Unrequested Opinions

Dressing from the Lost and Found

I’m very fond of our more absent-minded patrons. Especially the ones from out of town. Over the years (40 so far), I’ve never had to buy an umbrella. Last year was the first time I actually bought sunglasses. I have lots of scarves and several nice hats. If I only had one arm, I would have the world’s best glove/mitten wardrobe.

Our policy regarding lost items is that we try to contact the owner by phone if there’s any identifying information on the item. If not, then we slap on a piece of masking tape with the date found and wait for the owner to show up, abashed. Many things do get returned to their owners—one woman’s back pillow has probably been returned to her five times by now and we have a few metal water bottles that spend regular quality time in the lost-and-found too– but just as many are never claimed. After six weeks, we send them to Good Cheer or toss them out, depending on their condition.

Or I get them. Long ago, when I was first dating Blake, I couldn’t afford to buy a decent winter jacket. I tried one on at REI, a gorgeous, warm, rust-colored parka, but I couldn’t afford it in the polyfill version, much less the down. I was bummed (that’s how we talked in those days). So imagine my surprise when three weeks later that very jacket—down version—shows up in the lost-and-found! In my size! With no identifying information on it! I felt so guilty about maybe conjuring up a gain for myself but a loss for someone else that I actually advertised that found jacket for a while in the Record. After six weeks, it was mine, and served me well for at least a decade. It was replaced by a very nice Marmot mountain jacket, once its own time in the lost-and-found was over.

So if you see me wearing something that looks familiar, let me know. I’ll be happy to turn it over to you. In the meantime, I suggest putting your phone number in your jacket because I’m gonna need a new one soon. 

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