I like to think that over the years I have learned to curb the worst of my disorganisation and to keep the bulk of the chaos in my head from leaking out and getting all over my life; sadly it seems I am not quite there.
I was in the market recently for a Christening present for my God-daughter-to-be. After looking high and low in every department store in town I was very happy to find exactly what I wanted in John Lewis, a lovely little silver cross on a delicate chain; sadly the clerk checked and double-checked the stock then and asked her manager to go and look again before telling me that definitively there were none left. Seeing my down-cast face, the manager brightened up, opened the display case, took out the cross and then took her time with the silver cloth polishing it. She found a box in perfect condition, located the original silk bag, boxed it, checked it again and only then would she take my money.
By this point she'd spent about 15 minutes helping me out, none-the-less she jumped me to the front of the queue and rang it up, at which point I opened my handbag to discover that my bank-card was gone and I had no cash.
I cast my mind back and clear as day recalled buying a top-up for my oyster card that morning and telling myself as I jammed my card away that I was putting it somewhere stupid and would probably never find it again. Cursing myself under my breath but with renewed effort, knowing that it was just hidden and not actually lost, I redoubled my efforts, patting and prodding and yanking endless piles of crap out of the maw of my bag.
The manager watched as the minutae of my life began to take shape on her counter. I told her, as I pulled out tissues and toy car wheels, that I knew I'd put it somewhere stupid. She smiled, indulgently. I searched. She gamely kept smiling.
Just as I was down to the lint balls and feeling the lining hopefully, I remembered where I had put my card. With a flourish, I dove in and pulled it... out of my bra.
The look on her face was worth every second I spent fumbling around in the damn bag. After we had both fallen about fairly substantially I left thinking that sometimes a little bit of chaos isn't such a bad thing. Nor, for that matter, is a decent bra...