I was in frantic search mode much of last week, trying to find two things successfully alluding us in our house and two things coming up missing in the workplace.
The at-home couldn't-be-found items included my pair of holey barn jeans and Better Half's "Oklahoma" T-shirt, two clothing items that are casual staples of the Kiaski comfort wardrobe.
At work, it was two anniversary pictures people were hoping to have returned to their wallets or frames atop mantelpieces, which is normally not a big deal.
But I couldn't find them, of course.
Nor could I find my holey jeans, a pair of denims that became holey over the course of years from actual wear and tear, not holey jeans you pay a lot of money for to look faded and used from the get-go.
These were legitimately worn-out dungarees that I really, really, really, really liked.
As for Better Half's loss, it was his black "Oklahoma" T-shirt he's worn for years, a T-shirt made when the Weirton Community Players staged this Rodgers and Hammerstein production years back. This T-shirt is so worn, the material is super soft, super thin, very threadbare. Each washing made me wonder how much longer would it actually stay in tact.
I admit, I have looked at it with a level of lust, knowing that softness made the T-shirt the perfect candidate for the next phase of its existence - waxing my car.
Better Half and I started to accuse each other of wardrobe sabotage after continued searches turned up fruitless, after we had looked e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e.
We started to ask each other stupid questions like "Did you look really good for it?" as if just looking for something doesn't cut mustard.
We also ruled out breaking and entering, having received no ransom note for either item.
Things weren't going much better at work, where I was reduced to cleaning out my desk drawers, speculating that somehow these pictures of people who had marked marriage milestones had marched right in there and made themselves at home with all my packs of instant oatmeal, notebooks, clippings and assorted paper paraphernalia.
The up side of losing something, I guess, is that it can foster something positive, make you clean and organize, search and destroy. Finding what you misplaced is the bonus beyond the tidy new environment.
I'm pleased to report that I did find those anniversary pictures, not in any of my drawers, and not where I expected to find them, but I found them just the same.
As for the whereabouts of the holey jeans and "Oklahoma" T-shirt, I have no happy news to share as they both remain at large.
In my search for the jeans and the T-shirt, I found everything but, including the bathing suit my son needed about three weeks ago.
All we can figure is that the sock monster is weary of footwear around our house and is taking on new challenges.
Ever the optimist, though, I think the jeans and T-shirt will ultimately turn up some day, somewhere.
Who knows? Maybe they'll come "sweepin' down the plain" when we least expect it.
(Kiaski, a resident of Steubenville, is a staff columnist and features writer for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and community editor for the Herald-Star. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.)