Lemony Snicket, and Mom Saves the Day


Lemony Snicket, and Mom Saves the Day

It wasn't a "senior moment" that caused my wallet to be resting in an SUV, whose owner had just left for a two-week vacation on a dude ranch. It had to be one of those Lemony Snicket things, A Series of Unfortunate Events.

It was a star-gazing party on Friday night, and E. gave me a ride. We piled my telescope and paraphernalia in her SUV. I only took my wallet, thinking, I won't need anything else to look at stars, then tucked the wallet under her front seat for safe-keeping. When we were done, as keeping with polite star-gazing protocol, we unloaded her car with the dome light off. She sped off into the night, preparing for her airport limo pick-up at 6 a.m.

It was only on Saturday after driving halfway through Palm Beach County and finding myself hungry for lunch that I reached into my purse (light as a feather but I didn't notice) and realized I had no wallet, and the realization hit me that I knew exactly where it was.  No money! No lunch! No driver's license! So near and yet so far! The wallet is five minutes away from my house but I can't get to it!

It's a sort of self-imposed Identity Theft.

I never travel without my purse, but I did on Friday and had the dome light come on inside the car as normal, I would have noticed the wallet lying there on the floor. Or under any normal circumstance, I should have been able to call my friend the next day and say, "Hey, E., guess what I did last night? Can I come over and get my wallet?" What are the chances she would be leaving on a two-week vacation the very next morning?

So now I'm home. I can't drive. I can't order anything on QVC. Can't write a check because they want ID. Can't get sick because I have no health ID cards. Can't use the ATM. Can't make online donations to my favorite charities. Can't buy an airline ticket or fly.

It is exhilarating and unnerving at the same time. What if I get run over on the sidewalk? Who would they call?

The obvious solution is to try to contact my friend, E., and ask her if there is any way to get into her car. I hesitate. First, I'm positive that if there is no way other than calling a locksmith to break into her car, she will grieve this circumstance during her vacation. It's no fault of her own and I can't cause that. My sister wants me to get the wallet "just in case" by calling around and finding the dude ranch, "Dude Ranches R Us", I guess. She doesn't realize I can contact E., I just choose not to.

Second, I have a strong sense this is a unique opportunity, a door. Trying to by-pass it would violate what it has to teach me. Just because I can't distract myself any more, I have to use the time wisely. I feel like I've gone on a vacation to the Bahamas where no one knows me, but I'm right here at home.

I have no identity right now, but I do have support. If I needed it, my daughter and sister are close. I'm trying not to make a problem where no problem exists.

If there ever was a two-week time period where I could vanish in time and space, this is it. No appointments, no obligations, tax preparation is done, the grocery store is around the block. The Unfortunate Events are actually Fortunate Events, a strange serendipity about learning to live in the moment.

And my mom, ever-present in her dependable nature. Gone to Heaven since August but only last week did the Insurance Company issue a refund on her cancelled house insurance and my sister handed my portion of the refund to me in an envelope, IN CASH.  A complete and unexpected surprise. Plenty to hold me over for two weeks. I won't starve. I welcome the challenge of playing The Universe's Game. Thanks, Mom, from this side of the Great Divide.


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Jan, You are a great storyteller. You are also one of the most positive people I know. Who else can take a situation like this and make it sound like fun. Of course mom had something to do with it too. I'm sure she is thinking of you with a smile on her face. You won't have any trouble dealing with 2 weeks without a driver's license. Who wants to drive anyway. Good luck!!!


Oh Jan, what a wonderful accident! Two weeks, a self imposed vacation/respite. You have such possibilities! You can be whomever you want to be. No one, someone...you could be a recluse- reading your days away, an artist...picking up an old hobby, a writer, putting down on paper thoughts of the past or of the future. And no guilt. \"What, oh no I can't go there or do that, I can't drive this week.\" Bless mom (and you) for giving you this unique little staycation.