The other day I needed to put my hair up before a shower, so I groggily reached into the little jar of bobby pins on my bathroom counter, felt around a bit, and realized it was empty. Totally empty. Despite the fact that I’d just bought one of those massive value buckets of bobby pins, like, two weeks ago. I checked all the usual places–bedside table, purse pockets, under the sink–and sure enough, no bobby pins. Seriously, where have all the
cowboys bobby pins gone? Where does every single bobby pin I’ve ever owned disappear to? Here are my theories…
1. They exist in an alternate universe. It sounds a little out there, but honestly, this is the explanation that makes the most sense to me. Here’s how it works: every time a bobby pin falls off your nightstand or into a crack in your bathroom counter, it travels through a portal into an alternate universe in which bobby pins are the dominant species. Bobby pins have their own system of government, their own little bobby pin transportation grids, jobs, family units, and, of course, teeny tiny subservient bobby pins to secure their updos. Sometimes I worry that the bobby pin universe is conspiring to overthrow our own, but generally I believe the bobby pin civilization to be a non-hostile entity that will remain benevolent as long as we keep providing them with fresh bobby pins. Following this logic, by continuing to buy new bobby pins every couple weeks and then losing all of them, I am actually saving the world.
2. They’re in the bottom of my purse. This theory is unlikely (more unlikely than an alternate universe of sentient bobby pins? OK, maybe not), because I have checked the bottom of my purse for stray bobby pins SO MANY TIMES, and I usually find three or four, but not enough to account for the 30,000 bobby pins I have lost in my lifetime. Still, my purse would be an obvious place to lose them, and there’s a chance that they’re so deeply entrenched in the belly of my bag that I will never find them. It would also explain why my purse weighs like 50 pounds even when there’s nothing in there but my wallet and cell phone.
3. They self-destructed after being used once. What if the bobby pin companies have engineered each pin so that it instantly disintegrates after one use? What if this is how they ensure we keep buying bobby pins? What if Big Bobby Pin is staging the biggest corporate coverup since Big Tobacco first learned that cigarettes will kill you? Put that in your pipe and smoke it (but don’t inhale, or you’ll die).
4. They were stolen by a gnome. So, maybe there’s a magical little gnome that’s kind of like Santa except he visits the house of every woman every night and instead of leaving presents he steals all of her bobby pins. Someone needs to stop him. Time to deploy my gnome traps.
5. They’re still in my hair. I have a lot of hair. Every hairdresser I’ve ever had has stopped at least once during my haircut and said, “God, you have a lot of hair.” My friend Molly speaks with genuine awe about my “hair to face ratio.” After I take a shower, the amount of hair in the drain would suggest that someone had just used the tub to shear an Afghan Hound. So is it that improbable, then, that thousands of bobby pins might still be happily residing somewhere in my massive mane? I guess there’s only one way to find out. Hand me the razor, I’m going in.