Monday, January 10, 2005

The case of the missing gift cards

A year or so ago, a friend from high school told me how annoying it was when his older girl, who was 9 or 10 at the time, would roll her eyes and/or back talk. I, in a rare Mary Poppins moment, told him that "That's just girls. It's what we women do." Cut to yesterday. When my brain was actually undergoing a mental meteor shower after Cara rolled her eyes and started with the snarky comments for the billionth time in one weekend. Did Mary Poppins ever threaten to wash any kids' mouths out using a foaming soap dispenser?

Mike --the ole' softy-- told me to put the dispenser down. Foaming soap is not the answer. He said he'd give me a Sunday morning to myself while he took the kids to the mall. Sounded good.

Cut to 20 minutes later. He couldn't find the Gap gift cards he'd had in his hands two days prior. Gift cards from MY family. One of which my own mother had lost before she even gave it. And told us the story of how she had to have the original gift cards cancelled so she could re-order new ones. THIS was one of the cards Mike couldn't find. I think retailers rely on this kind of insanity to boost their earnings.

Instead of a quiet morning to myself, we spent the next half-hour searching for the cards together. Mike's coats, Mike's bill box. Mike's dresser drawers. My wallet, my purse, my bill box. My dresser drawers. Why anything of mine was dragged into the search, I don't know. Because I never touched the cards. When Mike was going to take Ryan to the store last week, he had the cards on his person. But after they were on the road, they decided not to go. Yesterday, Mike kept saying he remembered taking them out of his coat and setting them down when he came home that day. How helpful.

Since I was foaming at the mouth at that point, and soap had nothing to do with it, he decided to take the kids and get the hell out of the house before they all ended up with teeth marks.

I should have put my feet up, clicked on the Fine Living channel and stopped the search. Coulda, shoulda, woulda--didn't. I went through everything again. I looked under beds. In the kids rooms. Stupid places like MY car. Meanwhile, Mike kept calling me every half-hour to report that (first call): he was still mentally retracing his steps; (second call): I should look on the entertainment center in the basement; (third call): who remembers what he was calling about because by then I had a whole new blob of aggravation to report:

While searching for the missing gift cards in the travesty that is Cara's room, which is a scary and depressing undertaking, I realized that the purse she was looking for earlier was probably thrown out. A week or so earlier, Cara had gone shopping with a friend. The purse she brought had a--don't say it--gift card in it. She brought the purse home in a giant shopping bag, removed her purchases, and--I believe--left the purse in the shopping bag to get tossed into the garbage can. So, unless the purse is somehow hidden the the murk of her closet or under her bed, it--and the gift card that had $10 left on it--is probably gone.

All too soon, Mike came home with the kids. I popped two Advils, made the kids lunch and prepared to take Cara and Ryan to Cara's indoor soccer game. Mike went to hunker down on the computer. Suddenly, he bounds up the stairs and slaps down the two missing gift cards.

"They were behind the computer screen. All you had to do was lift the screen up and they were there on the desk."

All I had to do?? All I had to do!? What the @!%? I'm seeing meteor showers again...