Funny story, actually.
That afternoon as we waited for our little darlings to exit, be-stickered and suitably exercised, from their dance class, one of the other mothers asked me "So, was the bottle there?"
First I had to recover from the shock of having someone from My Life Version A (real life, that is) reveal that they are also privy to My Life Version B (the blog) - not that it was a terrible surprise, since I have told a carefully selected group of my friends and acquaintances - the ones who have kids, whom I think might conceivably enjoy reading such things, and whom I can count on to probably not judge me too harshly in person - about the blog. Every few months I get crazy and publish a Facebook update to just those people, telling them about it and also how clicking the Facebook Like button here (have you noticed it?) will make fluffy bunnies hop all over their screens in an endearing manner or some such enticing nonsense. (It's true. Just try it and see.) It's called marketing, I believe, or shameless self-promotion, and like many other secret/semi-secret bloggers, I'm never quite sure how I feel about it.
Anyway, my friend had, in one fell swoop, payed me the compliment of letting me know that she read the blog that day and that she was engaged enough in the story to want to know how it turned out. So I told her that the bottle had still been in the playground when we went by a little earlier.
Our third friend wanted to know what on earth we were talking about, so I had to explain. The condensed version, for people who aren't waiting for me to fill a whole page with little black words:
"I found a water bottle at the playground, and I took it home because I thought I knew who it belonged to, but I was wrong so then I had to put it back, and it's still there." As I said it, a thought ocurred to me, but very slowly, like molasses, or perhaps a glacier.
"Like yours. You know, the expensive one your sister gave you."
At this point, you would think that I would have put two and two together. Not a hope.
We discussed further how fancy those bottles are and how my friend felt her life as a SAHM of two always-grubby little boys did not merit one. She lives across the road from me. Her son is in Mabel's class. I probably talk to her every day, as we watch our kids zoom around on each other's bikes or I return a purloined plastic frog to her playroom, that sort of thing.
Later that evening, I had a text from her:
"You know that water bottle you found - was it white? Because the last time I remember having mine was at the playground on Monday evening..."
You would think I might have mentioned at dance class that it was white - not just like, but exactly like the one her sister gave her. Apparently I hadn't. And she hadn't realised it was missing at that point - she assumed it was in one of those places things usually are, like the stroller basket or the car or being buried in the sandbox by some stray tyke.
So there you have it. She got it back. The blog saves the day.