Thursday, March 24, 2005

What's in Your Wallet?

I left my wallet at work yesterday.

I made the commute home running on fumes thinking I'd pick up the girls then scoot over to the Food & Fuel to drop $30 at the pump and fill up the tan sedan.

Long sentence. Simple plan.

It all fell apart when I got out of the car and reached for my credit card. There was a moment of panic. I had a full three seconds of worst-case scenarios that escalated from pushing the car home while Allie steered to me having a desk sergeant watch the kids while I was booked for driving without a license and assaulting a police officer.

Poof. The doom fantasies disappeared. I got back in the car and drove home. Allie asked, "What's wrong, Daddy. Why are we leaving?" I explained to Allie I had left my wallet on my desk.

"You forgot your wallet! What're we gonna do?!"

I didn't expect Allie to freak-out over this. I was surprised at her tone when, sounding as if she had been tied to a railroad track, she asked, "Are we going to your office to get your wallet?"


"What're we gonna do, Daddy?"

"Sweetie, don't worry. We have some money in the house and if worse comes to worse we can go see Mom at work and get her ATM card."

Allie didn't say anything after that. If you know how much my daughter talks you'd know that her silence was a clear sign she still thought we were in some sort of peril. I had no idea that a 4" x 3" piece of brown, bi-fold leather could mean that much to her. I was thinking she may have seen an old American Express commercial. Remember the ones where the vacationing couple would get their wallet stolen? They were always stranded in some exotic location with an infrastructure that looked like it could barely manage yak control let alone the needs of pampered, not-so-smart American tourists. I used to hope and pray my parents had an American Express card because I knew it came with a really attractive woman who knew her away around Yak City and would always be there to save your ass.

Truth is I’m not sure why Allie got so worked up. The thing that bothers me is, judging from her reaction, she didn't think I would be able to handle a problem without the help of my wallet. I'm thinking in her mind, a dad (her dad) is only as good as his billfold.

Unfortunately, in many cases, I tend to agree.

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