I no longer get upset about losing things. Because it happens more often now than it used to, and because things often turn up later, I allow my exasperation to pass and then I forget about it. But over the past year, I've periodically remembered those earrings, taken another look through drawers and boxes and felt increasingly sad that they might be gone for good.
Last night I dreamt that I was traveling and opened a cosmetics bag and there were the earrings. In the dream I felt so happy and relieved that I put the earrings on immediately. When I woke up I felt the loss again and decided to take one more look.
I dug out a cosmetics bag I had used last Christmas when I traveled to Houston to visit family. Yes, I'd checked it months earlier, probably a couple of times. I opened it anyway and began taking out the things in it, but this time I noticed the earrings taped to the side! I hadn't seen them before because I'd scotch-taped them so securely. I felt happiness and relief and I marveled that a dream had actually been useful, which is a rare thing for me. I also remembered why I had taped the earrings like that: so I wouldn't lose them.