The following post is entirely fictional although based in some reality–because aren’t all stories?
I knew something was going to give. I was tempting fate by carrying so much stuff in one load, but I really hated making more than one trip–especially in such cruddy weather.
I had everything–my book bag, my lunch, my huge purse, my coffee, and the box of art supplies I bought–except a way to get my card key out of my pocket in order to key myself into the building.
Maybe if I did a funny sort of hip thing toward the reader, it would scan it through my pocket.
I shuffled myself sideways to the door, my boots sliding around in the slushy mix that lake effect snow and salt produce when they mash together under many feet.
First Pausing to make sure I had everything balanced, I thrust my hip up toward the card reader. It was too much for my unsteady burden.
Everything shifted and slowly started toppling.
first the box of art supplies skidded across the murky parking lot coming to a rest underneath a nearby Jeep.
My coffee went down directly onto my boots, staining the light suede with Rorschach-like spots.
My book bag, which was luckily zipped, slid down taking my purse with it. The book bag escaped with only some wet splotches, but my purse? Landed open-side down.
Everything rolled out. All over the parking lot and into the slush and dirt and snow.
I scrambled to grab things as quickly as I could so they wouldn’t soak up the cold, dirty water.
I first lunged for Matthew’s things. His little knit hat had tumbled into a puddle; that would need to go in the wash. I would have to throw out the diapers in the handmade diaper clutch since they were doing their job and soaking up liquid. Dang it.
Luckily the matching bib and wipes case had landed on plain pavement and just need to be brushed off.
As I picked up the baggie of cheerios and the small, toy giraffe, I realized that most of my purse was not even my stuff. Matthew really had taken over my whole life.
My small, point-and-shoot camera and my phone had fallen next to my foot, and a quick check showed that they were only dirty, not broken.
I didn’t see my wallet or my checkbook. My pulse quickened, as I got as low down as I could without putting my knees in the slush to peer under vehicles.
They weren’t anywhere.
Damnit. That wallet was one of my most prized possessions. While I would never spend the money on myself for a designer anything, my mother-in-law and sprung for a designer wallet for me, and I had to admit I loved it. I loved it way more than I thought I should.
That little wallet–actually it was more of a mini-wristlet–probably cost about $75–way too much for something so small–but it made me feel like a trendy, put-together mom. Not the hot mess that was currently scrambling to pick her life up from a slushy parking lot at 7:00 in the morning.
Where was it?
I rooting through all the wet, dirty stuff I had already smashed back into my purse and came up empty handed.
I could feel the hot tears swelling up in my eyes.
Why was I crying over a wallet? I could cancel the debit cards and get a new license–seriously. It was no big deal.
So why was I so upset?
I gave one last glance around, grabbed my water bottle from next to a van tire, and gathered up the rest of my stuff–but not before I keyed the door open. I didn’t need another spill.