My siddur has been found! This makes me very happy, even though I know I don't really need this siddur; it's just a thing, etc. etc. But the forces of sentimental value have overshadowed my attempts at rational thought. Back when I first joined my synagogue, there was a form at the back of the weekly newsletter that you could send back, with the requisite cash, and receive a copy of our siddur in return. Assuming that everyone who was anyone had their own, and too scared to walk into a Judaica store, I placed the order. It arrived a week later and I suddenly felt like a real Jew, with the book to prove it. Over the years it acquired penciled notes about how to lead a Friday night havurah service ("pause here, share something about week") as well as the regular one ("STOP. RABBI SPEAKS."), plus the word "AMEN" after every single one of the morning blessings, when I was so nervous my first time leading three years ago that I didn't trust my memory or common sense in the least.
The synagogue is lovingly maintained by group of serious Russian gentlemen, one of whom helped me search for the book on Friday after services. Tonight, just as I was about to sit down in the sanctuary for my Me'ah class, Dmitry walked over. (He's usually not there in the evening, but had to restore order after a Hebrew School model seder.) "I have it," he said. "Do you want it?" He walked, and I ran, into the Secret Rabbi Room and there it was in the best possible company, under a pile of books labeled with rabbis' names. I almost flung myself into his arms with a big, wet kiss, but he really is a very serious man.
I look forward to many more years of pencil markings. Or maybe I'll erase them all, start fresh, and make room for new memories.