As I’ve mentioned frequently in my columns, when it comes to punctuality, the meaning of the word is foreign to me. In my defense, however, I usually have a very good reason for being late.
Take last week, for example. I’d been having a problem with my eyes burning, itching and twitching, which nearly drove me crazy, so I made an appointment for noon that Thursday to see an optometrist.
Well, to a “normal” person, noon would be considered the middle of the day, but to me, the die-hard night owl, noon is the equivalent of 4:00 in the morning. Still, I was determined to get out of bed and make it to the appointment on time (for a change).
Thursday, I got up, ate, showered, got dressed, put on my makeup, fed the dogs and was ready to leave in plenty of time for my appointment. Needless to say, I was pretty proud of myself. The last thing I always do before I leave to go somewhere is put on my jewelry – the same wristwatch and ring every day. The ring is very special to me. Not only is it one of a kind, it was a Valentine’s gift from my husband.
So as I was leaving, I headed to the drawer where I keep my jewelry. When I opened it, my heart immediately began to race. My ring wasn’t there!
I frantically flung everything out of the drawer until there was nothing left inside but bare wood. I then raced to check the pockets of the clothing I’d been wearing the night before when I’d taken off the ring. Aside from a few lint balls, the pockets were empty. Had I, I wondered, set the ring down on the kitchen counter? I ran out to the kitchen and checked every inch of counter space. I found nothing but a dried-up splotch of ketchup I’d forgotten to wipe up.
Warily, I eyed the trash container. Did I really want to thrust my hands into a mushy pile of everything from potato peels to discarded oatmeal? The answer was yes! Just as I started to roll up my sleeves, it dawned on me that I was supposed to be heading to the optometrist’s. I looked at the clock. I had only 15 minutes to get there. On a good day, the trip usually takes 25 minutes.
I bolted out the door, hopped into my car and headed to my appointment, all the while feeling sick about my missing ring. I arrived at my destination about eight minutes late.
The optometrist was a woman I hadn’t met before. She was young, dark-haired and exotic looking.
I apologized for being late and told her the reason why. “I feel terrible and can’t concentrate on anything because I keep trying to think where I might have lost that ring,” I added.
She was silent for a few seconds, then said, “You know, I’m going to tell you something that sounds really crazy, but I swear it works. I can’t explain why, but it just does.”
She hesitated, as if debating whether or not to tell me, then finally said, “My grandmother once told me that if you lose something, to take a tissue and tie a knot in it, then hold it in your hand. The next place you look, you’ll find the item you’re looking for.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. “How can a hunk of knotted-up tissue help you find something?”
She shrugged and smiled. “I have no idea, but it works!”
I’d heard of a lot of crazy things in my life – and had tried many of them, like rubbing half an onion on a wart and then tossing the onion over my right shoulder, supposedly to make the wart disappear. All I ended up with was a wart that smelled like onions. But I’d never heard anything about putting a knot in a tissue.
My eyes turned out to be fine, other than being very dry. The doctor recommended some drops and said they should help the burning, itching and twitching.
I could hardly wait to get home and continue the search for my ring. On the way, I stopped and bought some rubber gloves so I could thoroughly fish through the trash the minute I got home.
The trash yielded nothing but trash, much of which was less than pleasant to dig through. I was becoming more and more desperate by the minute – which was blatantly obvious when my dogs wanted to go outside to do their duties and I followed them out, then closely examined everything they did, just in case one of them might have swallowed my ring.
An hour later, after I’d done everything but rent a metal detector, I finally admitted defeat and plunked down on the sofa. Mourning the loss of my favorite ring, I couldn’t help but shed a few tears. Sniffling, I reached for the box of tissues on the end-table next to the sofa.
I pulled out a tissue and stared at it for a few moments, remembering what the doctor had told me.
“Don’t be silly!” I scolded myself. “You’ve searched every inch of the house! A tissue isn’t going to magically help you find your ring!”
But a little voice told me that at that point, I had nothing to lose, so why not tie a knot in the tissue and try it, just for the heck of it? Shaking my head and sighing, I muttered to myself, “You’re much more intelligent than this!”
I tied a knot in the tissue and held it in my hand.
I still can’t believe what happened next – and I will swear on a stack of Bibles it’s the absolute truth – I immediately recalled that the night before, when I’d taken off my ring, the stones had looked kind of dull, so I’d put my ring into a jar of jewelry cleaner to soak.
I bolted out to the kitchen and opened the cabinet where I keep the jewelry cleaner on the top shelf. Sure enough, there was my ring, now sparkling clean, still lying in the bottom of the jar.
I couldn’t help it, I burst out laughing. And then I called the optometrist’s office and told the receptionist to tell the doctor that the knot in the tissue had worked.
“The knot in the tissue?” she repeated, her tone bewildered. She probably thought it was some new kind of treatment for eye discomfort.
“Yes, tell her exactly that!”
I think now, just to be on the safe side (because I misplace either my keys, eyeglasses or credit card an average of twice a week), I’m going to join one of those wholesale clubs and buy a case of tissues.