About five years ago, my husband and I went to visit my mom in Michigan, and I forgot to wear earrings—I had left the house with naked earlobes! In my defense, we always leave ridiculously early. It’s a nine-hour drive plus time spent stopping for food, gas, and bathroom breaks. And we lose an hour driving east.
I didn’t like being earringless, but I didn’t want to shop for earrings. I decided to go without. I lasted for a day.
I turned to Mom for help. Did she have a pair of earrings I could borrow?
We mined through her jewelry box. I spotted a pair of gold and pearl earrings that I hadn’t seen her wear. She was happy to lend them to me because while beautiful, they weren’t her style. She likes silver earrings sized to pack a visual wallop.
As much as I loved wearing the earrings, I couldn’t ask her for them, so I was thrilled when she asked me if I wanted them.
A couple of years ago, I went to take them off at night and discovered one of them missing. I looked everywhere in the house because I felt certain I had both of them when I came home from work. I checked the floors, the sweater I had worn, the sinks, the dishwasher because I had been doing dishes. I checked the stairs, my car, the driveway, the garage, the deck.
I didn’t tell Mom. I didn’t want to admit I had been careless, or believe the earring was gone for good.
The next day at work, even though I still thought I had lost the earring at home, I emailed my coworkers a picture of the lone earring, asking if anyone had found its companion.
Coworkers were sympathetic: “Sorry you lost your earring.”
After a few days went by coworkers asked: “Have you found your earring?”
No, I hadn’t.
After a few weeks went by coworkers asked: “Did you ever find your earring?”
I kept looking in places I had already looked.
Two months passed.
One evening I opened the dishwasher to put away dishes. On the bottom of the dishwasher, in plain sight, was my earring.
It had spent two months—approximately sixty wash cycles—in the dishwasher, probably behind the bottom spray arm.
I told my coworkers who asked: “Was it okay?”
“Yep, it looks just the same.”
Another coworker asked: “Do you still have the other one?”
“Yeah, I couldn’t throw away a gold and pearl earring my mom gave me.”
But I had been thinking about having a jeweler make it into a pendant for a necklace.
I’m glad I procrastinated.