I very clearly identify with one of my mother's pet peeves. We saw evidence of it often growing up - often enough that she doesn't have to tell me it irks her. I just know.
"Honey? Where is the (fill-in name of missing item here)?" my dad would shout from his spot in the garage.
"In the garage, next to the bag of winter clothes," she'd call out sometimes. Or maybe it'd be next to the recycables, or on the work bench, or on the shelf near the old cans of paint.
"I'm standing in the garage, its not here," he'd say, clearly aggravated.
And so she'd get up and leave behind whatever it was she was doing to head into the garage. She'd walk right to the spot she had told him to look in and retrieve the missing item. "Here," she'd say as she spun on her heel and walked away leaving him slack jawed.
This inability to actually *look* for something seemed to have rubbed off on my brother as well. Both men in the family have this knack for not moving items out of their way and really search. If what they want is not in broad day light, its does not exist. It frustrates my mother.
Today as my work day neared an end, bossman came striding over to the stack of items shipped back to us from the recent trade event. He was looking for a particular box - the one with the unused polo shirts and pens in it.
"Where's my box?" he said first to the guy sitting nearest the pile and then to me. "The one that said clearly - bossman's box."
"It said Bossman's office," I corrected him after sensing he was clearly in a good mood, "And I put it in your office."
"Its not there," he said and he smirked that smirk of his. Its the look that says "Ah, ha! I'm about to catch you not following through on something you were supposed to do"
"It *is* there," I said. "I put it there myself yesterday. Come, let's go for a walk. I'll show you." And off we went. I didn't mention to him I also knew it was there because I had been rooting through it just an hour ago to snag 6 shirts for another customer event tomorrow. A distribution of shirts he himself had already approved. But that's ok. It was going to be more fun to prove my point this way.
We entered his office and there, right where I had left it, was the box. I told him so as I pointed to it, the flaps splayed open and shirts, no longer tucked neatly inside, were resting on top of the pile of loot.
"No, that's not it!" He was starting to get cocky with the taste of victory. "The box I'm looking for very cleary said *Bossman's box.*"
I reached down. Pushed a few of the shirts in deep to the bottom, pulled one of the flaps shut so that he could read its scribble. "You mean like that?" I said and pointed to the circled "Bossman's Office" inked with a blue ballpoint.
"Oh," he said sheepishly. "I guess it is here."
"Don't worry Bossman," I said laughing as he dashed away with a fistful of pens that bore our logo. "Its just like being at home."
"The kids?" he called back over his shoulder.
"No," I said. "The husband."
So when we get home tonight I relate the story to said husband - without the part that included him.
"What a idiot!" says my darling husband. "He really does need his hand held."
I smile and nod. Letting it slide. Letting him think he's above all that hand holding crap.
We take the kids into the backyard for a bit and marvel over how fast the grass is browning in spots with the lack of water. I point out, once again, that we've not been watering the backyard (nor adequately watering my garden) since he and the boy took the sprinkler out front to water their beloved green grass. Every time I think to water the back, the boys have the thing running out front.
"I couldn't find the sprinkler," he said. "Both Logan and I looked every where. I could swear we had a yellow one. I looked in the garage. I looked on the side of the house. Can't find it. I guess I was thinking of that green one and just messed up the color."
Time passed. I went out front to shut the water off and to retrieve the green sprinkler so my poor parched tomato plants could drink up. I pulled the long heavy hose to the side of the house where its haphazardly stored when not in use. I stopped. I laughed. I bent over and reached in amongst the vinca vine with its small dainty purple flowers.
The yellow sprinkler. The bright yellow, clearly visible, sprinkler nestled in amongst the rich green leaves. Sure, it didn't sit out in the open, but frankly, you can't miss that color sticking out of those plants.
I brought it in the house - the missing sprinkler. I held it behind my back as I approached my husband.
"I think we need to call bossman." I said.
"Why?" he asked, understandably confused as to why I'd want to track down that man at night.
"I think its only fair, seeing as how you called him an idiot, that he know he's not alone," I said.
He looked puzzled, but only for a moment. Once he saw the sprinkler he hung his head in defeat. "But I looked every where! Logan and I both looked. We couldn't find it. Where was it hiding?"
"Hmmm, guess its true," I said after I told him about how the sprinkler had been right where he'd always left it - resting next to the hose on the side of the house.
"What's that?" he asked warily.
"Maybe it is genetic."