Where is the Watch?

Here we are, four months into social distancing and our world is still largely confined to our house. At times, it feels like the house is shrinking. Our space is becoming smaller and smaller. I look at the same furniture, the same paint on my walls, the same tchotchkes gathering dust. I’ve debated rearranging furniture and/or painting walls until my husband runs from the room with his fingers in ears begging me to stop. We’ve already replaced and painted the back-patio doors and purchased a new couch. So how, when we literally live in 700 square feet of space each, can you lose anything?

Wednesday of last week, when Dad came out to breakfast and said he could not find his watch, I presumed it was in his bedroom. That he had just overlooked it. I didn’t give it any real thought. By Friday, when he still reported he could not find his watch, I thought I should go look for myself. While he finished breakfast, I went in and looked on dressers, in drawers, under furniture, including the bed. I checked chair cushions, his bathroom drawers, but no watch. So, Saturday I announced we were going to completely clean out, reorganize and thoroughly search his bedroom. As Dad came in and began laying papers and books on his bed, I thought, oh boy, this is NOT the kind of help I need. I asked Dad to sit on the bed and tell me yes or no, as far as keeping clothes, socks, underwear, ties, etc., while I removed them from his dresser. I considered that Dad might have removed his watch and laid it on a dresser where it got knocked into a clothes drawer. In the meantime, Lew is trying to tell Dad he does not really need a watch since he can look at his phone anytime to see the time. He might as well have been telling him to go out and stare at the height of the sun to figure out the time. Looking at his phone for the time, instead of his watch, is completely foreign to Dad. So now, when I’m trying to get Dad to focus on what clothes to keep, he is distracted trying to figure out where it shows time on his phone. I did the only thing I could reasonably do at that point, I sent Lew out on errands!

Before we finished, we had emptied and thrown out several bags of clothes, every drawer in two dressers was organized, every piece of clothing in both closets was either removed, sent to the cleaners, put in the laundry or rehung. The floor under all furniture was completely searched. All Dad’s laundry was done after a careful search of pockets for evidence of the missing watch. Furniture and picture frames were dusted and a lamp and table were removed and replaced by a floor lamp and a table with drawers for all his books and papers. We were all exhausted by this point in time and called it a day, but the elusive watch remained MIA. So that evening, Lew and I searched online for a comparable watch and decided we would order it for Father’s Day. [Just as a note of clarification, this was a 15- to 20-year-old Timex that regularly lost time. Not a 70-year-old Rolex that we had previously taken to Antiques Roadshow where we learned it was worth a fortune!]

Then, this past Tuesday when Dad was dressing for Rock Steady Boxing via Zoom, he came out excitedly to tell me he’d found the watch. It was in the toe of his gym shoe. Sure. Why wouldn’t it be. A place that, I admit, I had never thought to look. After I completely cleaned it to make sure no toe fungus was growing on the watch, I noticed an Amazon truck stop out front. They were delivering the new watch. Of course. And I was reminded of

Morrisette’s famous lyrics, “Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think!” The answer to your question is…yes. We are still going to give him his new watch tomorrow. Now we’ll have a back-up if the new watch goes missing. Which seems probable. Dad’s final words as he left the room were that his memory pills sure don’t seem to be helping much. That about sums it up!



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