This is the story of a wallet, neglected so that no one knew it was missing for six days, and its week-long journey home.
A Wallet’s Beginnings…
I have never been a wallet person. I don’t have anything against them, but having one just never seemed to be of interest to me. Before I was sixteen, why would I need one? And I didn’t actually get any credit cards until I was 20, and even then I had like three that I used responsibly (you know spend a little and pay off the entire balance before the end of the month – that was me). When I was in college I just thought it was ridiculous to waste money on something to hold your money. (I have always claimed to be frugal.) And if I found something that appealed to me, and it was worth the price in my opinion, I ran into another issue. My pants. Most of my pants have super tiny pockets. They’re big enough to carry my I.D. and maybe one card and that’s it. And an empty wallet, even a super-thin empty wallet just wouldn’t fit. And I don’t carry a purse or bag around, so I have just always gone without.
But my husband was constantly riding me about not having a wallet. He was always saying I was going to lose my I.D. or a card, but the funny thing is when they were loose, I never lost them, not once. And this was always the main point of my rebuttal, followed by, “And if I ever did lose a card or my I.D. at least that’s it. When you keep everything in a wallet, and you lose your wallet, you lose everything.”
But one of my besties, Chase, (he was also my best man, my husband and I like to twist traditions a wee bit, and we both had one best man, one maid of honor, one groomsman and one bridesmaid each. Plus it allowed for all our siblings to be in our wedding parties!) gave me a makeshift wallet when he temporarily moved in with us last year. I say makeshift because it was one of those freebies you get from a company (in this case, a poor excuse for mass transit in small town Nebraska). But hey, it could fit in most of my pockets because it was thin and flimsy so I just went with it. Sometimes it isn’t worth the effort of arguing.
I used it as a wallet when I felt like it, which as time went by became more and more often. And I never lost it. So it worked until…
ABANDONMENT! When Good Wallets Get Left Behind…
It was Tuesday, November 4, 2014. Roy and I decided to eat at Taco John’s after going to several stores for Roy’s birthday (for someone who had been offered a dream gift, he was being far too practical) because it was easy, cheap and already pretty late. So we got there, and try to have a nice conversation, which means my husband has to bring up the election (it was also Election Day dontcha know) as he sees the results on a TV nearby. One of the plusses of being deaf is I don’t have to hear things I don’t want to hear. But when my husband insists on talking about those same things… ugh. And we get into our great political talk, it was not a debate but a way we figured out how two people who agree on so many things when it comes to policy vote so incredibly differently. See: The Day After… The Elections, Reflexes, Actual Realities And A Debate With My Political Opposite (My Husband)
So when we finish up, we got up to leave and that was that. I didn’t think anything of us leaving. When I got up I checked the booth to make sure we hadn’t left anything, and we both had our phones, Roy had his keys and wallet, and we left.
How Could You Not Know It Was Missing?
Fast forward five days, it is Sunday night and I am getting ready to go to my writing spot the next morning, something I rarely get to do, in hopes of catching up because I was dreadfully behind on my daily writing for NaNoWriMo. I am getting my laptop bag together and go to the basket where we keep our wallets. Mine wasn’t there. I searched for my wallet, eager to find it so we could go to bed, and instead it ended up being a fruitless eighty minute search where my husband and I both checked, rechecked, and triple-checked every conceivable place it could be. Just like when you lose something you can’t believe you can’t find, you start looking everywhere. Out house isn’t messy, so I ended up looking in laundry baskets and underwear drawers. Where was my flipping wallet!
I had to use my husband’s card to our joint account and took cash with me just in case the coffeehouse I frequent asked for I.D. (they didn’t, they know us) and my husband told me to ask them if they had my wallet, because I was there the morning of November 4. I didn’t bother asking them, true I had no idea where my wallet was, but I remembered the last time I had it, and that was when we left to go to the stores that night, because I was buying my husband his dream gift, which meant I needed my wallet. So, I knew I had had it post-coffeehouse.
My husband called the stores we went to, Taco John’s and the gas station that we stopped at to fill up. On his first phone call (to an Apple store) Roy learned what he should disclose, and what he shouldn’t.
“Hi, I think I left my wallet at your store last week, and I was wondering if someone had turned it in?”
“Excuse me, when did you say you lost it?”
“Last Tuesday, in the evening.”
“And you’re just calling now?”
It was an accusation or a concept so stupefying that the representative could not get past it. Who goes without their wallet for a week and doesn’t notice?
Well, I’m not exactly being rhetorical, allow me to answer just that. I do not drive, I can’t medically, so I don’t have a license. I have a state I.D. instead. You’d be surprised at how often you don’t use your state I.D. or really even need it. Everything else in there was cards (two debit cards and a library card) but that week I hadn’t been the library except to return books (again really trying to write a lot this month, so it cuts into my reading time) and I am not a shopaholic. In fact, I rarely spend money – ever. I’m a cheapskate’s wet dream. 😛 And that is how you have no idea your wallet is missing. And let me also state, that I check our accounts a couple of times a day, so this would not be the case if the wallet was stolen or found and someone decided to use my cards. I am the person who caught fraud on our account because of a pending transaction that took place less than twenty minutes beforehand. I am quite proud of this, and it also helped that I went to the bank right away to help prove it wasn’t me (the charge occurred at a place that was about an hour away, I would love to have the ability to be in two places at once, but I’m afraid I just don’t).
So Roy is making these calls and telling me about how no one can believe I didn’t know my wallet was missing. I know, I am the worst wallet owner in the world. Neglectful, unappreciative… and I just take the thing for granted. And you know what? I still do!
FOUND! A Greasy Reunion
All of the places Roy called told him the same thing, “Sorry, we don’t have it.” Upon hearing this I was at a loss. We had already torn the car and our house apart looking for it, because when everything is put away going through everything just doesn’t take very long. I didn’t want to face declaring everything lost, and worse than having to get new cards, was thinking about going to the DMV for a new I.D. – I mean that was just painful. But one place called back and left a message on our house phone. A worker found the wallet on Tuesday night and because she turned it in to her manger, it wasn’t in the traditional “lost and found” because they thought we’d be right back for it. It had fallen out of my jacket pocket, which is why I hadn’t seen it when I checked the booth. My wallet’s temporary home and savior: Taco John’s.
We decided just to go there for dinner, because when my husband got home from work it was late, and we couldn’t cook something and have it sit while we were gone. So, why not? When we arrived the employees were very gracious and I got to meet the woman who personally rescued my wallet from the floor. Of course, they questioned why it took so long for me to realize it was missing, and I told them what I have told you, but I’m not sure they completely bought it. At least there were no shameful or accusatory tones and for that I was grateful.
Reunited at last… my wallet and I together again. And I have been mindful not to put it in my jacket pocket. If it doesn’t fit in my pants or I don’t want to hang on to it, I just give it to my husband. That way if it gets lost again – it’s not on me! 😉
*Curiously enough, tonight we went back to Taco John’s for the first time since recovering my wallet. We don’t eat fast food often (Taco John’s is the only fast food place we have been to this month actually) but this is turning out to be a weekly thing. But this time, I did not leave my wallet there. Promise!