Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Wisconsin 101: Glove rules <> finders keepers
It didn't take much paying attention for me to realize that 1. there are lost gloves all over the place and 2. the proper protocol is not to take said lost glove home with you, throw it in the washing machine and use it because you lost one of your gloves and wanted to keep both of your hands warm.
I am a taker of lost gloves. When we were in Paris, I lost one black glove. Fortunately, I had a second pair of gloves with me, but the second pair red gloves? Did not enhance my Michelin woman outfit of down vest underneath the vinyl zebra-skin coat that by itself was not warm enough for the freezing Paris temps and even with the down vest underneath, giving me that welcome added bulk around my belly, was still not warm enough.
As SH and I strolled down the Paris street, as I kept my eye on the sidewalk so I could walk around the dog poop, I saw a black glove.
It was like a sign.
A sign that I should be wearing black gloves.
Even though SH, who is 1. remarkably squeamish and 2. a eater of raw meat, tendon, and tripe, was disgusted, I picked it up and brought it home without a second thought. My imported, French black glove that almost matches my one remaining black Target $3 glove. I washed it and now I'm cool. I have a pair of black gloves again.
But what I learned last night is that when you find a lost glove, you are supposed to take it to the lost and found or stick it on a fencepost (if you're outside next to the library) or put it on top of the vending machine (if you're at the Y). You are not supposed to assume ownership of the glove.
Fortunately for my friend Bonnie, most Wisconsin people have better glove manners than I do and Do The Right Thing. If I had found her cute Marks and Spencer fur cuff glove - her IMPORTED ENGLISH GLOVE - I might have kept it and hoped the other glove would fall in my path as well.
Bonnie, her husband Gary, SH and I went to a show last night in downtown Milwaukee. We met at the theater. They walked into the lobby after we did, Bonnie slightly bereft because she had lost one of her IMPORTED ENGLISH GLOVES on the way from the car to the theater.
Why she lost it doesn't matter, even though it's because somebody had to know while they were walking if she had the tickets (even though she had already checked her purse at our house to make sure she did) which meant she had to take off her glove to open and get into her purse.
She lost the glove, so she and Gary retraced their steps in an IMPORTED ENGLISH GLOVE search.
After the show, I suggested SH and I walk with them for one more glove search expedition. Gary, who is not as concerned with IMPORTED ENGLISH GLOVES as Bonnie, SH and I are, was not excited about the idea, but I nagged.
"Two eyes good, four eyes better," I said, even though that wasn't exactly accurate. I should have said "pairs of eyes," but then the allusion becomes awkward and nobody gets it.
We walked around three of the four sides of the theater complex in the cold, windy Milwaukee night. We walked past the point where they had searched the first time. It was a cold Tuesday evening downtown. Not busy. We were hoping the glove would still be there.
Bonnie was a little bit sad that we had not found the glove but put on a brave face. Gary was not very sympathetic, but he is a guy and does not understand why the loss of an IMPORTED ENGLISH GLOVE with a cute fur cuff would be such a tragedy. To most men, I suppose, gloves are merely something to keep the hands from freezing. But to Bonnie and me, a cute IMPORTED ENGLISH GLOVE with a fur cuff is a fashion item that draws comment and admiration, because these gloves are indeed noteworthy.
(SH cared about the IMPORTED ENGLISH GLOVE because he hates losing things.)
"Marks and Spencer is like the English Target," Gary commented.
Well, I like the American Target and the English Target has a certain cachet if you ask me. Why yes I'm a snob. Is that news to you?
I felt bad that I had encouraged everyone to waste their time.
SH suggested we walk back through the theater complex as a shortcut. "Plus it will be warmer than being outside," he noted.
We took four steps inside the complex. SH wandered over to the Pabst Theater box office, which was closed. Which bugged me because now that we had failed on our glove hunting mission, I wanted to get home, eat some more of the raspberry chocolate tart we'd had for dessert, and go to bed. Why was he detouring? That man has NO SENSE of efficiency.
SH turned to Bonnie, holding something in his hand.
"Is this it?"
It was Bonnie's IMPORTED ENGLISH GLOVE.
Somebody had found it on the sidewalk, brought it inside, and left it on the ledge of the box office.
Somebody had Done The Right Thing.
Somebody was a far far better human being than I. Lucky for Bonnie.