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Texas | Columns | "Quips and Salsa"

Have you seen my wallet?


by Jase Graves
Jase Graves

I have a problem. I misplace my wallet — a lot. In fact, if losing wallets was an Olympic sport, I'm pretty sure I'd be investigated for doping. And according to a 2018 survey by MoneyTips, I'm not alone, joining the 62% of survey respondents who said they had also lost their cash taco, or had it stolen.

I relapsed again recently on a Saturday morning road trip with my wife and some friends, trying to convince myself that I would enjoy attending a college basketball game more than sleeping until noon. We had stopped at a convenience store on the way to the game, and when I reached for my wallet to pay for a nutritious gas station breakfast, the flaccid denim of my back pocket told the sad, well-worn tale.

At that moment, I took my missing wallet in stride, assuming I had (once again) just forgotten to grab it at home — distracted by grief over my recent breakup with the cool side of my pillow.

But when we returned that evening and the wallet was not in its usual place on the kitchen counter, I panicked-almost as much as my three teenage daughters when I told them we might have to cancel the credit cards.

Despite my state of acute flustration, I carefully searched in all of the logical places, starting with the freezer and working my way to my wife's underwear drawer.

I even called all of the businesses I'd visited that day (mostly Mexican food restaurants) to see if they had found a wallet with an empty and seldom-used bill compartment.

Eventually, I just gave up and figured that some disappointed thief was now reevaluating his or her career choice.

My sweet mother reminded me to pray about my lost wallet, which I did — even though I assumed that the Almighty was probably rolling His eyes and trying not to laugh the whole time.

But, sure enough, my prayer was soon answered when, a couple of days later, my wife received a phone call at work from a Texas state trooper, who curtly asked if she knew a Jase Graves.

Terrible thoughts raced through her mind as she frantically wondered whether I had been in an accident — or arrested for public doofusness.

Apparently, the wallet had slipped out of my pocket and fallen onto the running board of my SUV, finally making a desperate leap for its freedom and landing on the shoulder of the highway. (Imagine Morgan Freeman narrating that last sentence.)

The trooper had found the wallet, my long-suffering credit cards, and an unusually large number of Mexican restaurant receipts when he stopped to move some debris out of the road.

Fortunately, I also keep my wife's business card in the wallet — in case I get lost when I go to Walmart.

Even though it's a relief to have my old wallet back, aggravating my sciatica and causing me to list to the left when I sit, I think it's time for something new. My friends told me I should go buy a wallet with a chain, but I'm just not a chain kind of guy. Besides, with a chain wallet, I worry that I'd also be expected to get a neck tattoo-or be mistaken for that biker dude from the Village People.

I think the solution might be one of those newfangled wallets furnished with an Apple AirTag that you can track with your cellular device.

Now, if I could only find my iPhone.


Jase Graves
"Quips and Salsa" 3-2-22 column



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