I roll up my sleeves way up to the shoulders and begin to dig. I dig and dig. Hey! I found that cool Gap sweatshirt he lost the first week of school! And a pair of his gloves! And a random scarf that looks like his, but has no name on it. When in doubt, take it home. Otherwise, it will just end up in Lost & Found purgatory.
On occasion during a dig, a parent may find herself in a quandary. This happens when you spot an adorable girl's size 7 Talbot's sweater just sitting in that pile—unclaimed! So you check out the tag and notice there's no name. Well, you reason with yourself, if the mother had wanted it, she would've come and gone through the trenches by now. She must not even know it's gone. Wow, this would look so cute on my daughter! No, no, no! You stop yourself! Enough of that! You remind yourself: "I am here for one thing only...the kid's coat!" You musn't contemplate theft (although you wonder, if it's "lost" and you "find" it, does it really constitute theft?) Ok, never mind. You forego the Talbot's sweater (this time).
Ten mintues later, there you stand, with a pile of rejected articles of clothing at your feet, the bin totally empty, and no winter coat in sight. This is bad. This is when you think "Jeez! I went through all that, and the coat wasn't even there?!" Well, at least I found a couple of missing things. But, the grossness doesn't stop there. No, you are now stuck with the task of picking up all the items and returning them into the bin! Yuck!
As you depart the premises, you toss your rubber gloves and tongs into the trash and pray that your children will never lose anything again as long as they live.
You stop at Marshall's on your way home to buy your kid another winter coat. By this time, all the good ones are gone. You tell yourself that he'll just have to live with a bright yellow, size 16 girls' coat. It's his own fault.
That afternoon, your kid comes homes miraculously wearing the lost coat! "Hey, you found your coat!" you say. "Yeah," he says. "It was in my locker the whole time." It is at this point that you resist the urge to shriek and throw things, and instead mumble under your breath just as your parents always did: "Just wait until you have kids. You'll get yours."
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