Nothing is worse than realizing your wallet is at home when it’s time to pay. Usually it’s groceries. Stuck at checkout with a line of people behind you, the sinking feeling sets in, “Oh NO! I forgot my wallet. Please don’t put back my food, except maybe the ice cream. I’ll be right back!” The face is flushed and sweat is dripping down the back. Forgetting your wallet is WORSE than a Got-Milk moment.
One time, I was just about to place a burrito order at Chipotle when I realized my purse was lighter than usual—no wallet. Lunch was for the boys at school, a break from eating sandwiches and me making them. I didn’t have time to go back home AND deliver lunch to TWO different high schools in OPPOSITE directions. This is the only time I wish they were together. (And Back to School Night. And registration day.) I couldn’t ditch my mom job—I thought about it for a split second. “Could they last until 3?” Ah no. They wouldn’t die but I think its child neglect or abuse or something. I’d feel like a creep. I look at the people behind me: too young to ask. They are not going to have an extra $20 and they probably wouldn’t know what a check was if I promised to mail it to them.
I begrudgingly hop out of line and walk slowly back to my car. My eyes dart this way and that looking for a familiar face. I’ve got to know SOMEBODY in this parking lot who can spot me a twenty. I always see at least one familiar face, usually when looking my worst, of course. I’m actually spiffed up for a change; I’m even wearing lip gloss. This day is all wrong. I half contemplate a nice looking stranger, the grandmotherly type. We’re all neighbors, right?
The only thing I’m brave enough to try is hitting up a co-worker at my part-time job at a clothing store nearby. Surely someone will loan me $20 for an hour. As soon as I spill out my predicament, Amy, the manager reaches for her wallet. A customer overheard the story and started to fish around in her purse when Amy came through. God I love this community! I grabbed to-go sandwiches at Chow restaurant across the way. At least the organic chicken and pesto with hot peppers sandwich is a little different from my home menu. Crisis averted.
Another time I was caught short at the gym. As I prepped my bike for spin class, I realized I forgot my water bottle. At 5:30 in the morning, nobody at the front desk can give me change for a five so I can buy a bottle of water from the machine—a double Got-Milk moment! I have one dollar but it costs two. So many fellow spinners don’t bring a wallet. Am I missing something? I always carry my wallet out of fear of an auto break-in. It happened eleven times when I lived in the City. As I’ve stated in a previous post, spin class is a disaster without a towel and water. These things cannot be shared and nobody packs extras. I remembered the quarters stashed in the ashtray for parking meters. (Thieves can have my change. No takers yet.) Whew!
I vowed to never come up short again. The quarters spurred me on to something. To this day, I have magic money hidden in my car for emergencies-twenty-one dollars to be exact. (Thieves can have this money too.) I’ve only used it once so far. And let me tell you how grateful, relieved and smart I felt when I NEEDED money. I was ready to buy a salad while on lunch break at work when I looked into my purse and of course, remembered my wallet was still in my gym bag, lest I need a water for spin. The irony! My co-workers were ready to bail me out when I realized a solution was waiting for this very moment.
“WAIT! I have magic money in my car!” I exclaim.
“What is magic money,” my co-workers ask me while looking at as if more than water is in my Camelback bottle. I explain my creative solution and they both were slightly impressed. I on the other hand, was elated at my good fortune and smart planning. It’s like finding a forgotten dollar or a twenty in your jeans pocket and thinking, “I’m so lucky,” only better. After retrieving my money I walked back into the store waving my cash around like a trophy. I know I can’t buy a ton of groceries with my magic money but I can buy my own lunch.
“It’s only good if you pay it back,” one co-worker offered.
The other said, “Oh. I know I wouldn’t remember.”
Right. Good point. And yeah, I can’t remember to pay it back either—yet.
P.S. Thieves, if you are actually reading my post, I’m shocked and flattered. I think. Be forewarned, I hide things really well where not even I can find them. And, as of this posting, I haven’t put back the money yet.Share on Facebook