It was during the summer of 1984 that I'd last lost my wallet. I left it in a Tacoma Mall men’s room.
I know how that sounds. Why would I place my wallet at risk in a public restroom if money weren’t changing hands? Suffice it to say my early twenties were a time of low self-esteem and financial prosperity.
No, actually, I was with that girlfriend at the time. Remember her—the one who insisted I buy a blow dryer and tie a sweater around my neck? While I don’t remember the exact circumstances, it’s possible that she handed me her portable dryer; the one she kept in her purse. She very well may have insisted that I visit the boys’ room to re-apply some product and incinerate my hair to a crispy sheen like hers, and only then could we re-emerge hand-in-hand from between Orange Julius and Squire Shop and freaking own that Tacoma Mall.
So yeah, that was the last time I parted ways with my wallet, back when Reagan was president and her husband incessantly confused Mikhail Gorbachev with his dead Uncle Rusty.
It was a nice thirty-one-year streak of walletfulness, even longer than Jerry Seinfeld’s impressive no-vomit stint that lasted from June 29, 1980 until February 3, 1994. And that’s why I’ve decided that, even though I am ultimately responsible for maintaining a relationship between my credit cards and my clammy torso, this mishap is hardly my fault.
A lot of other folks could be responsible for this, and I think you may agree once you've read this.
1) Sure, I was a fool for placing it in the front pocket of my new zip hoodie, but my wife was responsible for purchasing a defective product. After 26 years as a preferred Value Village shopper, I would have thought she'd know inadequate pocket depth when she saw it. Apparently not, so I could pin this on her.
2) Even at the risk of losing his livelihood, the cab driver may have found it just too tempting not to pinch my goatskin accessory and all its spoils, including a ten-cent per gallon Safeway fuel discount. With his new identity and a swipe of the red card, he could surprise his family with a free movie rental and two Selsun Blues for the price of one. If Safeway had whale patrons like Vegas does, I’d be a freaking Orca, so this guy scored.
3) I could blame Obama. After all, the guy’s been picking all of our pockets for the last six years, am I right or am I right?
4) My brother took it. This is the most statistically probable answer. Although he seems trustworthy, after all those years in prison, the guy’s got some clever hiding places up his…sleeve. He’s an opportunist, and that wallet had some nicely rounded corners.
At this point, all I know is that the thing just vaporized. After getting up in the morning and not seeing the humbow-sized black Fossil in its usual spot, I obsessively scoured the house for well over an hour. Thank God it wasn’t in the silverware drawer or washing machine when I checked, as that would’ve escalated my issue into the health care realm (please see Ronald Reagan above).
Losing a wallet is the epitome of a First World problem, though, right? Everything is replaceable, so this too will prove to be but a teensy skin tag on life's dandruff-smothered scalp. And just to inspire you, doggone it if I didn’t turn misfortune on its ear by getting free, two-day shipping on a new fanny pack.
A light one, for summer.