Since my son has started driving, I have encouraged him to make sure that he finds a standard place to leave his wallet and keys in the house every time he comes home.
I am practically robotic about this, leaving mine in the same little nook and cranny. My routines are simple – I set my keys in a basket on our counter, and I set my wallet in – I will never tell. I don’t need you coming and finding my wallet that is devoid of anything useful other than my license, my bank card and, for some reason, an expired library card from where I used to live. I’m on to you. You will NOT get my expired library card.
I would like to think we are teaching him well on this, and I would celebrate that we are, except for the almost nightly ritual when my son heads to work when he says, “I can’t find my keys!!!” (Spoiler alert: They are usually in the couch cushions.)
He was pretty good about his wallet, however. Because he is 17, his wallet doesn’t contain much: driver’s license and a few random bucks he got for an odd job here or there.
But the other night, he could not find his wallet. He enlisted the support of my wife and me, who began to go through the house on the search.
For what it’s worth, my wife is the expert on finding lost items. She does this forensic thing where she grills you about where you last had said item in a ridiculous CSI protocol that is equally effective and annoying. It’s effective because it works. It’s annoying because it almost always works, and she has this insane ability to find things after asking you question after question until you say, “Oh, wait, I did pull my wallet out in the bathroom while I was looking for a cleaner.” And boom – there is your wallet in the downstairs bathroom cabinet for some inexplicable reason.
Alas, this time, even her grilling could not yield results. Despite the intense questioning, we could not find the wallet.
Fast forward to a few hours later. My wife and I had left the house for a bit, and I got a call from my son. He was out in the front yard chilling out in the early evening. A police officer rolled up in front of our house. He had his wallet. Someone had found it on the road and had turned it into the police.
Parker’s best guess: The last time he had left the house, he went to drop his wallet in the side door pocket and missed, and when he did a quick open-and-shut a bit later when he realized his door was not shut entirely, it fell out on the road.
It has some tire marks on it, but everything was returned to him. He even had some cash in the wallet, and that was still in there, too. Thank you, kind stranger, for being the good we need in the world.
Folks, in these rough times, let’s not forget that there is a lot of that good in the world. We are, overall, a decent group of mammals. Keep paying it forward. Keep doing what’s right. And keep finding a place to keep your wallet and keys.
Mike Gibbons was born and raised in Aiken, S.C. A graduate of the University of Alabama, you can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @StandardMike.