Lame Adventure 444: Let There Be Night and Let’s Hang Onto Our Hats

Here it is: the season of four fifty in the afternoon looking like eleven at night. I hate it when the days are so short the sun seems to be setting at half past four. Logically, I know that shorter days and longer nights are natural for this time of year, but it just seems wrong. Even though my pasty white complexion will never be mistaken for the pelt of a sun worshipper, I appreciate daylight, but ‘tis the season when it is in short supply.

Five forty five in the evening on Amsterdam Avenue.

Frosty the Inflated Snowman at five forty- five at night on Amsterdam Avenue.

Meanwhile, on Small Business Saturday, I was buying my holiday cards and Filofax pocket size calendar refill for 2015 at one of my favorite small businesses on the Upper West Side, Cardeology. The storeowner noticed that I had a refill for 2014. I thought that was a good catch and thanked him. He told me that he was no longer carrying Filofax calendar refills.

I felt like I had been stabbed.

How can he cease to carry it? I had been buying my Filofax calendar refills from this guy when his store was located on Columbus Avenue, when his store was a few blocks south on Amsterdam Avenue, and since his store moved north to it’s current Amsterdam Avenue location between West 85th and West 86th Streets. For fifteen years, I have been stalking this man for my Filofax calendar refills.

Me: Are you telling me that the time has come for me to quit my paper calendar? I have to note everything in my iPhone? I like the paper back up. I’m old school.

Cardeology Owner: Go to Gold Leaf’s Stationers. They’re on Amsterdam at 90th.

Me: Are they’re even open at this hour?

“This hour” was five forty-five, but it looked like the dead of night in the City That Never Sleeps. Gold Leaf’s was open and a good recommendation. They had my calendar refill, but I sense night is fast approaching for my relationship with my pocket size paper calendar, this relic of a bygone era after soap on a rope was put out to pasture but before the advent of smart electronic devices. For the time being, my pocket size Filofax calendar refill search had a happy ending, unlike whoever dropped a glove on the sidewalk.

Waving goodbye to its mate.

Waving goodbye to its mate.

Then, I noticed someone had dropped a pair of gloves.

Misery and company.

Misery and company.

It occurred to me that this is lost glove, hat and scarf season. Night quickly overcoming day contributes to the proliferation of the dropsies at this time of year because it’s even easier to miss losing things in the dark. It’s unfortunate that when we drop our gloves, hats and scarves, an alarm doesn’t ring alerting us to the mishap. In fall and winter, there would be a cacophony of constant ringing all over New York City. I would prefer if a sexy, cinematic melody such as the theme to the film, Last Tango in Paris, would accompany my fallen knitwear as opposed to the obnoxious raspberry sound effect bad karma is actually sending my way.

Two weeks ago, I was at the theater on a very chilly night with my friend, Milton, when I suddenly realized that I had lost my hat; a knit cap I had recently purchased. No alarms rang or music played when that happened. Only the less than dulcet tones of my whining could be heard. Milton had seen it on my head when we took our seats, but after I removed it we could not find it anywhere. We looked under, behind and in the sides between our seats. But it seemed to have vanished. It was baffling. At the end of the play, Milton entered Sherlock Holmes mode, determined to find my missing hat. Somehow, it landed at the end of our row, several seats away from us, no doubt unintentionally kicked to kingdom come by Big Foot Bertha. Unlike people who are losing their gloves, left, right and center, never knowing what became of their missing mitt-wear, I got lucky and got my hat back thanks to my friend being part bloodhound. Even though I am headless about losing my things, at least for now I’m not hatless in the dark.

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47 responses to “Lame Adventure 444: Let There Be Night and Let’s Hang Onto Our Hats

  1. Did you know that Dec.4 is the date of earliest sunset for the year. It begins to ever-so-slowly move to later times from that date onward. Sunrise, on the other hand, continues to be later until Jan.4. The shortest combination of daylight hours is around Dec.22nd-ish.

    I had a dropped glove alarm go off the other day, two actually. I returned a container of parmesan cheese to the store purchased about 3 weeks ago. It was turning a pretty shade of blue. Upon getting my refund, I said thanks and left the service counter. Two people said at once ‘You dropped your glove’.

    As to hats, our son had a favorite hat as a two yr old. We headed for a walk along a river thru town. It took us to a small island. At the most downstream point, he took off his hat and tossed it into the river. We watched it float away while wondering why he did that.

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    • I did not know that about December 4, Jim. That was my mother’s birthday! I would have had a lot of fun with that factoid when she was still walking the earth. My brother Axel’s birthday is tomorrow. Anything special going on December 2 aside from his cat deleting business messages off his phone and baking him a tuna cake?

      Isn’t it nice when strangers set off the alarm when you unknowingly drop something? It sounds like you were in the midst of a very attentive cluster. Coincidentally, parmesan cheese sales at your grocer’s have plummeted.

      By now, your son is probably sick of hearing that story about ditching his hat in the river. But I enjoyed it a lot over here! Maybe he thought it was also a Frisbee?

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  2. Subways are good places for winter time hat, scarf and glove spotting. Or even a pair of pants, which I saw on more than one occasion. I don’t remember what the season was, though…

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    • I suspect your person-less pants sighting could have happened during the height of Any Season over here, Jeremy. It’s amazing what one sees in the subway. I’ve spotted countless lip balms, books and even a few basketballs in the tracks redefining the meaning of taking a bad bounce.

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  3. Toward the end of your post, I was feeling a swell of inspiration inside my pea-sized brain to write a post called “Hatless in Manhattan.” Naturally, I would change the names to something like Margo and Wally to protect your and Milton’s identities. But now that you’ve found the hat, the entire exercise seems rather pointless. Why don’t you write it instead and add a few wrinkles to turn it into a mushy little Christmas story?

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  4. I was just thinking that I’m glad we don’t live in some parts of Iceland where the sun goes down at about 3pm. Talk about a short day. I wonder how many gloves and hats Icelanders lose.

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    • My guess, based on nothing more than my being an opinonated hot airbag, is that Icelanders are more attentive about their cold weather gear than always in a hurry New Yorkers. I suspect that Iceland moves at a much less frenetic pace and they don’t do dumb things like stand in line at 5 a.m. for a cronut during a blizzard.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, thank God you’re not hatless! You dodged a bullet there.

    Like you, although I am not a sun-worshipper by any means, I enjoy the longer days of summer, and find that in winter (or Autumn, as it is now) it always seems that it’s “already growing late.” When I lived in Washington State this was especially pronounced. You’d go to work in the morning in darkness and come home in darkness, and it was so, so cold.

    I rarely use gloves, but I still manage to lose them. I have several mateless gloves here in my office. My work gloves are now a mismatched set.

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    • I sure did dodge a bullet! It’s bad enough when it’s dark and cold, but dark, cold and hatless is cruel beyond words, Smak … but clearly fodder for a blog post.

      I’ve been very lucky in the Lost Glove Department. Someone in my building has found them twice. I have no idea who that someone is, so I cannot write their name in for mayor. Like you, Milton is not big on gloves or hats. It has to be wicked cold for him to wear a hat. Last winter when the cold was so fierce, it felt like we were trapped inside a freezer, he gave in and got one. But, I am sure he’s lost it by now. It probably landed on a sidewalk somewhere.

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  6. There should be elastic that can attach to your collar to your hat like the mittens and my grocery list idea. Man this could be a revolution….for nerds….

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I’ve had the same winter hat for 25 years. I would be crushed if I lost it. Gloves on the other hand…what an annoyance to lose them.

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    • I have a winter hat that I’ve had for at least 15 years, but it’s been missing for a while — lost somewhere deep in the black hole I call Home Sour Home. 31 years ago I lost a pair of good gloves in the back of a cab. I have yet to fully recover from that trauma.

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  8. It’s still coming, the shortest day of the year — the 22nd, but the upside is after that, the days, get longer, minute by minute. And you do know that the older you get the faster the Earth spins, therefore, making the days go faster. Look it up, it’s in the thing.

    I lost an awesome fur hat in Trump Bar when we lived in New York, V. It could still be there amongst all that pink marble and brass. And a camera in a cab. Hubby actually called the cab company and thought that someone would actually give our camera back. It didn’t happen. So if you see a camera or a fur hat, it’s mine.

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    • Huh! Interesting. I always assumed that alcohol intake was directly responsible for how fast the earth spins for me, Brig.

      What painful losses a fur hat and a camera! Losses of that magnitude would activate my gastritis. You need a friend with the search and rescue skills of Milton.

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  9. Growing up we used to drive a VW bus. One day the wiper blade fell of in the middle of a storm. Pulling over, we found 1 glove on the side of the road, which we put on the wiper so it wouldn’t scratch the glass. Turns out it worked pretty well, so we left it on there for a while and called it “Glovey.” We drove around the city, waiving at everyone that passed. Thank goodness for random gloves!

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    • What ingenuity! That tale about a lost glove’s second act is right up there with my dad using lemonade to cool our ’63 Chevy’s overheating engine. Isotoner should add “emergency wiper blade replacement” to their packaging.

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  10. Ohhhhh I know what you mean by nighttime falling at 4 pm with family over for the holidays I tried my best to stay out as long as possible before heading home, but nightfall was my downfall. Kids don’t do well in dark playgrounds. And high five to Milton for finding your hat! That always burns me out when I drop stuff and had no idea what happened.

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  11. Ah ha … the post featuring Sleuthing Milton! I have several pertinent comments. 1) I purchased my preferred paper calendar last week! (Blue Sky Weekly/Monthly Planner) 2) If I was a songwriter, I would compose Hatless in the Dark, 3) I couldn;t resist. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZgZxkVrKzk

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  12. Yes, I find it very weird that it’s dark when I leave the office at 5:15 this time of year, V. I don’t think I’ve ever gotten used to it! Glad you found your hat – like you, I really hate losing things.

    Also glad you found your calendar refill, but as a suggestion, you might consider getting used to putting your calendar events in that nice iPhone – it really does work pretty well. I use the iCloud and keep my calendar updated that way. What I love about it is that any changes I make on any of my Apple devices updates on all three (phone, iPad, MacBook) and it really does work very well. And that advice is from someone who lives by her calendar as a healthcare provider in private practice.

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  13. I always wonder about stray shoes along highways. How does anyone lose a shoe while driving down a highway? Yet it seems to be a rather common thing to see them. Just the other day we passed one, and then a half mile or so farther its mate.

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    • I have always thought that little things like shoes get flung out of car windows. But, I have yet to put thought into why anyone would do that. Back to you seeing shoes on the highway, one a half mile apart from the other, maybe that was because they were flung out of a window of a moving car? Now I will return my focus to contemplating the origins of an ink blot on my desk here at The Grind.

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  14. I miss my Filofax. Sometimes I dig it out just to look at it again.

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  15. I’m so happy you got your hat back during this dropsies time of year. 🙂 A happy ending. Like you, the shorter days take a bit to digest. It makes me just want to curl up in a blanket.

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