Lost and Found

Last summer, when Covid died down for a few weeks, I got my ears pierced. Since then, I’ve been a bit obsessed with earrings.

The pair I wear the most are my white sapphire studs. They’re simple and elegant and go with everything. I love the hell out of them, which is why I was saddened when I lost one of the backs one evening. How? Beats the hell out of me. I was changing clothes and noticed my earring hanging out of my right lobe kind of funny, and realized the back was gone, leaving the stud just sitting in my ear. Better than the earring missing, of course, but more confounding — how did I lose the back?

Did it happen then? Did it happen when I took my shirt off? I dropped to my knees and began combing the carpet in the bedroom, searching for the tiny, gold back. Of course, I found nothing. Nervous, I went through the house and traced my daily footsteps to see if it fell out somewhere nearby. As a nervous habit, one I developed while my ears were healing, I twist and push my earring all day — it could be anywhere in the house. I then checked outside on the patio, around the small patch of grass where I let my dog do her business, and then my driveway. Then, I checked the passenger’s seat of the car — the only other place I had been that day. I checked the floor, the seat, and for good measure I checked the backseat as well in case it fell off me and rolled backwards.

No dice.

So I had a panic attack.

For the next two days, I checked the robot vacuum to see if it got swallowed up in the daily run. I also kept an eye on the cats to see if either of them would find it in their daily hunts. Nothing turned up and after a few more days of searching and keeping an eye out for it, I got the sense that this was gone.

While I searched online for replacements, I temporarily used another earring’s back as a substitute. Of course, to the OCD-havers like myself, this didn’t feel right. I wore another set for a few days to “reset” my ears (don’t ask, it helped), but I still felt awful and stupid for losing the back of my favorite pair.

After three weeks, M goes out to run an errand. Shortly after leaving, they send me a picture with a caption: Found it.

It looked like a popped popcorn kernel at first, but it was the back of my earring.

I did a spit take. “Are you kidding?! Where was it?”

“It was just sitting on the passenger seat. I think the elves found it.”

I’m still puzzled. I looked — both of us looked on the seat and neither of us found it. Meaning, it must have falling out of my back pocket. Or hair.

Or I pulled it out of my ass. No freaking clue.

Author & Bi-Feminist-Killjoy. Occasionally has something interesting to say. The importance is debatable. Your mileage may vary. Books: "Icarus" and "A Bitter Spring"