The Reckoning Week 53: One Lost Mitten in a Sea of Stressors

March 17th, 2021

I was moaning about our housing situation to my husband late one night. “I can’t believe I’m going to be 50 and we don’t know where we’ll be living in a few months,” Jon kept looking at his phone and barely responded. He is used to this.

I continued, and eventually it escalated. “I am 51, this is crazy,” I whined.

“You’re 49,” he reminded me dully.

This housing thing has me verklempt. My husband does not get verklempt. In some ways this makes us a good team. I don’t love being the verklempt one all the time, however.

Every once in a great while he gets more strung out about something than I do, and I cherish those moments. 


Last week we lost a mitten. It happened on my watch, and I didn’t even notice, frankly. I have a lot going on. Later, when we were taking inventory, Jon realized it was missing. “Did you lose a mitten today?” he asked me.

“I mean, if there’s a mitten missing, we lost it,” I replied. Of the two of us, he is arguably more Buddhist, but for whatever reason, I have an easier time moving on from stuff — especially winter gear. He became fixated on the mitten. 

“Where do you think it is? Could it be at school? Did you ask the teachers? Where else did you go today? Have you gone back to look for it?” 

I honestly had no idea one human could come up with so many different questions about a missing mitten. My answer to all of them was the same: “I have no idea. It could be anywhere. It’s a mitten. And they are six. Six-year-olds lose mittens.”

One might think that would have been the end of it, but one would not be married to my husband, who when he gets focused on something, cannot be deterred. I heard about this mitten for days. He checked in with me periodically to find out if I had spent time asking the teachers, retracing my steps, looking into lost and founds….

I had not. Not one bit. 

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Five days later, I assumed we had finally moved on. A new set of mittens was on its way, and I was spiraling south about my usual plethora of stressors. So it was frankly a miracle that I was paying attention at all. I just happened to park in the same spot as I had last week on that fateful day, and as I was paying the meter, a clump of fuschia fabric caught my eye. It was the mitten, just lying there, on the stoop of a shuttered restaurant. It must have fallen out of my car last week, and some nice person picked it up and put it on the stoop so it wouldn’t get trampled.

I did not text Jon right away. I debated whether to even bring the mitten home. If it were that easy to replace a mitten, how would he ever learn the valuable lesson here about letting things go? 

I ruminated on it all afternoon. When I picked up the girls at school, I admitted to them that I had found the lost mitten.

“But hey?” I suggested, “Wouldn’t it be fun to play a trick on Daddy? Let’s just put the mitten back with the others and pretend it’s been there all along.”

I pictured him saying “Oh wow did you find the mitten!?”

To which I would reply, in my best attempt at gaslighting, “What do you mean? It was never missing.”

Just picture it.

Unfortunately, my kids are not on board with lying, and I guess I should be grateful for that. So when he got home and noticed all four mittens laid out on the hearth, and rushed upstairs to jubilantly ask me if I had found the mitten, I had to shrug and admit that I had. Despite my best efforts. 

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

What I’m reading:

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

What I’m listening to:

I have major angst that I wasn’t at this vaccination site in Pittsfield Mass where Yo Yo Ma showed up to serenade the people.

What I’m watching:

Jon and I actually managed to watch a movie together. On the Rocks with Rashida Jones and Bill Murray. Really good. 

What I’m eating:


Incredibly yummy soup recipe my mother in law clipped and sent me in the actual mail: Curried vegetable chowder — It’s the kind of recipe you can improvise upon seasonally, but for this time of year, Yicky March, it’s so warming and nutritious and cozy. Also, while it’s technically vegan, I have added chicken and butter to it and that was also quite delicious.

What I’m working on:

An e-book for Tiqets: Innovative Tourism Strategies to Help Your Venue Recover After COVID-19


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3 Responses to “The Reckoning Week 53: One Lost Mitten in a Sea of Stressors”

  1. Thomas says:

    In the actual mail….I LOVED that.

  2. Thomas says:

    PS you have to move from that charmed place???? :-( ((((

  3. Vanessa says:

    OMG you found the mitten! It’s almost like Jon’s 3rd eye could see it materializing.

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