It’s a much kinder, softer word than “lost.”
“Misplaced” suggests that our missing items might well be found. “Lost” implies that they’ve taken a hike and are apt never to be seen again.
We all misplace stuff. It’s usually just the little stuff that hides in places we’ve been but forgot we were ever there. We don’t worry about it too much anymore. It’s normal.
It’s also normal for me to receive a call from the nice young man who is willing to come to my house twice a week to try to resurrect this old body into something more than a bag of bones. His recent call was normal but the message wasn’t. It went like this: “Hi, Sallie. I’ve lost my dumbbells. Did I leave them at your house?”
Now, it’s one thing to lose eyeglasses, socks and keys; quite another, at least in my opinion, to lose dumbbells. Five of them, to boot. Ranging from two pounds to ten. “No,” I said. “I’m pretty sure I’d have seen them if they were here. And I would have called you immediately so you could take them away. Far, far away.”
Now, the good news is that he found them. Where doesn’t matter. I know he found them because he brought them with him the last time he was here. I was hopeful they’d been “lost” but apparently they were just “misplaced.”
I’m trying to restore my faith in his ability to catch me when I trip, fall backwards, sideways or harshly down the stairs. There is equipment and activity involved in this whole exercise thing that relies heavily on trust. If he “misplaced” his dumbbells, what else has gone missing?
In fact, I still have total faith in him and will continue to do so. Errant dumbbells notwithstanding.