February 17, 2014

#MyFirst... Agonizing Loss of Material Possession

My 14 year old son came up with the topic for this week's #MyFirst. I thought it was a great one... until I realised that I don't agonize over material possessions. Funny, isn't it. I agonize over words that come out of my mouth. I agonize over the future. I agonize over mistakes I have made. But if I lose something - even something precious to me - I shrug and accept it and move on.

There is no use crying over spilled milk. I really do seem to have internalised that little truth.

I have lost all sorts of material possessions in my time. I have lost books, bags, jackets, jewelry. I lost my car once, and did something quite bizarre in the street whilst looking for it. I have lost precious digital photos when my computer crashed. I have lost several sets of keys. I have lost two mobile phones. (One I retrieved in extraordinary circumstances; having lost it at uni, I walked the length and breadth of the campus ringing it on my mother's phone, until I heard it and looked up and saw it hanging in a tree.)

I once lost a pinky ring that used to be my sister's. I would never normally wear pinky rings, but I will wear nearly anything that reminds me of her. It was a little silver knot, and I wore it on my left hand. It just disappeared one day, and I did have a pain in my gut for a while. And then I moved house, and then I moved a second time, and I never expected to see that ring again. I let it go. I always let these things go.

Two months later, I was doing a load of washing, and the ring appeared on the rim of the washing machine. The new washing machine, in the new house. It had come back to me. It had reappeared. It was like my sister was making an appearance in my new home. Her ring was her housewarming present to me.

But still... there is one thing I have lost that continues to haunt me. One thing I have lost that I pine for two years later. And it is not what you would expect. It is not of any sentimental value. But I want it back, and I miss it, terribly.

It was a jumper.

Yes, a jumper. A sweater. A long sleeved pullover. Two years ago I was in Los Angeles, and I bought myself the perfect woollen jumper. It was the perfect soft wool. It was the perfect charcoal grey. The neckline was the perfect shape. The sleeves were the perfect length. It was slim to the thighs but stopped at the exact perfect place. It was the most beautiful, perfect, made-for-me jumper I had ever seen. I had been waiting for that jumper my whole life. I would wear it forever. I couldn't believe my luck.

I bought it. We left the shop. I put it on. I got warm. I took it off. We had a coffee. I left it on the chair. And I never saw it again.

I was gutted. I searched for it in every shop in LA. I never found it. I never got over it. I still want it back.

Other than that, I don't agonize over material possessions. There is no point crying over spilled milk. But lost perfect woollen garments that will never be found again? Well, they are another thing entirely.

Next week's topic: #MyFirst... Car Accident


  1. I struggled a bit with this one as well. Only a couple of 'big' things stuck in my mind. Losing this bracelet did because of both the monetary value (I couldn't justify the expense of replacing it) and sentimental value.

  2. I'm like you - I don't fuss over material possessions that much - I had to go all the way back 'til I was six to remember losing something that had great value to me...


    The funny thing is, Rhonnifer doesn't cope at all well with loss - and yet, she loses things, or breaks things, that mean a lot to her ALL THE TIME - and I never do. I mean, my umbrella is 28 years old... who keeps an umbrella for that long?

    But Kerri, maybe you should have written (again) about the day you (almost) lost this blog - that would have hurt BIG TIME! ;)

  3. A lovely post, Kerri, about losing possessions and finding something precious - funny and soulful all rolled into one.

    Like you I've lost too much to bother with angst over material possessions any more, though the loss of my gold bluebird bracelet at age 7 is still vivid (received on Xmas Day, lost Boxing Day) and will go down as a truly harrowing experience...my parents didn't replace it (parents never did back then).

    I recently - well, 6 months ago - lost a newish iPhone and had a momentary breakdown till I put it all in perspective (no one was hurt - only me and my social life - and temporarily! :)

    I relate to your beautiful jumper loss...when you actually find the perfect jumper, it is MADDENING to lose it (plus someone other than Kerri got to enjoy that PERFECT SWEATER!!) And the thing is, one romanticises the object as time passes, so that what may have well been a slightly less than perfect jumper, is forever unblemished in your mind...let it go Kerri, let it go! (have almost let my bluebird bracelet go.)

  4. I also can't think of anything. I once lost a ring that my parents gave me. Actually, I lost it three times, and twice it returned. But the third time, gone for good. I bawled. But it had far more sentimental value than material, so I'm not sure it counts.
    Ditto losing my engagement ring. Well, having it stolen, but when you tell your fiancé it's gone, lost vs stolen doesn't really matter. THANK GOODNESS FOR INSURANCE.

  5. Ahh - I got goose bumps about the ring! Magical :)

  6. I've never insured jewelry. Perhaps I should!


  8. Okay that's just sicko. Hand over the umbrella, JJ. NOW.

  9. I wish I had the magical ability to let go of stuff with not huge sentimental value, it is a gift, trust me! That you found your phone in a tree and your sister's ring again are both remarkable, happy ending stories.

  10. Lana (Sharpest Pencil)February 17, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    I remember as a little girl finding a long lost purse (blue with hideous beads on it) that had inside it a tub of kinky putty (and yes in South Africa we called silly putty kinky putty because we could). Finding that purse and that putty was like winning the lotto - I can still remember the feeling of pure joy and excitement.

    Interestingly I do not recall losing it at all

  11. I once lost my engagement ring (funnily enough during a turbulent time in my relationship). I searched the house top to bottom. Even tried to see if it was down any bathroom drains. No clue at all where it might be. One day months later (after I accepted that it was gone because what could I do - also because I had by then come to terms with the fact as my mum never even had an engagement ring and still has a wonderful marriage with my dad), it turned up next to my bedside drawers. Just sitting on the carpet. In an obvious place. Somewhere I had looked a million times. So strange.

  12. First up ... WTF was your mobile phone doing in a tree????????? Secondly - I had a little beaded purse with some beautiful little necklaces I'd been given for my christening and a few birthdays. And one day, when I was 15, it disappeared ... forever. To this day I mourn those little necklaces. And I'm still obsessing over your mobile phone in the tree ... WTF?????????

  13. I am like you, I don't fret over material things - so much so that my husband gets anxiety whenever my rings leave my left hand, such is the likelihood that I will lose them! If I were more concerned about material things, I would probably lose/break a lot less expensive stuff!!

    That said I did intentionally break this ugly porcelain dolphin sculpture I begged my parents for once after having a huge fight with them. They never had much money when we were young and I felt guilty about it for years - I still cringe thinking about it.


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