Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sisterhood of the Traveling Gloves

So, for a while I thought of naming this post "Tip 70: Check your pockets" because this week I got foiled not once -- but count them, people -- twice involving items in my pockets while doing laundry. The first stupid move was having a (thankfully unused) tissue in the pocket of my hooded sweatshirt when I washed a load of whites this weekend. As I folded laundry I kept discovering tiny bits of tissue everywhere. My second and more painfully stupid mistake this week was leaving a pair of gloves in the pockets of my black wool coat when I took it to the dry cleaners.

Moral of the story: check all pockets before doing laundry or taking clothes to the dry cleaners. I know this, yet in a weekend rush I failed this test on two occasions.

The good news: I got my gloves back! The bad news: I had to fight to get them.

Here's the story:
Over the summer while in Venice I bought a pair of cute red leather gloves, one of my main souvenirs from our entire European vacation. Up until this weekend, I had been keeping these gloves in my coat pockets. Matt took a round of dry cleaning in on Saturday. Upon waking up Monday at 5 a.m. I leaped out of bed and my first thought was, "My gloves!" I can thank my Type-A personality that this is the first thing I thought at the start of the work week. I knew they were last in my coat pocket, and I knew that coat was at the dry cleaners.

In a mad fury, I got to the cleaners as quickly as I could, convinced that I would somehow get my gloves back. This attempt became more difficult thanks to a major language barrier. The elderly store owner was speaking to me in a mix of Korean and English, and then she went toward the back of the store to communicate with her Spanish-speaking employees. After about 10 minutes of explaining my very stupid mistake to the owner, she finally understood my dilemma.

The story, as it was communicated to me first, was that they went through my coat pockets and found nothing. I stood there and kept saying, "No, my gloves are in there. I am absolutely certain. They are expensive and I want them back." The owner insisted they found nothing, and I kept asking if I could just get my coat back. She kept telling me it wasn't clean yet -- of this I was well aware -- but I kept telling her I wanted to check for my gloves. Finally, she took a phone call, and I just stood in the entryway, waiting.

Then, a miracle happened. A miracle marred by deceit, but a miracle nonetheless. A lady from the back went over to her personal belongings in the corner of the store. A couple minutes later, she emerged with my red leather gloves in her hands. She said, "We found these in the trash." I said "thank you," took my gloves and walked out.

Amazed that I am reunited with my gloves, at the same time I am fuming. No, you did not find them in the trash. You found them in my coat pockets where I told you I'd (stupidly) left them. You lied about it and tried to keep them for yourself after changing your story. If you found nothing in my pockets as you originally said, how do you explain the miraculous appearance of my gloves (especially given the fact that I never in our botched conversation explained to anyone that I was looking for red leather gloves, so how did you know these were the gloves in question)?

I am elated to have my gloves back, seeing as their sentimental value trumps any monetary value associated with them. Looks like it's time, though, to find a new dry cleaners, and to always remember to check my pockets.


  1. Wow. I'd like to know what dry cleaner this was, so I can be sure NOT to go there. I'm glad you got them back!!

  2. Oh, we have awful stories of dry cleaners too. Glad you got your gloves back; they are beautiful.

  3. Yes, Kate, I should call these people out! The dry cleaners to avoid:
    Fairfax Court Cleaners
    Fairfax Court Shopping Center
    11256 James Swart Circle

    I too am thrilled, though, that I managed to get my gloves back. I figured they would be gone for good!