I do stupid things. Usually this is from either trying to do too many things at once or being flustered from trying to do too many things at once. One of the stupider things I’ve done recently is leave my giant purse open on the floor behind my driver’s seat. I hit the brakes on the way home from teaching a late class out in Prince William, so I figured that whatever the clacking sound that came after braking was Future Kelly’s problem and nothing I felt like dealing with that night.
The next morning, I was trying to find my cell, but gave up after it didn’t turn up in my purse, bedroom, home office, or any of the other levels in our house. I figured it was at work and stopped thinking about it. The phone didn’t end up being at work, so I was minorly concerned about having lost it. That night I figured I should search for it a little more. I eventually made my way out to the car, home phone in hand, to try calling it. Nothing. I went around the house again with the home phone. Nothing. I figured that every time I’ve lost something, it’s been under my driver’s seat. Even completely improbable things like hair brushes, jewelry, and spoons have made their way under the seat; which is really weird because I don’t store things in the car or have anything out of place in there.
I tried calling the phone and listening more carefully, contorting myself to fit squeeze down halfway under the driver’s seat. It was then that I heard a distant vibrating. Great, I left the phone on vibrate for class. Now it would take technology to try to find the phone.
After an hour of reaching, lifting, pushing, and getting bruised, I realized that I’d have to finally admit to someone that I had lost my phone…inside the car. As in deep in the bowels. I had learned enough on my recon mission to know that the phone had made its way into the iPhone-shaped hole that would have a one-in-a-million chance of swallowing a phone for anyone besides me. I figured my dad would be the best person to admit this to since he already bought a flexible, colonoscopy-type camera to shove into the depths of his car to find my mom’s wedding ring (that’s another story, indeed).
Dad and I aren’t known for elegant solutions. Vandersluises are fast and powerful kinds of people when we want to get a job done. For example, my dad bought a gigantic snow blower with a headlight that’s pretty much rated for Antarctic snow. He’s used it once for a legitimate reason, but otherwise uses it to clear the typical DC one inch of snow. So, anyway, we’re all about tools and impressive maneuvers for problem solving. We thought it was a brilliant idea to crow-bar up the carpet and then have me shove my arm down the vent. It didn’t work, and it hurt. We then tried driving up my parents’ steep hill and slamming the breaks to get the phone to move back toward the opening. None of this worked. That meant something worse than just getting a new phone – admitting what I (and my dad) had done.
When I got home, Eric spent three hours disassembling my seat and floor piece by piece in the garage. He then drilled a hole in the vent, narrowly missing the phone screen, pushed in a hanger, and propelled the phone out the vent surprisingly unscathed. He was sweaty, bruised, scratched, and displeased. And the driver’s side of my car was still all over the garage. The look he gave me after everything was back together and settled down was about equal to if he had found me at 30 years old with my head stuck in the stair railing. My husband thinks I’m an idiot, but at least he feels useful.