Sunday, November 14, 2010

All hail the fortune cookie!

First of all, I should tell you that I feel very guilty about blogging right now.  It is Sunday night and I've been out of town for the weekend, so I SHOULD be jumping into my piles of waiting homework.  Not yet!  I have a more important story to share with you!

For those of you who are not my parents, you may not be aware that I have a tendency to be a little absent minded when trying to remember where I leave my possessions.  Typically I am able to successfully retrace my steps and find missing objects before anyone is aware they are gone, thus saving myself a great deal of embarrassment.

However, every so often an object goes missing that simply stumps me.  Case in point:  my retainer.  I had braces in my adolescent years, until age 15.  After the removal of my braces, I was fitted for and given a retainer for my upper teeth.  I diligently wore this retainer to bed throughout high school.  I even brought it with me to college.

If my memory serves me right, my retainer officially went missing when my family went to stay with my aunt and uncle in Minneapolis for Christmas during my freshman year of college.  I maintain that it somehow fell out of a bag and into the street by their house.  Others may beg to differ.  All that I can say for sure is that I packed it and it never showed up at their house.  Sadly, it has yet to resurface, so I fear that my theory may have been correct.

Now for my latest saga.  To set the scene, I should explain a couple of things first.  Although I pay most of my bills electronically nowadays, I still do maintain a checkbook for the odd chance that I need to write a check to someone personally or send money for a gift of some kind.  Unfortunately, my checkbook does not fit in my normal wallet.

My solution to this problem is to keep my checkbook in my older, larger wallet.  For a long time, I carried BOTH wallets in my purse at all times.  This proved to be a pointless and weighty ordeal, and I later decided only to bring the big wallet with me when I KNEW that I was going to be writing a check. Perhaps this is faulty logic, but whatever.

Sometime in mid-September, an instance of this nature occurred.  I had ordered something (makeup, I think) and needed to pay someone by mail.  I brought my big wallet with me to work so that I would remember to write out the check and drop the check in the mail while I was in town.  This all went off without a hitch.

About a week or two after this day, I had my car accident.  Suddenly, I was forced to pack up my car and drive around in a rental for 16 days.  For most people "packing up the car" would be pretty simple; take the garage door opener, CD's, sunglasses, etc.  For me, not so much.  I tend to carry a lot of "crap" in my car with me.  By "crap" I mean my duffel bag of gym clothes, my umbrella, a lunch bag, snow boots, a rain coat, coffee mugs, folding chairs, another pair of snow boots and an indeterminate number of reusable shopping bags.  So...

In my frenzy to transfer my worldly belongings from one car to the next, I did not pay much heed as to what was actually in some of my bags.  It wasn't until about one week into my rental car usage that I started to think about getting my checkbook so that I could pay my insurance deductible if and when my car was ever fixed.

This is when my slight panic started.  I could not find my checkbook wallet ANYWHERE.  I searched my bedroom, my loft/office, my work office, my bedroom at my parents' house, but it did not show up.  I started to wonder if I had somehow left it in my car, so I bit back my fear and told no one, but I did closely monitor my checking account to make sure no checks cleared.  There was no activity, so I felt a cautious sense of calm that the wallet was likely somewhere in my possession.

When I finally regained possession of my car, I searched every square inch.  I even got up in the middle of the night to instigate a second and third search.  Nothing.  I even searched my guest bedroom on the hunch that it would turn up there due to the fact that my smoke detector fiasco had also been solved by a random trip to my guest room.  I finally gave up, assuming that it would probably turn up someday when I was packing up to move out of my house.

I was resigned to my own absent-mindedness, when I received a sudden piece of inspiration.  A couple of weeks ago, I had Chinese food for lunch.  As is the custom with Chinese food, I was given a fortune cookie.  For some reason, I decided not to have my fortune cookie that day.  Later in the next week, I was having a craving for sweets and decided to break out the fortune cookie.

In my experience, my fortune cookie fortunes are rarely of any use.  They are usually more or less observations about life rather than specific predictions of the future.  However, this time around, it was better.  My fortune read, "Your lost item will be found within the month."  My instant assumption was that this item would be my wallet and checkbook.  At this point, I broke my cone of silence and told my coworker about my search, and then showed her my fortune.  I'm sure she was skeptical, but I was sure that this meant good things were in my future.

I have since kept that fortune on the keyboard of my computer at work to remind me not to worry, my wallet will be found soon.

Now is where it all comes together.  Tonight, I arrived at home carrying a ton of dirty laundry and more than a little stress over the assignments of the coming weeks.  After dropping off my duffel bag of clothes, I decided to take a look for the wallet, just for fun.

After a brief search of my office, I decided to take one more attempt in the guest room, although I had no recollection of bringing my wallet in there at any time.  Can you guess what happened next?  No?

Well, in my guest room, there is a bed and a dresser.  I had actually gone through the dresser on a previous occasion in searching for my wallet and turned up empty handed.  This time, I took a step back and actually looked at the items sitting on TOP of the dresser.  Everything seemed the same as usual, but I then realized that my miniature Harley-Davidson motorcycle (a gift from my grandfather) was actually sitting on top of something.  When I looked closer, I knew I had hit the jackpot.  My wallet was there, under the mini-motorcycle box.

So what have I learned?  1 - Never give up looking for your "lost" items.  2 - Always trust your fortune cookies.  3 - My guest room always holds the solution to the problems that keep me up at night.

OK, enough of that.  Back to work!

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