How I *Literally* Became A Loser

It was a regular Monday. Like any other Monday. Dishes needed to be unloaded from the dishwasher. Children needed to be picked up from school. Groceries needed to be purchased.

There is the perfect amount of time between picking up Abby and picking up Emma to hit the grocery store. Abby is a helpful grocery companion, so I often use this time to pick up our food for the week…and by week, I really mean three days. And by three days, I really mean one day.

As I reached for my purse to get out of the car, I noticed that it felt really light. I had just cleaned it out the day before so we could take our children to a golf tournament for the day, but it felt even lighter than that. I did a quick glance inside and noticed that my wallet was not in it. Because my car is a trash pit, I started looking all around, thinking maybe it had fallen out. It was nowhere.


I called my husband trying not to panic, because we had taken his car to the golf event, so I figured it was in there. Thankfully, he answered his phone, told me he was finishing up a lunch and would call me within five minutes when he got to his car.

By this point, I was driving towards home thinking maybe I had somehow brought it inside and left it there. I was trying to stay calm and chat with Abby as if it were completely normal for Mommy not to have a way to pay for our groceries. Or a license to drive a car.

We got home, and I began to search in earnest through my car. And on my cluttered kitchen counters. And around my *very* cluttered desk. Nothing. It was not there. It was nowhere to be seen.

Right about then my husband called and said that he had looked all over his car. And it was not there.

I felt the heat rush to my face and my heart started to pound. I felt that knee-jerk response to blame. See, I don’t lose stuff. I don’t misplace my things. I don’t forget my keys or set down my glasses somewhere and then not remember them. I told him that it must have been stolen out of my purse from our garage the night before when *he* had been in and out of the house with our garage doors open. He acknowledged that this could be a possibility and immediately asked me how he could start helping me.

I started to cry. I honestly didn’t know how he could help me. At that moment I couldn’t even remember what exactly was in my wallet, other than everything I need to function in daily life. He, of course, stayed calm and understanding, because that is his role. My role is to blame and freak out, and trust me when I say, I am not proud of this trait. Somehow, though, it feels like my default setting.

And then it hit me.


We had stopped there the day before with the kids so Abby could go to the bathroom, and I could get whatever passes for a salted caramel hot chocolate these days (in case you were wondering, those are seasonal, meaning normal people don’t want one the first week of May).

I had grabbed my wallet from my purse before we went inside. I had used it to pay for all our stuff and then had taken it with me into the bathroom. I did remember that.

My husband and I hung up so I could call Starbucks. They were so nice and let me know right away that someone had turned in a wallet. My wallet. They found it in a bathroom stall and had it locked in their safe, and I could retrieve it at my leisure.

Starbucks Miracle

So there was no one else to blame even though that was my knee-jerk response.

I called my hubby to let him know that the wallet was found. Groceries could still be purchased. He could still enjoy the ability come in and out of our house during the evening without worrying about ninja like thieves breaking into my car. I was the idiot and the one at fault. I was the one who did the losing.

He assured me that it was not my fault. That I had been out of my routine. That it was an honest mistake and he had understood how I felt in that moment because it is scary to not be able to find your wallet. He ended the call by saying that he was so glad someone had turned in the wallet and how it was nice to know that people were still good out there and that he loved me.

People are good. My husband is kind. And perhaps it is time for me to look at resetting my default switch to one that chooses understanding over blame.


How I *Literally* Became A Loser — 134 Comments

  1. Oh, I totally know that feeling right when you realize something you need is missing. I have misplaced my phone, my keys, and my wallet multiple times (thankfully, mostly in my house. though the year I had an iPhone I misplaced it no less than 3 times in the same neighborhood of Cambridge, and amazingly all 3 times I got it back.) Glad you solved this mystery πŸ™‚

  2. That’s scary. Maybe you subconsciously left your wallet at Starbucks so you could go back and get another cup of caffeinated deliciousness. πŸ™‚

    My husband and daughter like to find a way to blame me for things that are completely unrelated to me. “Honey, I ran over that Frisbee because you didn’t pick it up.” Or, from across the room, “Mom! You made me fall down!”

  3. I don’t often misplace things either – but when I do? Oh, the panic. I know it well. And when that sets in, sometimes we are not calm, rational selves. I am so glad that someone found it and turned it in. I love a happy ending!

    • Thanks Kim! You have made me feel better…you are so right about us not being our rational selves. πŸ™‚

  4. Oh you are so not alone and cannot tell you how many times I have lost my keys let alone my wallet. I totally felt your pain reading this and have been just as upset a few times already myself, especially one time when I couldn’t find my keys to take my daughter to pre-school. I looked all over and they ended up being in my husband’s sweatshirt, because we had gone out the night before and he drove my car. Trust me panic, tears and so much more in that moment and yes can so relate!!

  5. I find myself doing the same thing when something is missing…blaming it on either my husband or daughter, because I couldn’t possibly misplace things! Haha! I’m glad you found your wallet. That is the worst feeling ever!

  6. A saucer. A soccer bag. Between my car seat and console. In the backseat of a Barbie car.

    These are the places my wallet has been found. Before 2013 ends, at least seven new spots will join this list.

    But I’ve never left it in the Starbucks bathroom.

  7. I have “lost” my wallet twice… BOTH times it was because I was buying a Christmas tree and had set it on top of the car to do something like buckle a kid in their seat. And both times, a kind stranger called me to tell me they had my wallet. Good thing I’m poor as dirt and never have cash on me πŸ˜‰

    • I am certain that the $3 I was carrying in my wallet probably added to the honesty of the stranger! πŸ˜‰

  8. There is so much of this post to love. Let’s break it down. First the grocery shopping that you tell yourself that it is for the week, then three days and then the next day you are back. Yes! That is me. Then the misplaced wallet. Me again. Then the messy car and countertops. Me, and Me. Then the blame thing. OMG, ME! And then the capper…A salted caramel hot chocolate in May (or at least wanting one)…I think I might love you a little more if that is even possible. That is my all time favorite drink from Starbucks, so much that the girl gave me what was left of the salt after they weren’t selling them anymore. πŸ™‚ I didn’t have the heart to tell her that without her making them, I wouldn’t be drinking them. LOVE this post!!

    • Totally knew we were supposed to be friends! πŸ™‚ Because yeah, if my SBUX girl offered me the salt I would say the same thing!

  9. Thank goodness the wallet was found!
    I like the “I spy” lol

    But it happens just as your hubby said…when we are taken out of our normal routine so don’t beat yourself up so bad about it. We all freak! When we calm down and really think …that’s when we think clearer and if it can’t be us, then we call someone who can calm us down and think for us if only for a few minutes.

    Kudos to your hubby!

    • Thanks friend! πŸ™‚ Lisa did the graphic and I burst out laughing when I saw it!
      You are right…we all do freak out…I guess I just show my freak out more! πŸ˜‰

  10. So glad it was found by a nice person! I think more people than not would do the right thing. I’m all starry-eyed like that. What a horrible feeling when you’re missing something so important. Ugh. I’ve been there. True story – my sister lost her wallet at a Starbucks and she’s a bit of a minor celebrity in Jersey (rock DJ) and the people who found it were really excited to find HER wallet. Oh, and the groceries. Don’t you love when you spend $100-$200 and then you look in your fridge that night and you have nothing for dinner? Maybe that’s just me.

    • Not you at all. That is totally me…honestly, bags and bags of groceries and we are still ordering pizza for the night! I feel you!
      Too cute about your sister…love it! πŸ™‚

  11. Thank goodness someone turned it in! I once lost my wallet and didn’t realize until I was at lunch with a friend and had to have her pay for mine. I never found it- I think I might have thrown it away somehow… who knows…

  12. That would have thrown me into freak out mode too. Thank goodness for kind people – both the people who turn in wallets and the people who get us through life’s rough spots.

  13. You’re so fortunate! We’ve all been there; too many things to remember especially with the kids in tow. My husband photo copies his entire wallet (lays all the cards out and copies on one sheet of paper) just in case. I guess it is time I do the same.

    • As soon as I realized that it was not actually lost I vowed to do exactly the same thing…and I still need to do it! ;0

  14. First, so glad you found your wallet! Scary moment, indeed!

    Second, so glad your hubby was amazing with you and sounds like an absolute sweetheart (totally got an AWWW! from me when I read this and the whole melty heart thing). I wish I always responded that way when my hubby was in a panic over not being able to find something or visa versa, though I do better responding correctly with my kiddos.

    Third, I have passed blame when there was no blame to pass only to eat my words later. I think we all do at least once in our lives. It keeps us humble and teaches us things about ourselves, trust and others.

    I was told once to assume the best in people. That doesn’t, however, mean to be niave (We all have our own Spidey senses and we need to trust them!), but to not jump to conclusions and assume that the worst will always happen. I have a hard time with this, BUT when I DO do this, I am much happier. The world can be dark and scary, but that isn’t the case all the time…and it’s time we (pointing to myself) start seeing the beauty that surrounds us, too. πŸ™‚

  15. You have a wonderful hubby. Blame is a knee-jerk response. I know. I’ve most recently “lost” my gas credit card. I thought it was in my iphone wallet, but on my way to get gas I couldn’t find it. I searched my mind for when I used it last and where it could be. Images of me leaving it at the gas station, dropping it somewhere, or getting lost in the wash because I left it in a pants pocket all ran through my mind. When I arrived home, I first looked in my purse and in my wallet was my gas card. Not lost at all. Mystery solved. Heart slowly beats back to normal. Followed you from SITS. Have a blessed day!

    • Isn’t it crazy how our mind just goes nuts in these moments? So glad you found your gas card! That would have been a tough one to be without!

  16. I would have freaked out! Just after reading this, I had to check my purse to make sure my wallet was in there! I’m so glad you retraced your steps and found it!

  17. I am really bad at just carrying a wallet and not a purse because I will put everything but he kitchen sink in there. I have LOST my wallet several times, but it always turns up. πŸ™‚ Glad your did, too!!

  18. Whew. Glad it’s back.

    I would have probably LOST MY EVERLOVIN’ MIND. For realz.

    And I feel you on the blame game. It’s so easy to protect ourselves by tossing it elsewhere.

    And yeah, good people out there. That’s pretty awesome. (Hope you got yourself another cuppa’ something yum!)

    • Just the worst feeling ever! And I wish I had bought myself a tasty treat, but I was honestly just waiting for my heart rate to return to normal! πŸ˜‰

  19. (((HUGS))) I feel for you babe, my heart and stomach drops, total and utter panic takes over…I am glad you found it and no one took!!! Thank God for small miracles.

    • Thanks so much Karen! It really one of those “someone watching out for you” type moments! πŸ™‚

  20. Great article! I hate the adrenaline rush when you realize you’ve lost something. You were smart to remember Starbucks, that probably would have taken me a few days to recollect. Kudos to Robert for being a supportive good guy.

    • Glad you enjoyed this one! Robert is a good guy! πŸ™‚ And the adrenaline rush is just the worst!

  21. Once my sister used the bathroom stall in Target, and there was line so someone went in right after here. She realized instantly that she had left the wallet on top of the toilet paper dispenser and turned around to wait outside the stall door.

    She waited until the person was done and came out so she could grab it, but of course, it wasn’t there. It was awful because we were 11 and 12 and she was an adult. Now, no question, I would say Hey did you see my wallet, it was right there?, but at the time we didn’t know what to say. She speedwalked right out of there and it was gone. And we were Christmas shopping. πŸ™

    I’m glad yours had a happier ending.

    • Oh my Gosh, Robin, that is just an AWFUL story. πŸ™ Your poor sister. That must have been so upsetting and to happen at such a young age and by an adult is just really sad.

  22. {Melinda} You are lucky you are not a habitual “loser.” I go through the above scenario about twice a week. My kind husband no longer drops everything to soothe my anxiety attack. He’d have to quit his job. πŸ™‚

    Glad all turned out okay. That truly is the worst feeling. I should know.

  23. I lose my stuff ALL THE TIME! Keys, glasses, watch, wallet, etc. My husband gets tired of helping me look for my stuff. And the funny part is that I still yell at my kids when they can’t find their shoes!!

  24. I lose stuff all the time – and it’s usually underneath a pile on my desk these days! AND..I am the girl who looks for my glasses around the house when they are on my head – so I feel for you. And I am so glad your wallet was turned in. I love when the universe reinforces for us that the world really is a kind place.

    • I have definitely done the whole glasses thing before and looked for my cell phone while I am talking on it…that is another one I do a lot!
      I agree with your last sentence totally. πŸ™‚

  25. Your husband’s a good man! When we panic we tend to take things out on those we love the most. I am so glad you found it…it is the worst feeling when you lose something important like that! Thank goodness for honest people!!

  26. Awww your husband is so sweet. I totally freak out when I misplace things. And I have this annoyingly tiny wallet-it’s just the size of my credit cards, so it’s really easy to misplace. Usually it just ends up hiding in the folds of my bags, but sometimes I leave it at work.

    I’m really glad someone was nice enough to turn it in. And that you found it. And that your husband is so understanding. Maybe you should go buy a Starbucks to celebrate? πŸ™‚

    • I should probably go have a Starbucks right now, huh? I mean, you know, because you said I could! πŸ˜‰
      I can’t imagine if I had a tiny wallet…I would really be in trouble!

  27. Oh, wow. I am so glad you got it back. Thank goodness there are still honest people in the world. Once, I forgot my purse in a bench seat at McDonald’s and went to the gas station across the street. When I realized I’d left it, I went back to the same booth and there was a man with a woman and young child sitting there. He sort of looked a little menacing (had a doorag on his head, tatted out, and just not a friendly face), but I didn’t want to be judgmental at a time like this. I went over there, asked if they had seen a black knit purse and he said no. So, as I slowly walked away, I turned back around out of a total gut instinct feeling. I went back and got down on the floor (dress and all) and saw my purse clutched between his ankles so I grabbed it and left. Talk about heart pounding. I know he was playing it cool and had probably planned to walk out nonchalant when they were finished eating. Thank God I trusted my gut because I had $400 in cash in there, plus all the other normal stuff. Whew. Looks like you had the little angel looking out for you too. Great story.

    • Oh my Gosh, Karen, that is TERRIBLE!! I cannot believe he was trying to steal your purse…thank God you checked under the table yourself! UGH.

  28. This just happened to me. Not the entire wallet, but I misplaced our primary credit card. When I went to use it for an online transaction, I couldn’t find it. I looked everywhere, and finally realized I might have left it at the grocery store. Sure enough, it was there. I was shopping earlier in the day with my two-year-old and she was grabbing things off the candy aisle. I swiped my card and never put it back in my wallet. I swear I feel like I’m running around like a crazy person some days when I’m running errands with the kids. I should not be allowed to have a credit card on me. Thank God the store placed it in a locked drawer. No damage done, but definitely can relate to your moment!

    • Definitely does feel like that some days…thank God the store had your credit card and had locked it for you. That is a huge relief! And such a stressful moment!

  29. We have all been there. I don’t carry cash around very often and we never have a large amount of money on our cards so if anything were to get stolen it would not be a big lost. I remember I left my drivers license at a store one time for a whole month didn’t even know until someone asked me to show it I had to rack my brain hard to figure out the last place I took it out at.

    • Oh my Gosh, being without your license for a month?? That is awful…thank goodness you were never pulled over!

  30. Ugh. I hate that sinking feeling in your gut when you lose your wallet (yep, been there, done that).

    One time, I lost my ATM card. I had visions of it being stolen and some crook emptying out my bank account. I called the bank and had it canceled and replaced. A few months later, I find it between the passenger seat and the center console in my car.

    Apparently, when I stopped by the ATM I just tossed in on the passenger seat when I was done, and it slipped down in there. Although, I SWEAR I checked there a million times…

    • Lisa once forgot her card in the ATM. It was a total nightmare for her! I have definitely done the whole toss it on the seat thing myself, so I know exactly what you are talking about!

  31. What a great hubby. Mine knows me well and asks me Every.Single.Time. I leave the house if I have my wallet because there have been multiple times I have gone through the cashier line at Target only to find my wallet is not with me when I go to pay. And you know when you go to Target that is NOT a “only a few items” trip. That is a cart chock full O’stuff you never knew you needed. And he was SUPER supportive when I left my daughter at school. Like, the daughter that doesn’t go to the school because she is only 5 months old. So yeah. Leaving her there for the 15 seconds it took for the teachers aide to run after me to remind me “um, you forgot your daughter”, Pi was uber supportive in a way that all husbands are when you don’t tell them about it.
    Can we trade husband? Maybe just for a while? And can I borrow your wallet to get that tasty sounding Starbucks drink?

    • Your story about leaving your daughter at school and your hubby made me BURST out laughing!! That is so funny…they do tend to be more understanding when the information is withheld from them! πŸ˜‰

  32. So glad you found it! I know that feeling of panic too well. Last summer I misplaced my wallet. My 2 year old told me she threw it in the garbage can. I had taken out the garbage and 10 minutes before this convo, the garbage had been picked up! Thankfully we found that she had really hidden it under the dining room table. But yep, I had a melt down!

    • OH MY GOD. I cannot imagine that moment of thinking it had been thrown away! I would have had a heart attack! So glad it had not been thrown away!

  33. I’m so glad you found it!

    I’m terribly scatterbrained. I constantly lose my keys and my purse. And my phone(though I blame my kids for that one since they like to take it and play games on it). And my shoes. And occasionally my wedding rings. SIGH.

    • She is very chatty and fun while we shop and will always remind me of what we need! πŸ™‚ Delightful errand companion in general really!

  34. You’re not a loser – we’ve all been there. Last summer I got a phone call from a woman who said she found my wallet – and I didn’t even know it was missing! Thankfully nothing was in there to be stolen lol
    Come on, real loser thing would have been “taking reenactment” photo and then once again, leaving your wallet.

    • I tried not to laugh, but getting that phone call and not even knowing it was missing is funny! Can you even imagine if I had forgotten the wallet a 2nd time??!! πŸ˜‰

  35. My mother one time left her billfold on the check writing stand at a local busy Walmart. Did not realize it till she was home. We rushed back 12 miles to find it at the service desk. It was then she told us that she had stashed about 2500 in various places in the wallet. I nearly hit the floor and she decided then that maybe doing that was not the wisest of decisions. Although it was all there and a cashier had turned it in she was so lucky.

    • 2500 DOLLARS? In cash?? OH MY GOD. I cannot even imagine how stressed she must have been when she realized it was not with her! So glad it was turned in!

  36. yes this has happened to me more than I would like to admit! The worse part of it all is the dread and the feeling deep in the pit of your stomach when you realize what has happened! I am so happy for kind people in the world.

    • You are so right about that feeling in your stomach…it is just awful! It was such a relief to know that people are still kind. πŸ™‚

    • He is definitely a keeper! πŸ™‚ It is so nice to know that kind people are still out there!

  37. I once left my entire purse sitting on a sidewalk (outside where I had parked my car). I felt like an idiot. A nice man found it. Thank goodness there are still so many good people. Glad you had a couple of good guys that day:))

    • I could definitely see myself doing that, especially the setting it down while unloading/loading kids in the car. Glad you had a nice helper that day, too! πŸ™‚

  38. Oh my! My default setting is Scream & Blame too. Not my finest attribute. Working on it!
    Re losing shit: I lost my credit card out of my back pocket at a food festival after it’d dropped on the grass at least three times when I pulled out my phone AND I told myself, move the credit card to your front pocket. Duh! Amazingly, someone picked it up and turned it into a police officer at the event. And even more amazingly, he DROVE to my house to leave me a note on my windshield to call him. Then still more amazingly, HE CAME BACK the next day to hand my credit card to me. There are good people in the world.

    • That is just AMAZING. Seriously, that is a fantastic story! πŸ™‚
      So glad to know I am not alone with that default setting…ugh…definitely not my finest attribute either!

  39. Oh gosh – been there, done that. I totally know that horrible gut feeling you get when your wallet is missing. Especially when you’re trying not to freak out in front of the kiddos. Glad you found it!

    • Normally I have a huge purse, too…because like you there is no way I am forgetting it. Ever! πŸ˜‰

    • Thank you so much Carla! We loved meeting you, too…was just telling a good girlfriend about your book this weekend…will be in touch with you directly! πŸ™‚

  40. I hate, HATE losing things…and it drives me batty until I find it. But yep now being a mom of two little boys I do it more often that I would like. Especially when I am out of routine…I am so glad someone was honest and turned it in!

    • I do feel like the lack of routine is probably what threw me off the most…and the fact that I was freezing may not have helped either! πŸ˜‰

  41. See…aren’t people so lovely some times. Tell me though, was EVERYthing still in the wallet? Lol. I understand the relief of recovering something super important after you’ve thought it was gone in the wind. You promise to never lose it again. Until the next time of course…

    • Everything was still in my wallet. Everything. Even my expired Borders Books card. So they were on the up and up at the old Starbucks! πŸ™‚

  42. Thank goodness an honest person turned in your wallet! I don’t usually lose things but my husband does all the time. He recently lost his iPod and has been searching for it for a week. He found it tonight… in the upstairs bathroom under a magazine. Why it was there is beyond me!

  43. I’m so glad you found it! See, I misplace things ALL THE TIME. I am so scatterbrained. I try to keep all my important things in my purse but sometimes I randomly leave my wallet or keys in an odd spot.

    • I definitely feel like my 9 year-old is kind of scatterbrained, too, so I imagine we will have many moments like this in our future!

  44. Scrolling….scrolling…..scrolling…. my fingers are getting tired over here!! HA! Okay- this was just such a great post Ashley!!! My stomach was in KNOTS over you losing your wallet and I have so been there!! That panic is the worst ever!!
    And can I just fly over there and take a cab to your house just to HUG your hubs????
    Oh girl, you picked a good one.
    πŸ˜‰ xoxo

    • Thanks Chris! He is a keeper for sure! πŸ™‚
      That panic feeling is just the worst, I totally agree!

  45. Oh, I’m so glad this had a happy ending! I felt like I was right there with you- the heat rushing to your face, heart pounding, the crying- that is exactly how I would have reacted. Exactly. I’m glad you don’t lose things- I do. I never lose anything important, but I feel like I am constantly scrambling to find things, and it drives me crazy. Oh, and I laughed at “And by three days I mean one day.” πŸ˜€ And I also loved the “re-enactment’ photo. You girls crack me up.

    • Thanks! Lisa definitely outdid herself making the re-enactment photo! I laughed out loud when I saw it! πŸ™‚
      Not being able to find something is just the worst.

  46. It happens to the best of us! At least you found it – thank goodness the Starbucks toilet was watching it for you. How about losing your wallet right before heading to the airport? Yeah, it happened to me. I was sweating. It ended up being under the couch, but I had to physically move the entire thing to find it!

    • The Starbucks toilet was clearly the real hero of that day! πŸ˜‰ Cannot even imagine the stress of losing a wallet before going to the airport…that is a nightmare!

  47. Ugh, losing a wallet is one of the scariest things I’ve had happen. Not only is there the worry about identity theft, but also the hassle of not having the stuff you need and trying to replace it. I know that there are plenty of times that I have also jumped into blame mode, and feel terrible afterward. (you are not alone in that). Glad you found your wallet though!

    Visiting from #SitsSharefest

    • Thanks so much for coming by Tiffany! πŸ™‚ It is so stressful. The thought of having to try to replace everything honestly just made me want to cry!

  48. I would totally freak out. So glad you found it! My husband lost his wallet once in our former apartment. We found it about 9 months later under a box when we were moving out πŸ™‚ My car is such a trash heap (my husband refers to it as my trash can) and I had a dream the other night that someone stole all of the actually important stuff that is kept in my car. It freaked me out, but not so much that I cleaned it up any.

  49. You read my post, so you KNOW I lose things. ALL THE TIME. So I guess I am qualified to say I know exactly how you felt.
    Glad you found it. Some people really are very kind and honest.

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