Last week, I went to my closet and brought down the clear plastic tub on the shelf up top where we keep scarves and knitted caps. I was looking for a pair of winter gloves. I like the brown leather kind—soft, supple and warm—that have a slit on the back with a snap so you can tighten them on your wrist if you want to.
I found only one in the tub, which was discouraging. A right. So I shoved the tub back up and went with a pair of work gloves that day. The next day, my wife turned up a complete pair of men’s leather gloves, a left and a right, in a drawer. So that was good. Except it wasn’t. The left was brown and the right was black. Nevertheless, I set the brown and black gloves down side by side on my desk, got out the lone brown glove from the tub and brought it over. I crossed my fingers. The odds were one out of two that that first brown glove would be the same hand as the black glove. I’d have a pair.
Now, you can’t go around with a brown on one hand and a black on the other unless you are prepared to keep one or the other hand in your pocket all the time. Everybody knows that.
I did, briefly, try putting one of the two left-hand brown gloves on my right hand, but you know how that turned out. Why did I do that? I wondered. Then I tried the other brown glove on my right hand with the same result.
I have to confess that I did go out that day, a cold day, with one black glove and one brown glove. I was aware of it, and it went pretty well. There was one time, however, when, sitting on a bench, I folded my hands in my lap and conversation stopped. It was back to the work gloves.
The next morning, with the work gloves on, I took a Jitney to Manhattan, where we have an apartment. Walking through Central Park around noon, I found, smack in the middle of the path, a brown men’s leather right-hand glove. Someone is going to come back for this, I thought. Then I thought, no they won’t. I looked this way and that. I was alone. With one quick graceful move, I picked it up and stuffed it into my shoulder bag. Aha.
What a lucky day, I thought. Thank you, Lord.
When we got back to the Hamptons I immediately went over to my desk and the three other leather gloves. But there were only two, the brown left and the black right. I went through everything on my desk. No number 3. Well. It didn’t really matter because I had the Holy Grail in my bag. Then I remembered something. I remember taking the found glove out in the city and putting it somewhere.
I was down to two gloves.
On my next trip back to the city, I stubbornly wore the black and brown gloves. This was going to be great.
This is a true story. I could not find where I had put the glove I’d found in Central Park. I spent a humiliating three days there wearing a brown and black glove.
Why, you might ask, don’t I just go out and buy a new pair of brown leather gloves? I don’t know. It just seemed that I had this problem solved. Why spend money for nothing?
Then a miracle happened. Back in East Hampton a few days later, I was walking down Newtown Lane when, holy mackerel, I spied still another brown glove, this time in the gutter. WHAT WERE THE CHANCES OF THAT? It was soaked. But I didn’t care. I picked it up (in my black-gloved hand), squeezed the water out of it, carried it back to the house, washed it in hot water and hung it up to dry. It is, you should know, another right. But it’s a woman’s glove. It’s no help at all.
The glove story continues.