A Proverb for Lost Things

Informant S is 21 years old from Boise Idaho. He is a Philosophy major who also plans on attending Medical School. He is half Columbian and half American.

S: Oh God my dad would always say, ‘A place for everything and everything in its place’. Any time I ever asked where something was or um I just found something after searching, he’d get all smug and say that.

Me: Have you ever said that yourself?

S: I’ve said it to my sister a couple times to be sort of a little shit, and interestingly when my dad loses his stuff, I almost always say it. I guess you could say he was sort of trying to teach me a lesson and it annoyed me so much I started using it to him. It started to annoy him as well so I sort of got my point across.

Me: Do you think it worked?

S: No I think that fact that it was so intrusive made it so I kind of went out my way not to do it sometimes and it didn’t really stick in my memory. What’s funny is that I think it’s a pretty good lesson, maybe he could have just taught it a little better.  It was annoying but I got it, you know?



Here the informant S shares how his father tried to teach him a lesson through a proverb. S found it annoying as if the wisdom of using a well known proverb allowed his dad to be smug about telling him he shouldn’t lose things. Although proverbs are often used to teach a lesson, the informant did not enjoy being taught through a proverb and actively avoided its teachings on occasion.  The proverb did come to his mind quickly though so in that way the proverb succeeded in getting into his memory, even if its message didn’t stick.