Category Archive for: ‘Woody Weingarten’

Are writer and his wife in danger of losing it? Nah

Granddaughter’s front teeth rank low on columnist’s list of worrisome lost items. Photo: Woody Weingarten.

My wife keeps me busy by endlessly assigning me unwanted tasks.

Like finding her lost cell phone.

And umbrellas.

My search parties are mobilized weekly.

Not long ago Nancy phoned from downtown San Anselmo while walking our little white rescue mutt.

No, she hadn’t misplaced our biodegradable poop bags.

“Please come and rescue me,” she wailed. “I’ve lost my keys again.”

I scoured virtually every inch of her trail — Creek and Inspiration parks, block after block of San Anselmo Avenue, the lawn of Town Hall.

I pushed aside foliage where Kismet had deposited some stinky stuff and Nancy had bent over to collect it. I checked each early-blooming flower, each parked vehicle. I kicked aside fallen leaves that had accumulated at curbside.

I stopped counting at 1,439,574.

Diddly squat.

Happily, a young lad found the keys soon after we’d retreated to our home. He turned them into the police, whom we’d been smart enough to notify.

Losing this ‘n’ that has for sure become too habitual for both of us.

As well as for a slew of our aging friends.

On a whim, Nancy and I crafted a list — and noticed that losing something isn’t necessarily bad.

When she partially lost her hearing, for instance, she could no longer hear my snoring.

And when I lost my taste for alcohol, weed and Pall Malls, she — not to mention my liver and lungs — was grateful.

Losses also can fill our mental safety deposit box of anecdotes.

Nancy once got a Jaguar tour of the Civic Center parking lots when she coaxed a young attorney into helping her locate her vanished Camry by pleading, “Pretend I’m your mother.”

Then, of course, there’s the negative side of the ledger.

Topping my list of worrisome recent disappearances is my diminished eyesight, abetted by cataracts.

To counteract my growing anxiety, I’ve stooped to regularly kissing the rings of Kaiser Permanente ophthalmologists and optometrists in San Rafael.

At the bottom of my list of worries are my granddaughter’s missing and wiggly baby teeth. I’d be willing to bet the 8-year-old doesn’t believe in the Tooth Fairy anymore but firmly believes in the five-dollar bill she gets for slipping a tooth under her pillow.

Lost through inflation along the way has been the value of a buck. I used to give my kids a quarter. And I felt no deprivation whatsoever even though my parents stiffed me completely.

Some losses undeniably are permanent.

My underwear somehow evaporated in Europe, for example, while quick drying on a wine rack.

Nancy’s luck with AWOL clothing is infinitely better. A hotel employee once took the trouble to mail her back an unwashed, wrinkled nightgown from a Bahamas vacation.

But the truth is, my wife doesn’t fret in advance about losing things.

That’s mainly because she strongly believes in karma and always returns what she finds.

I can verify this fantastical account about a wallet she found: When she called the owner to inform her about it, the woman was dining with Nancy’s dermatologist.

Finding is, naturally, the flip side of losing.

My 75-year-old wife recently unearthed an old, old, old supposedly lost outfit in the way-back of her closet.

She wore it just for giggles while strolling with Kismet in Fairfax one evening. A woman she didn’t know approached her just to say, “What a magnificent vintage dress.”

Without losing a beat, Nancy answered, “Thanks. It goes with the face and body — I’m vintage too.”

Losing things is hardly a new experience for us.

In fact, my wife and I wrote a song called “Lost It Blues” for our unproduced musical revue, “Touching Up the Gray.” And we’re still living out the lyrics, despite having composed the piece 16 years ago.

“I’ve lost 2 billion pens, 3 dozen pinky rings

“Over the last 40 or 50 years.

“And where’s the car I just parked

“With all its dings.

“I’ve lost count of what I’ve lost.

“It’s so embarrassing.”

But the song ends on a more serious note by referring to what we both consider our biggest loss — our youth:

“Time is irretrievable,

“It is unbelievable

“I had time on my hands,

“But now it’s lost.”

Contact Woody Weingarten at or check out his blog at

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