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May 17, 2013

STAWAR: We’re all losers

Lately it seems like we are constantly losing things.  My wife Diane couldn’t find the charger for her cell phone. I can’t find my flash drive and I’m still searching for an old check register to verify a check written years ago.

Comedian George Carlin once said that when you die and go to heaven, the first thing they do is give you back all the things that you’ve lost during your lifetime. I’m looking forward to being reunited with my college class ring. It was an expensive flashy icon of bad taste that slipped off my finger in a remote Mississippi swamp back in 1973. I was on a diet at the time that somehow only made my ring finger skinnier. 

If the survey of 3,000 British adults by the insurance company esure last year is anywhere near accurate, Carlin’s fantasy would be especially time consuming, considering that the average person loses close to 200,000 items in a lifetime. This averages out to be about nine misplaced items a day, or 3,285 a year. In addition, we spend from 10 to 15 minutes each day looking for missing things. This adds up too, so that on the average, people devote about six months of their lives looking for things they’ve lost. 

To no one’s surprise, men are worse about losing things than women. I just hate the panicky feeling when I pat a pocket and notice that my keys or wallet are missing. Diane says that just talking about losing things makes her anxious and she works hard to develop habits to prevent such losses. 

About 40 percent of couples report arguing over lost items. Nikki Sellers, head of home insurance at esure says that most folks “blame their bad luck on a hectic lifestyle.” About 75 percent of losses occur in the home, with the rest taking place at work, in the car or other venues. 

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