I am excellent at remembering where I left things, which means I am at least of normal intelligence, mental illness does not run in my family, and I nearly always know where I left my purse. Occasionally, however, I find myself having a rare and unexplainable lapse of memory. This morning was such a morning. I was getting ready for work, running late, as usual and in a great hurry to get out the door and on the road.
I hate to be late for work, mostly, of course, because I’m such a dedicated employee, but also because it’s impossible to find a parking place when I’m late. I skillfully maneuvered my car onto the roadway, causing only one driver to swerve into a different lane. I was already in the fast lane when I realized that I had forgotten my parking card.
A parking card is electronically scanned at the entrance to the garage like a credit card. It magically raises the wooden arm that lets you into the parking garage. When I glanced at the sun visor, I was startled to see that my parking card was missing and was not where it was supposed to be behind the garage door opener.
Clearly this was impossible given my impeccable record for remembering detail. I had my purse, my lunch, my ID card, and even my coffee mug – but the card was missing. It could not be found on the seat under my lunch bag, or by digging around in my purse with one hand while driving with the other, a highly developed skill belonging only to women.
Now this is the dilemma: Do I continue on to work and pay five dollars to park all day or turn around at the first exit and go back home for the card? Of course, there is really no question here. As soon as I arrive at the first exit, I execute a U-turn and head back home.
I could visualize my parking card on the kitchen table where I last remembered seeing it only moments before my mad dash to the car. “I know exactly where it is, so it will only take a minute to get it.”
Screeching my brakes in the driveway, I ran into the house to grab the card and get back on the road. The dog was delighted to see me again so soon, undoubtedly thinking I must have worked the shortest day in history. “Out of the way, dog! I need to get my parking card.”
It wasn’t there! I could scarcely believe it as I looked under the table on the floor. I cast suspicious eyes on the dog, but finally decided he couldn’t have reached it and wouldn’t like the flavor of parking cards anyhow which taste nothing like doggy treats, a good thing since I could never fit him though the card scanner if he swallowed it.
I finally concluded that it had to be in the only place left. I yanked everything from my purse. Wallet, checkbook, makeup, loose change, all the objects of necessity that a female needs to maintain life flew into the air as I dug through my purse with both hands, in spite of the fact that I could have done it with one.
There in the very bottom of my purse was the elusive parking card. Obviously, my purse has a secret compartment perfect for concealing small objects. In fact, it is so secret it is unknown even to me. So, you can see, I am not really forgetful at all. I had the card with me the whole time!
Now if I can only figure out what I’ve done with my car keys, I can go to work.