Tag Archives: mystery

Good News Monday: Your Obscure Talent

Are you the only one of your friends who can decipher your doctor’s scrawl? The US Library of Congress has a request.

Their program, By the People, is looking for volunteers to help transcribe and review historic documents, diaries and more that can’t simply be scanned by machine.

Sign me up!

sherlock-holmes-462957_640

Lost and Found

I’ve always had a terrible habit of hiding things in “safe” places, only to forget where I’ve put them. Keys wind up on a hook under a hat, jewelry can turn up in coat pockets, a dressy wallet might be in a bag I’ve stopped carrying. I had a near-panic attack when I first got engaged to DH and couldn’t find my engagement ring… forgetting that I’d taken it off to put in my purse because we hadn’t gone public yet.

This sort of thing happens especially when guests are expected, and I’m straightening up in a rush. On days like these, every drawer in my desk becomes a “junk drawer” and stray shoes live under the bed until I have time to put them back where they belong.

For months, I’ve been baffled by the location of some books I bought last year in anticipation of our month- long journey to the UK. I’m a huge fan of Alexander McCall Smith‘s writing, and have been slowly working my way through his delightful 44 Scotland Street series, savoring each one.

I’d read the first four novels and purchased the rest, planning to read the next three on the trip.  But in the chaos of moving house last year (which necessitated having to pack four months in advance) the books never made it into my suitcase.  I assumed I’d left them in storage. After we returned from the UK, moved to the new house and unpacked all our boxes, books #8-onward turned up, but #s 5, 6 and 7 were still MIA. I concluded that I’d left them at our summer house but when I looked for them last month I couldn’t find them here either.

Giving up, I recently ordered book #5 (which I’m currently reading) and figured I’d just have to buy the others.

Today, I moved a file box that was sitting on top of another box in my little home office area and — surprise — books 5, 6 and 7 were grinning up at me! I have no idea why I put them there instead of in the bookcase. Overall, this is a good thing, except that it costs nearly as much to return my duplicate Amazon purchase, so I guess I’m stuck with two copies.

Random question: Why do we say we “lose” our tempers? Isn’t our bad temper kept nicely under wraps most of the time until we get angry and it comes out; i.e. we find— and unleash — it? Maybe the origin of the phrase was to “let loose” our temper? Or if not, it should be.

question-mark-3255136_640

Mystery and Myth: We All Need Some.

I was reading this morning about a fashion show fixture whose name wasn’t familiar to me. A quick jump to the link provided and — voilà — another half hour down the rabbit hole of pseudo-celebrity and one of its more bizarre denizens. It’s a great story.

This got me thinking about mystery, reinvention and reality as it applies to the rest of us “mere” mortals.

We’re on Facebook or Instagram over-sharing the minutiae of our lives. We volunteer intimate details to strangers and acquaintances. We embroider, embellish and gloss over the unseemly bits. We seem uncomfortable with just “being”.

Of course we all need approval. But isn’t there a middle ground between “I vant to be alone” aloofness and Kardashian-level accessibility?

A little mystery is always appreciated. I don’t want to know everything about you in our first hour of conversation, and vice versa. I’d like our secrets to unfold with time and trust.

On the other hand, creating a mythological existence out of whole cloth is pretty extreme. The authentic self is fascinating enough, regardless of one’s connections or accomplishments. We shouldn’t need to pretzel our life stories, manufacture drama or keep people guessing about our origins in order to seem interesting.

At Wednesday’s exercise class, a woman I hadn’t seen in nearly a year came over to introduce herself. Thanks to my current longer hair, a few less pounds and contacts replacing my usual glasses, she hadn’t recognized me.

For a fraction of a second I was tempted to invent a whole new persona. I could be anyone!! But then, the other ladies started laughing and told her who I was.

I’ll never be as enigmatic as Amanda Lear. But it’s quite nice to be known by a select few. As for full-on mysteries… make mine Dorothy Sayers.