Underneath my yellow skin

Minor stresses bringing major headaches

I was talking to my brother yesterday about something we need to get done by the end of the year when he brought up something else. Ugh. Ok. It has a long backstory that I’ll try to keep short. In order to be declared the children of our  parents in Taiwan, my brother and I had to get it declared to be true by the Taiwanese kids department in Chicago. Not the actual department, of course, but that’s the purpose. We had to send them our birth certificates in order for them to verify we were, indeed, the children of our parents. Which, I mean….ok. Whatever. It was a chore because Taiwanese people have a very different way of doing business, but it got done. I put the document away ‘in a safe place’ and promptly forget about it.

Fast-forward to the phone call yesterday with my brother. He mentioned that our mother had informed him (because this is always how this happened) that our father had been furious because he needed copies of this for some family land thing and we didn’t give them to him. But, we didn’t know about it and neither did our mother. Which is totally in keeping with my father’s M.O. I have no doubt if you asked him, he’d insist that he told someone about it–probably my mother. He’s a raging narcissist and assumes that anything that is important to him is important to everyone else and they should KNOW–at least by osmosis if nothing else. So, of course, why my mother conveys it to my brother and/or me, there’s a sense of urgency about it that is strongly impressed upon us. My brother is able to  ignore this pressure to a certain extent, though it can get to him as well.

I was sure I knew where this document was. Under the coffee table on the shelf that is there. That’s where I would have put it, probably in a book to be ‘safe’. I’m not saying this is a good idea, mind, but I know the way I work. This was several months ago, and I probably promised myself I would put it somewhere safer when I got around to it–which I never would. Wait. That’s not exactly true. I thought it was in the first drawer in the kitchen because that’s where I put everything important. I rummaged in that drawer while talking to my brother and he mentioned he didn’t think it was there (because we had ransacked it several times when looking for a key we couldn’t find). He said he thought it was on the coffee table (he was the one who brought it over to me so many months ago) and it clicked in my brain that this was correct.


I looked through the papers on the shelf under the coffee table while talking to my brother and couldn’t find the document. After hanging up with my brother, I looked more thoroughly and still couldn’t find it. My stress level increased as I continued to search in other places. No go. I checked all my ‘safe’ places–nowhere to be found. I cast my mind back to when my brother brought it to me. I could picture him handing it over to me and me taking it in hand. I recall where I placed it, but it’s not there. I cannot think of anything after that, which is frustrating as hell. I vaguely remember bringing it out for some reason, maybe to look at the unique stamp (it goes across four pages, folded, which is very cool). Or to talk about it with my mother for some reason? Either way, I can’t picture what I did afterwards and it’s driving me bananas.

I have looked on the shelf under the coffee table four or five times. I am sure it is there, but experience is telling me differently. It doesn’t help that the key I was looking for, which my brother said would be in a red envelope, was in a place that we’d searched several times before. The problem was that I was thinking red envelope like the kind Taiwanese people give money in (almost regular envelope size) and it turned out to be a small red envelope that looked more like a luggage tag than an envelope. It didn’t help that it was next to my backpack so I just assumed it was a tag for that bag. The point is that my mind says this could be a similar situation especially since I’m 99% sure that’s where I put it. I could have moved it elsewhere, but I can’t imagine for the life of me where. Well, I know one place, but it’s not there.

I’m so frustrated and don’t know what to do. I’m going to look everywhere in the living room again including the coffee table because I feel it *must* be here.

I hate this about me. I hate that I didn’t immediately put it somewhere truly safe (or maybe I did and can’t think of where it might be) rather than just put it where it was easy. I’m horrified that I might have tossed it in one of my fits of cleaning. It’s eating away at me and I hope that I can find it before I go to sleep tonight. Otherwise, I don’t know what I’ll do. I might have to get another copy, which will feel like the end of the world. Not a good day today.

At least it’s snowing.

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