February 2, 2008

Lost and Found

Yesterday I called my mother, "We found your teeth!" Enthusiasm erupted. The long saga of the missing partials had been solved.

A month ago, my parents had come up to visit. An hour before they left, my mother started on her missing teeth crusade.

"They were in an apricot jelly jar, inside of an orange newspaper bag. Right there," she said pointing to a shelf in the dining room.

"What was?"

"My teeth!"

"What teeth?" I looked at her mouth.

"I had put my partials right there and they aren't there anymore."

I thought about asking why her teeth were in an apricot jar in the dining room in the first place. I mean, isn't there some lack of etiquette there or something? But I have learned that the less I say to my mother in a disagreement, the better.

For the next hour, we went about the house in a mad flurry all through the two story house, looking for a jar of teeth in a washed-out old jar of apricot preserves.

"Are you sure that's where you put them?"

"Yes, right there," she pointed to the shelf in the dining room.

"Are you sure you didn't leave them somewhere else and you just forgot?"

"Those are $500.”

They had to leave.

"We'll keep looking for them," I told her. (I volunteered my husband as well because I didn't want to be the only one looking for a jar of teeth. I hate looking at weird things: poopy diapers, throw-up and a jelly jar of floating teeth is included in that list.)

"They're in an orange newspaper bag. I left them right there in the dining room on the shelf."

"We'll look for it. I promise."

"Okay," she said with an overwhelming sadness. They left to go back to Indiana, my mother forlorn and my father more than ready to leave.

That night we received the first phone call. We heard the voice message when we got back from the grocery store.

“Debbie, are you there? Have Stephane go through the trash before he puts it out tonight. My partials could be in there. That’s $500 dollars.”

Stephane, my great and helpful husband, grimaced as he untied the trash bag, which was ready to go to the curb, and with latex gloves, sifted around for a plastic newspaper sack that contained a jar of false teeth. Nothing.

And then the looking started. For weeks we looked everywhere. I looked all over the all-purpose guest room/craft room/exercise room/anything that doesn't have a place room.

I looked under the bed where they had slept. I looked in the drawers. I looked in the upstairs bathroom several times. I followed the path from the bedroom where they slept to the bathroom that they used. I looked all over the dining room, behind books, on the ground, up on ledges. I looked in every place where she was and still, no jar of teeth.

Two weeks later and eight urgent phone call reminders from my mother asking if we had found them yet; I receive a letter in the mail - from my mother.

Inside the envelope was a piece of orange plastic newspaper bag with a note stapled to it: This is what the plastic bag looked like that my teeth are in.

A week after that, my husband was cleaning the island in the kitchen and said,”What is this?"

He was holding up an old apricot jar with a pair of partials.

"You found her teeth!" I declared.

You know how she said the teeth were in an orange newspaper bag in the dining room?

They were in a white Hobby Lobby sack in the kitchen.

And even though I’m nowhere near the age to have partials yet, I’ll now forever know they cost $500 dollars.


1 comment:

Kriss said...

*snort* Your mother sounds like an identical twin to mine!

I'm happy you found them, anyway; or you NEVER would have heard the end of it!!