I like to do puzzles. I know it seems low-tech and old-fashioned for a gal who is perpetually attached to her iPhone, but I enjoy the mental work involved in piecing together a picture. And, there is something so insanely gratifying about spending hours working on a puzzle and finally seeing it through to completion. Too many things in my life are never truly finished. I do laundry, put it away, and tomorrow morning dirty clothes have magically reappeared. There is no personal gratification. If I do a puzzle, however, I end up with actual physical proof that I accomplished something. It’s borderline miraculous.
I am truly OCD when I work on puzzles too. I will happily work along for hours in an oblivious fog. Eventually it will dawn on me that the house is unreasonably quiet. Looking up, I will notice that it’s 11 o’clock and my entire family has gone to bed without me. At that point, the obsessive compulsive bargaining begins. I’ll go to bed right after I find the next piece. It’s a little game I play with myself. Ask me how many times I find that piece and go right to bed. The answer is never. I often will end up getting three hours of sleep a night until I finish the stupid puzzle.
This week I opened a small puzzle (750 pieces), just enough to keep me busy in off times for a couple days. My family helped out, but mostly it was me spending hours staring at the cartoon drawing of One Hundred Dogs and a Cat. I was about two-thirds to puzzle completion when I got the sneaking suspicion that there might be pieces missing. I had my kids scour the floor for missing pieces. They couldn’t find any. Knowing all too well how not thorough they are in the “looking” department, I too crawled around on the hard wood floor under the dining table. Twice. Nothing.
Sure enough. When every last available piece of the puzzle was placed into the framework, there were three conspicuous holes in the art. Oh, how I hate that. It seems unfair to work so long at something only to have it not totally complete. It was a brand new puzzle too. I had opened the plastic package myself. I was diligent about carefully laying the pieces on the table and vigilant about making sure none were being swept onto the floor for the dog to mangle. Yet there they were. Three holes in an otherwise perfect puzzle. Oh…the humanity!
This same thing happened to me with two other puzzles in the past year: One Hundred Mice and a Cheese and One Hundred Elephants and a Mouse both were missing pieces as well. Not to sound paranoid and delusional (on top of obsessive compulsive), but I am now absolutely convinced that Ceaco (the puzzle company) is screwing with me. Somewhere in a factory there is some sick, sadistic puzzle maker who is purposely dropping a couple pieces from what would otherwise be a whole puzzle onto the floor at work just to mess with me. I hope he knows there is a toasty place in hell for him where he can work on incomplete puzzles for eternity. I hope you enjoy karma, jerk.