JIM DAVIS: Losing Wallet Is Painful Proposition
People who know me call me a straight arrow kind of a guy. I have been married to the same wonderful Marilyn for nearly 60 years. I never beat my wife or my children. We have a little dog, Minnie, to whom we are devoted.
I've never had any illicit affairs with people who have worked for me -- or with anybody else, for that matter. I don't drink a drop. I pay my bills, sometimes before they're due. In short, I'm right out of "Leave it to Beaver." Ward Cleaver, that's me.
Prepare, then, to be shocked. I have done something unthinkable, so bad that it may leave me scarred for life. No, I didn't rob a bank or kill anybody. I'm not a car thief or an international spy. In a way, what I did may cause me more trouble than sticking up the corner grocery.
I lost my wallet.
It was a Friday. Marilyn volunteers at the hospital on Fridays, so I was on my own. I had lunch in Aberdeen, and I was in the process of buying a golf jacket in a nearby clothing store.
When I reached into my pocket for my wallet, it wasn't there. The bottom fell out of my stomach, and stark terror froze me to the spot. I was about to enter uncharted territory, because this had never before happened to me.
I paid cash for the jacket (I carry cash separately from my wallet), and then the search was on. I went home and turned the place upside down without success. I searched the car fruitlessly.
Frantic, I began to think about what I had lost. Driver's license, credit cards, Social Security card (carrying this is a no-no, but I did it anyway), ATM credit card, Medicare card, AARP card, Pinehurst Country Club membership card, AAA card, and all those funny little plastic discount things that the grocery stores hand out. In short, my whole life was in that wallet.
I knew I had the wallet on Thursday, so I began to retrace my Friday steps. I went back to the bank, the post office, the restaurant, the drug store, the country club and the grocery. Everyone I spoke with was very concerned and sympathetic, but the wallet was nowhere to be found.
Then I picked Marilyn up at the hospital, and together we searched every place we could think of. And never once did she say, "Well, where did you lose it?"
I finally realized that the search was over, and damage control was now my only priority. My first call was to American Express.
They helped me enormously, taking care of cancelling and re-issuing not only my American Express card, but my other credit cards too. My driver's license was a problem. Motor Vehicles wouldn't take my passport as identification, but I remembered that Marilyn, bless her heart, kept our expired driver's licenses, and my old license was acceptable. I got a new Pinehurst Country Club card and a new AAA card.
By late Friday afternoon, I had it all covered. No credit cards had been used by any suspicious-looking strangers pretending to be me, and my identity is intact, as far as I know.
Just to be safe, I joined one of those companies that protect you against identity theft. As I write this, I have everything back or on the way, and I'm no longer considering jumping off the nearest bridge.
I've learned a lot, and I won't be carrying my Social Security card anymore. Only those things necessary to sustain life are in my wallet, and I have copies of everything in a safe place. I hope I never have to use them.
Excuse me, but I have to go now. The UPS man is coming up the driveway, and I must go to see what part of my life he's returning to me.
Contact Pinehurst writer Jim Davis at email@example.com.
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