A tale of two lost watches September 21, 2023 — by Sunny Cao Graphic by Isabelle WangThe two watches I lost in various places. How I learned to cherish every little moment with my possessions. We’ve all had that moment of panic when you suddenly pat your pockets and find something missing. But for me, I’d be nervously staring dejectedly at my empty wrist. As a child, I had a big infatuation with wanting to be older and feel like an adult. A small part of that dream came true when I received my first watch for my 7th birthday. It was a cute Swatch with a blue band on one side and a pink band on the other. And even better, the watch face had glow-in-the-dark numbers! At the prime age of 7, wearing that watch made me feel so adult-like and sophisticated. I always tended to it so carefully, making sure to take it off every time I washed my hands or went to sleep. This habit, although protective, soon proved to be problematic. With me constantly taking my watch on and off, it wasn’t long before I lost it. To this day, I’m convinced that it had vanished into thin air because I clearly remember the day it was sitting on my sink and gone the next. I desperately searched for that watch for days all around the house, but no one could find it. I missed that watch dearly, realizing how valuable it had been to me. It had been my first time losing something so important and costly and the guilt that followed was immeasurable and only made me more disappointed. But after some weeks of complaining and moping, my mom surprised me with another Swatch. I loved it even more than the first one. Like a beautiful explosion of color on your wrist, the whole face was painted in different shades of rainbow colors all around the device. I remember swearing to my mom that I wouldn’t lose this precious watch as soon as I got it. Sadly, I was wrong. A few months later, while attending a summer camp at Harker, my watch met its doomsday by the pool. I remember taking off my watch and putting it in the locker on top of my clothes, an image that haunts my mind to this day. When I got back from the pool, the watch was gone. Sopping wet and cold, I frantically dug around the pile of clothes, hoping that it had somehow fallen to the bottom. But by the time I got dressed and the whole locker was emptied out, there was no sign of my beloved watch. That day, I remember lying to my mom saying that there was some after-school activity, telling her to pick me up later. With the extra hours, I scoured the locker room and all around campus, praying that my watch would miraculously show up. It didn’t. On the car ride home I hesitantly broke the news to my mom. She understandably got mad at me, adding to my guilt of losing yet another expensive possession. I finally got another chance to redeem myself a year later, when our family took a trip to Japan, which is known for its high-end watches. So, when I sheepishly asked my mom for another watch, she made me promise not to lose it again and bought me yet another watch. This watch had a tan watch band and little imprints of the sun and moon on the watch face. I thought if the watch wasn’t so eye-catching I wouldn’t lose it. I was right. The third time really was the charm. I wore that watch everywhere for a year, came close to losing it a few times, took it off one day and haven’t put it on since. I figured that if I don’t wear it anywhere, I can’t lose it, right? So that third watch sits peacefully on my dresser to this day. Throughout my experiences with all these watches, I have learned a lot (albeit mostly a lot about my terrible forgetfulness and organization), but also to cherish every little thing I own, because if you are forgetful or careless, your time with it will be far too short. Tags: watches About the contributorsSunny CaoSunny Cao, Class of 25, is an In-Depth Editor and was previously a reporter for the Saratoga Falcon. She has has written various opinion, in-depth, and news stories. Some of her hobbies in her free time include baking, hanging out with friends, and playing the viola.