It all starts out innocently enough. You go into the restroom of a fast food café to change your daughter’s diaper, take off the sunglasses and place them on the sink. You become preoccupied by the fact that you must change the diaper while she is standing up (ever so-grateful that it is only wet and not dirty), because there is no changing table, and focus on pulling up her tights and cowboy boots afterwards, all the while guarding the door to avoid getting hit in the arse when it flies open. You forget to grab the glasses on the way out, and three minutes later when you return to get them, they are gone. Just disappeared off the face of the earth (or into someone’s pocket book), and no amount of badgering the cafe employees about whether anyone has turned them in is going to bring them back.
For anyone who has read Asha’s post Lost Manju: Reward If Found, this occurrence is likely to sound familiar. We forget something in a public place, realize it, return within minutes to find it, and it has vanished. Of course it is our own fault for forgetting the item in the first place, but I can’t help but feel annoyed. There have been numerous times I have lost or forgotten items (anyone sensing a theme here?) at stores and restaurants in the U.S., but upon my return to find them, someone has always turned them in to a cashier or manager. So far in Mexico, I have only found people who seemingly pounce on someone else’s forgetfulness and pocket the item in question.
The thing is that I know all Mexicans are not this way, and I am determined not to let these experiences mar my opinion of an entire population. And if I think about it carefully, I can recall a couple of instances in the U.S. where I have actually had my wallet stolen, not because I forgot it somewhere, but because someone actually pick pocketed me – and I don’t let those instances affect my opinion of Americans in general.
As for how I am recovering over this devastating loss: let’s just say that I am following in my daughter’s footsteps when she lost Manju. I wake up at night crying, “Fendi lost, Fendi gone . . . I love Fendi.”