. I didn’t think the place was within walking distance of our hotel in Charleston, so I knew I needed to google MapQuest but without a street to type in, it was a no- go. This revelation hit me on Monday, four days and a five-hour drive before Friday’s soiree.

Dare I phone my good friend, Margaret, the hostess and mother-of-the-groom, the busy person already in route to the destination wedding to tell her that careless me had lost her lovely invitation? Wouldn’t that appear thoughtless of me? Or maybe if she heard that I’d lost it she’d reach a conclusion I was beginning to fear – could this be the first sign of creeping dementia?

So, after retracing my steps for the umpteenth time, after rummaging through my drawer where I stow memorabilia of past events, and after locating sundry lost objects in my search for this one particular envelope, I succumbed. I didn’t know the answer to the question: Where had I placed the invitation? What do game contestants do on TV quiz shows when they’ve searched their memories and don’t know the answer? They call a friend.

I dialed up Betty. No answer. So, I texted Betty. Without delay, she sent a photo of the lovely invitation and mailed it back. PERFECTO! I reread the details. Before I keyed MapQuest, a memory gurgled up.

Suddenly, I knew exactly what happened to my invitation. I had a vision. I saw the scene. A month ago, Margaret asked me to lunch for my birthday as she’s done for years. On the phone, she made a small request of me: Would I bring the invite she sent with me? She had to mail one to a previously un-accounted for guest and was one short and didn’t want to have to order another 25. “Certainly,” I recalled saying. So, at my birthday lunch I gave her back her elegant invitation.

Now, I felt relief. The mystery was solved. Immediately, I thought I should phone Betty to tell her the good news – I’m not losing my mind, after all. I know exactly what had become of that invitation. I picked up the phone, poised to tap in the number, but before I’d even pressed the area code, I had a pesky second thought – a realization.

What was I to relate? That I returned the dang thing to our friend, the hostess of the event, and I’d no recollection of doing so? Hmm. That sounded a lot like I’m losing it. Ergo, my final decision? All in all, I figured it better to let folks think I’m a disorganized hoarder than tell the truth, which is that, sometimes, I sleepwalk through life.

Two months later, Betty told me she’d figured I’d returned it to the hostess. “How’d you guess that” I asked, totally surprised.

“Margaret was short two.”

About this writer

  • Erika Hoffman

    Erika Hoffman

    Erika Hoffman collected many of her travel stories and published them in a book called Erika’s Take on Travel. It’s on Kindle and in paperback on Amazon.

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7 Responses to “Losing It!”

  1. Dallas Swan says:

    I always love honest exposes of other people losing it. My friends and I always regale our stories to each other so we feel relie and not alone in our losing it . Fun story

  2. Sounds just like me! I certainly can relate to “losing it” especially with talking to my dog! Love your humor and such a great ending! Light, fun read!

  3. Rose Ann says:

    Loved it! I think you are my long, lost sister, lol!

  4. Cora Brown says:

    Isn’t it funny how those flashes of clarity hit us when we least expect them?

  5. Jane W says:

    Puts a smile on my face every time I read your stories! And that part where you said, now what was that part that was so funny…?? Oh Never mind…….

  6. beth fallaize says:

    verygood I just think when I lose things I have too much on my plate time to stop and smell the flowers!

  7. Linda O'Connell says:

    Sounds exactly like something I would do. Fun story.

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