I lost two mittens last week - not a pair of mittens - two single mittens that had each been part of another pair. This left me with one black mitten and one red, thereby making it difficult to pass them off as a pair (to complicate matters the red one is actually a glove). Instead I spent the week with my hands tucked in my sleeves while two perfectly functional but ill-matched mittens sat handless at home.
The loss of a single mitten, as many of you know, is deeply distressing, almost moreso than losing the pair. At least when you lose a pair, you have a faint hope of being reunited with them again, or you can imagine that some other pair of hands has found their comfort in sub-zero temperatures. With one mitten awol, you're simply left wondering whether to give up hope and toss the other one or hold out for a miracle.
And if you've ever tried to buy mittens post-Christmas, you know that it's an almost impossible task. You're more likely to find shorts and a t-shirt than mittens, although there's a solid three months of winter ahead (she says optimistically).
I wasn't prepared to admit defeat yet and set out on the challenging quest to find new mittens, so I held out, hoping I'd glance across a crowded room and see one of my mislaid mittens again. Then it happened. I woke up one morning late last week with the realization that the last time I'd had the mittens as a set, I'd put them in my workout bag after arriving at work. I leapt out of bed and peered into the bag, almost afraid to hope. Much to my delight, there was the poofy black mitten, all warm and inviting and, I'm sure, if mittens could talk, just as happy to see me as I was to see it.
My red mitten remains alone, envious of the black mitten's good fortune in being reunited with its mate. I remain hopeful that it too will find its happy ending as a match on my cold hands. Having experienced this ordeal, I feel quite sure I will never hear the story of the three little kittens who've lost their mittens quite the same way again (although it does beg the question: Why are little kittens wearing mittens when they have their own built in?) And as I count my blessings on this - one of the coldest days of the year - you can be assured that matching mittens are at the top of the list.