Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Wallets and the Meaning of Life

I have been mourning the loss of my wallet for two and a half days now. Somewhere between using it to purchase a gift for my nephew at Baby Gap and wanting to use it to buy a gift for my younger brother later that day it was lost. Possibly even stolen, or at least stolen after it was lost. I feel as though I have been going through the standard stages of grief: I was honestly in denial at first, mindlessly believing somewhere in the back of my mind that I would actually find it. So I was relatively optimistic, I theorized that it wasn't that big of a deal, all I have to do is call my bank and have them send me a couple of new debit cards and get a new drivers license and I'd be back in the game. I even cavalierly chastised those that get so bent out of shape for losing a wallet, after all there are worse things that can happen you know.

Then, yesterday I was shoved violently from the blissful state of denial to what is clearly the anger stage as I realized that I had a gift card for Nordstrom in there worth about 116 dollars. Let me assure you there is more to this gift card than meets the eye. This gift card is from a gift that I received last Christmas that I returned and I knew exactly what I wanted instead--a smaller body. And since I was unable to purchase a smaller body from Nordstrom I decided that I would instead use it to treat myself to an otherwise very expensive pair of jeans, after I lost weight of course. So for the better part of a year, I have been looking at that giftcard nestled cozily between a side of a cloth covered pocket and another giftcard and thinking of the day when I would exchange it for what I was sure would become my next favorite pair of jeans.

This giftcard became a symbol of victory for me, something tangible that was there encouraging me every day. It was loyally waiting by my side to reward me at a moments notice for months of hard work. It understood me, and I understood it. It was very much a part of my life as was the rest of my wallet.

Little did I know that I would be saying goodbye to this giftcard or to the 180$ I had in the cash pocket waiting to be used to purchase the last of my husband's Christmas presents, or to the receipts from things I had purchased that had yet to be recorded in my personal financial record (about which I am still wondering what expenditures are pending), or the annual passes to Disneyland that proudly wear the pictures of me, my husband, and my son along with a great big "P" on each card signifying that we have not only free admission to Disneyland but free parking as well. These were also not merely passes to a theme park but symbols of Jon and my independence and our youthful adventuresome nature because as many of you know, we do not live in Southern California and there are those that have questioned our decision to purchase these passes, but there they are, standing as a physical reminder that Jon and I can do whatever we want, and as long as Jon can get the time off work, our wonderful Disney vacation is only a thought away.

And then of course there is the wallet itself--a design of the talented Kate Spade. Navy blue with kelly green leather straps enclosing it and keeping it together. It matches a purse of mine and the two were given to me by my sweet parents and they happened to be my very first wallet and handbag by a designer (and my favorite handbag designer at that).

So now my mind is plagued with thoughts of some unfit being defiling my sanctuary by prying open a wallet that did not belong to him or her and violating my privacy by looking though my things to decide what was worth stealing and what wasn't. This person does not see the life behind these plastic cards and paper money, and even though my picture is staring at them from my drivers license, they choose not to think that these things belong to a real person that is out there wondering where her wallet is. Right now, instead of gifts for my husband, something else is being purchased with tainted money, and instead of a new pair of victory jeans something with far less meaning and sacrifice is being purchased at Nordstrom.

And somewhere out there lies a wallet that has been stripped of it's immediate lucrative value and is left with nothing to validate it's existence but the memories in my head and this blog that officially commemorates the very first time I have ever had a wallet lost or stolen.