Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Prodigal Wallet

One of the more distressing things as an adult is a lost wallet. I lost mine yesterday, or at least thought I did, and it made for a a very long, miserable day. I first noticed it was missing when I went to leave for work. Now people who know me know I'm a "pat-down" guy. I have a ritual where I tend to pat three zones of my person before I go somewhere. This is done to check for three items: Keys, phone, wallet. I'm a bit neurotic about all three and so if one goes missing, look out. That usually calls for a double-pat, where I'll re-pat the areas I just patted out of anxiety just to make sure that whatever item I don't have is really gone.

As I get on my bike yesterday, I realize I don't have the discomforting pain in my butt that a wallet brings to a guy on a bike. I turn around, head into the house and begin my search. I checked all the usual spots. Dresser, back counter, stairway post, coffee table, kitchen ledge, nothing.

Along about this time I think to myself, well, this is disturbing.

I speed up my search looking through all of my "secondary stashing places." Coffee tables B, C and D, the built-in buffet and my bedside table. No joy.

Ramping up the anxiety level a notch, I begin to question when I last saw the wallet. The last time was at work the day before when I used it to get out of the building. Knowing this narrowed down the location of the wallet to anywhere between work and home.

Okay, the heart sinks, the dread sets in, and anxiety ramps up to critical level. At this point I'm late for work and I have to go. I leave my poor wife in shambles because we share a debit card and a credit card and cancelling them both is a huge hassle. Never mind that I had my license, a work credit card, a health care card, work access card, and $60.00 cash in it.

Bye hon, have a nice day.

At work it was hard to focus. It's funny what your mind does when something is missing like this. For example I must have checked my backpack thoroughly 3 times, even though I rarely put my wallet there and had no recollection of putting it there yesterday. Were the second and third times really necessary? Maybe there was a pocket I missed? Maybe it will magically show up?

Maybe not.

Now bear in mind that I lost my wallet this spring on a bike ride when it fell out of my bike bag. After retracing my ride in it's entirety, I got a call from Carroll University saying the wallet was found a block from home. Some honest student (God love him/her) turned it in intact and I picked it up that night.

So at this point I have what you might call a history.

Because of this history, I started mentally beating myself up. All day at work I trashed my own character because Didn't I learn from my past mistakes, or Wow, twice in 6 months?. I couldn't wait to get off work in part to get home where I could quiet the voice by at least looking more thoroughly.

When I got home I started the irrational crazy search. You all know it. If you have kids, you REALLY know it. I call it that because you spend your time obsessively looking for the lost item often times in places that no sane person would look. You do this because, you're not thinking straight. You're obsessed. This makes you look in irrational, crazy spaces, like I did.

For example I looked in:


  • My camera bag 
  • The junk drawer
  • The garbage (complete with potato peelings and coffee grounds)
  • Under my bed
  • On top of the auxiliary fridge in the garage (because, you know, that's where I always put it)
  • My bike bag (even though I'd learned that lesson and wouldn't put it there again, ever)
  • In the drying shirt I'd worn that day hanging on the line (WTH?)
See what I mean? Not rational. Crazy search. Obsessive, crazy, nut job search. 

I knew I was getting desperate when I started looking in my son's room. This is because I try and avoid his room. It makes me itch. It's messy most of the time, his window fan runs constantly and I think his bed was last made when it was a crib. 

After picking up a couple of blankets and various articles of clothing, I looked under his hat on his desk and low and behold there lie my wallet!

I can't describe the relief, joy and happiness. It was a little like the emotion of watching my daughter being born. "Look honey, it's a wallet! We have a wallet!" 

Well, that might be a stretch, but I've got to say it's the happiest feeling I've had in say, oh about the last six months.

Blogging off...(Pat, pat, pat)


2 comments:

mseliz said...

Jim, you are a gifted storyteller!

Jim Landwehr said...

Thank you, mseliz! Your words mean a lot. It is one of my greatest passions. I'm glad to have you follow.