Murphy’s Law (of cost)

A few weeks ago I visited my favorite consignment shop to load up Thomas with some new clothes. The kid’s busted out of everything he owns. I scored him a cute jean jacket for, like, four bucks, and then I stumbled across a jean jacket in Ruthie’s size from The Gap. At $12 it cost twice as much as anything I ever buy the kids at this point, but I knew it was AT LEAST half off what it sells for in the store, plus it was just a little big on her so I knew she’d be wearing it for awhile.

Last week it disappeared from the coat hooks at her preschool. I asked her teacher about it, I looked outside on the playground, I checked the dress-up box, and I even posted a note in case someone else accidentally took it home.


I’m not sure why, in light of war and famine and death on college campuses, I am holding on so tightly to my bitterness over losing this jacket. Maybe because she wore it all of three times. Maybe because it seems inconceivable to me that someone would steal it, or not return it if taken mistakenly. Maybe because I know it’s somewhere right under my nose and I just can’t see it. Maybe I’m realizing this is just the beginning of the next twelve years in which my children will be losing their things at school.

Or maybe, just maybe, it’s because I spent more than six dollars on it. It happens all the time with my sunglasses, so why not with my kids’ clothes? It’s the Law of Cost: spend $6 on a pair of sunglasses and they are with you for life; spend $20 and they are gone in sixty seconds.

It’s fate. It can’t be stopped.

2 thoughts on “Murphy’s Law (of cost)”

  1. Hi Jen,

    You knew the intrinsic value of the jacket – the real worth and the price you paid. Someone else knew that value [maybe] and paid nothing when they took it. That is probably what hurts the most.

    It’s hard fathom why people act as if they are entitled to take what doesn’t belong to them or not return it when they realize it it isn’t theirs.

    One way to deal with the loss is to imagine that they needed it more. By letting go, you get the opportunity to receive more.

    I once had a light stolen off my bicycle less than a week after I bought it. I probably saw the person who did it a few minutes before I discovered my loss which bugged me even more. The funny thing is, if it had been stolen three months later, I wouldn’t have minded as much because it would, by that time, have had a useful life in my possession.

    Be Well,



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