I lose things.

Papers, clothes, receipts and, mostly, keys.

I’ve torn the house apart so many times looking for keys I created a key station just to make sure that doesn’t happen. But you know how that goes: You unlock a door, the phone rings and the next thing you know you’ve forgotten where the keys are.

I’ve pawed through garbage more times than I care just looking for the stupid things.

Usually, they’re in a coat pocket, in a bag or on the wrong counter but that doesn’t stop me from digging through three bags of garbage filled with leftovers.

I’ve left them in the car, too, but I blame those occasions on the phone. If I’m too busy talking I don’t have the good sense to make sure I’m taking everything else with me.

The worst “where are they?” moment happened on Christmas Eve. I was certain I left my license on a coffee table and it somehow had gotten swept up in the wrapping paper. While others were entertaining visions of sugar plums, I was dancing in a dumpster, looking through an apartment building’s trash. After an hour, I gave up, went back inside and plopped on the couch. There, between the cushions, was the license.

Socks never prompt a mad dash around the house – they’re usually stuck inside fitted sheets – but a misplaced TV remote can get me to clean the house faster than someone knocking at the door.

I’ve left papers for work at home and papers for home at work.

I’ve misplaced glasses, shoes and ties. And, I’ve spent more sleepless nights retracing steps just in case inspiration strikes.

I thought I’d been through the worst and, then, in May, I went to New York and lost my phone.

To back up – my sister and I went to a rather lackluster taping of “Live with Kelly and Ryan” and had to walk five blocks in pouring rain. To get out of the monsoon, we stopped at a shopping mall.

There, we split up and went our separate ways, determined to dry out.

I looked at pants, shirts, ties, shoes and suits. I tried on a suit and when the clerk said it made me look sexy, I decided to get it. (Talk about sucker for flattery.)

In no time at all, the tailor turned up, measured the pants and jacket and told me I was ready to go.

When I went to pay, I realized I didn’t have my cellphone.

Did I leave it in the dressing room?

I panicked, searched everywhere and told the clerk the news.

“Where else were you?” he asked. The rest room, I remembered. So, before I even thought of paying, I went back to the mall facilities and searched every urinal and stall – except for one. I waited and got the strangest look from a man at a sink. “I lost my phone,” I tried to explain. “That’s harsh, man,” he said. “Good luck.”

I knew what he was thinking: “You are never, ever getting that thing back.”

When I finally got in the stall, it wasn’t there. I rushed back to the store and the clerk told me I should try calling the number.

Of course, I had no phone to do that. I also didn’t know my sister’s number because, um, it’s stored in the phone.

“Go to the customer service desk and report it,” the clerk said. “It may turn up. I’ll try calling your phone.”

There, the woman was sympathetic, not hopeful. “Fill out these forms. Sometimes, they turn up. Not always. But sometimes.”

The clock was ticking and, soon, it was time to meet my sister at our designated spot.

When I told her the news, she said, “Why did you do something like that?”

The phone didn’t just have her number, it included all of my contacts, details about tickets I had purchased and every picture I’ve taken in the last six years.

We went back to the store and the clerk told me he had called 18 times, cut his mother off once and still didn’t get a response.

“When did you last have it?” my sister asked, well aware of my history. “You looked at it after you got out of the rest room because we set the time to meet.” She was right – as much as I hated to admit it. That meant it had to be in the store somewhere, but where?

The clerk said he’d call the number while I searched. Pants? No. Shirts? No. Jackets? No. Ties….bingo!

There, on a black counter was my black phone. I was happier than when the clerk told me I looked sexy.

I grabbed it and vowed I’d either hang it around my neck on a chain like Flavor Flav or get a lime green case.

I know lime green might not go with everything, but when I’m wearing a sexy suit, who will notice?

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