I don't remember exactly how long ago I got my black leather gloves. I know they weren't the first - in fact they are probably my 3rd or maybe even 4th pair of black gloves. I like leather gloves for driving in during the winter, and they look good with both casual and dressy outfits.
I know they are at least 2 years old. I suspect they were new(ish) when this story began, 2 winters ago. I was wearing my black leather gloves every day, and it was the middle of winter. I remember one day when I was getting ready to leave work. I found a single glove in the pocket of my coat, but not two. I looked all over the office, in my bags, in my coat. Then I went to my car and looked there. No extra glove anywhere. I was fairly sure I'd had them in the morning, as I would have remembered driving to work without them. The steering wheel gets cold.
That night I looked everywhere at home, and still couldn't find my other glove. The next morning I wore different gloves, and looked everywhere as I retraced my steps from the day before. Not in the lobby, not in the stairwell, not in the hallway... I asked at the reception desk, and told all my coworkers about my missing glove. A fresh coat of snow had fallen sometime in the previous 24 hours, which made it unlikely that it would be found. If I'd dropped it in the parking lot, it was buried by now.
I remember standing with some coworkers, and we were all looking out the window at the parking lot. We actually saw a glove on a snow bank, but when I checked it out later I found it to be a knit glove not mine. Mine seemed gone for good.
Fast forward a week or two, and a thaw had come. I was leaving the office at the end of the day, and I happened to glance down in the parking lot. There was a dark and bedraggled-looking bit of cloth. I picked it up, and found that it was a leather glove - or at least once it had been a leather glove. It was stiff with caked-in salt, had been underneath the snow and ice, and had clearly been run over several times. However it looked like it had been about my size.
I took it home with me.
I washed it in the sink, not expecting much. I found that it was indeed black leather, and it did indeed match my other glove. I'd found my glove! After it dried, I washed it again. Much to my surprise, it came out just fine. The leather was soft and scuffed, but it didn't look any worse than my other well-worn glove.
I continued to wear those gloves for the rest of the year, then all of the following year.
Fast forward 2 years to this year, 2014. I was still wearing those same gloves, and they were quite thin by now. When winter hit in December with its full force, I would come home from work most days with numb and frozen fingers. My thin leather gloves were no match for the sub-arctic temperatures this winter was giving me. I asked for new gloves for Christmas.
I accidentally asked too many people for gloves, and ended up with 4 different pairs of gloves. I put the leather gloves in my backpack as spares, and started wearing my new gloves.
Fast forward to March 14th, today. The weather people had been predicting temperatures in the 40's for today, so when I left for work I didn't bring any of my new gloves. I thought that with temperatures that warm, I wouldn't need them!
As I drove to work this morning, I found myself wishing I'd brought gloves after all. The steering wheel was cold, and the temperature hadn't hit 40 yet. Then I remembered my spare gloves, and with one hand I dug into my backpack as I drove. I found my old gloves in the bottom of my pack, soft and supple, warm like old friends.
I put them on, and was amazed at how comfortable and cozy they felt. None of my new Christmas gloves had formed themselves to my hands yet like my old gloves had, even though they were warmer, and I found myself surprised by how much I'd missed these gloves. The temperature today was perfect for thin leather gloves, too.
That's why, this evening after work, I wore my old leather gloves when my sweetie and I went out to dinner. Going out to dinner proved to be difficult though. The first restaurant we visited had over an hour's wait. At the next restaurant, M dropped me off in the parking lot so I could run in and check the wait. It was also over an hour, so I hopped back into the car and we headed for restaurant #3. We were too hungry to wait for 70 to 90 minutes.
The third time was perfect, and we had a nice meal. As we got up to go, and I gathered my belongings though, I stopped. "What's wrong," M asked. "No gloves." I looked in my pockets, on the floor, everywhere - my gloves weren't with us. "That's okay, I must have left them in the car."
In the car, I found a single glove - sitting in the space between the seat and the door. Uh-oh. Not a good sign. We looked under the car, and around the parking lot, but there was no second glove to be found. "That's okay, it's no big deal."
We got in the car and drove off. M pointed out that the gloves had lived a good long life. I agreed, but then I thought about how happy I had been this morning to be reunited with them. I asked him, were we near the second restaurant? Of course, we had just passed it. He asked if I wanted him to turn around. "If it's not too much trouble...?"
I thought it over, and realized the most likely thing that could have happened was that I'd taken my gloves off in the car while looking on my phone for an alternate restaurant. When I'd jumped out of the car at the second restaurant, there was a chance that my gloves had still been sitting on my lap at that point. That would explain the single glove right by the door, and the missing second glove.
There was a chance that it would be in front of the second restaurant, or that somebody had turned it in there. It turned out to be a huge pain to turn around through all the traffic at that particular point in the road, but M did so anyway. "Maybe we need to get you clips," he suggested, "to attach your gloves to your jacket."
When we finally got back to the second restaurant, he dropped me off again while circling the parking lot. I crossed the driveway, avoiding the cars, when I saw it right in front of the curb. In traffic, quietly waiting for me, being run over. My glove.
I bent over and picked it up, startling a trio of men in business suits. I think they thought that perhaps I'd tripped or fallen, because who would bend over and pick up a dirty black rag in the middle of the driveway? They asked if I was okay, and I said, "Everything is great! I found my glove!" They hurried away from the weird girl picking up trash. I stood there waiting for M to finish circling, daintily clutching my wet and dirty prize in the tips of my fingers. Success!
Hopefully it will clean up just as well as it did the first time. I'm not sure if it was the left or the right glove that was lost and found two years ago, but clearly this pair of gloves - while it does like to go wandering sometimes - intends to stay a part of my life for a long time.
(You can see that the left one has been squashed very flat. It is also very wet and dirty, although I'm not sure that really shows in the photo.)