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The Case of the Missing Rain Boots

I’ve looked everywhere for them — on the shelves of our garage, in closets, in the trunk of the car, underneath a pile of gardening supplies left over from last year’s growing season, etc. Still, I can’t find my rain boots anywhere. They’ve been missing in action (MIA) for about four months now, and I’m aggravated about it. It’s as if aliens beamed down to earth, picked up my black rain boots with the multicolor polka dots, and absconded to their faraway world hidden away in the stars. I can’t come up with any other solution to the mystery. Well, there is one other possibility …

I’ve interrogated my husband at least a dozen times.

“Gene, are you sure you haven’t seen my rain boots? Could you have possibly thrown them away, by accident?” I’ve asked over and over again.

The fourth or fifth time I asked, he stopped what he was doing and stared a hole right through my head.

“No, I didn’t throw away your boots. I don’t know where they are or what happened to them, but I had nothing to do with their disappearance,” he said firmly.

I detect no dishonesty in his voice or mannerisms, so I suppose he could be innocent in the matter of the missing rain boots.

But where are they? What happened to them? I know this: they didn’t just walk away on their own.

My stepfather, Johnny Collins, gave me the rain boots for Christmas two years ago. Instead of buying Christmas gifts for everyone in our large family, we draw names, and Johnny drew my name that year. The following week, he and my mother asked me for a few gift ideas of things I might like or need. I had seen the rain boots on display at my local Tractor Supply Company and thought they’d be perfect to wear on gardening days.

“If they get muddy, I can quickly wash them off with the water hose a snd set them in the sun to dry,” I said. “And since the rubber uppers go well up my calves, I don’t have to worry about a copperhead biting me and killing me deader than dead.”

I was delighted to open the box containing the rain boots that year during our family’s holiday gift-swapping extravaganza. I thanked Johnny several times saying, “These are exactly what I wanted. Thank you!”

I started wearing them the following week, and they were everything I’d dreamed they would be. They were comfortable; they kept my feet dry; they were easy to slide on and off; and they were easy to clean. After a few weeks, I began leaving them outside our laundry room door. It was a convenient location since I’m constantly going in and out that door during gardening season. Then one day, they weren’t there.

I could tell my husband wasn’t a fan of the big, clunky black rain boots — I could tell the way he looked at me when I was wearing them. He denies this, but I know it’s true. That’s why he’s always been my prime suspect in their disappearance. He had a motive.

But he’s tired of being blamed.

“Do you think I’ll ever find them?” I asked him last weekend as we stood in the garage.

“I know you think I did something with them, but I didn’t,” he answered. “So, yes. At some point, some day, I think we’ll come across them, and you will owe me a big apology.”

We’ve lost things before. I’m always amazed when socks disappear in the laundry, as if eaten by the washer or dryer monster.

And lately, I’ve walked around the house for five minutes looking for lost reading glasses only to discover them perched on top of my head, but at least I found them, unlike my black rain boots.

A 2017 study revealed that Americans spend 2.5 days a year looking for misplaced items. The top misplaced item is the TV remote, closely followed by phones, keys, glasses, and shoes.

I’ve already spent well over 2.5 days looking for my black rain boots with the multi-color polka dots, but I will never quit searching for them — never, ever. I wonder if I’ll ever find them.

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