This morning I cried. I cried because I was given the bad news that my precious corduroy jacket could not be found at the establishment I visited last night.
Guilt overwhelmed me when I realized I should’ve just paid the $10 to reenter the parking garage so that I could retrieve my jacket before somebody snagged it. But, my inner miser got the better of me. Out of principle, I refused to pay for parking again and retreated home. It’d been a rough night. I said to myself I’d just call the restaurant in the morning to see if it’d turn up in lost and found.
A man answered the phone when I called the restaurant. He asked me where I sat and to describe my jacket. I explained it’s a medium, brown, corduroy, J. Crew jacket. The man on the other end of the phone put me on hold to go look for it. After waiting on hold for about 9 minutes, I hung up and called back. It was then that the man I’d spoken with told me that he couldn’t find my jacket after looking around the restaurant. According to this guy, he’d even engaged a fellow employee to help him unsuccessfully find my jacket. As consolation, he told me that he’d leave a note asking the previous night’s manager if he knew where the missing jacket was. At that point, I was instructed to call back tomorrow.
Grief overcame me. Did someone take it? Why would someone want my outdated and oddly sized corduroy jacket? If it’s not there today, why would it be there tomorrow?
You have to understand. This isn’t any ol’ jacket. It’s so versatile, so light, yet so warming. I LOVE that jacket. In tears, I called my mom to discuss my loss and the emotions that’d overtaken me. After 5 years, it was finally over.
Since I’m a bit more sensitive to cooler temperatures than most people, I always carry a jacket with me if there’s a possibility I’ll be spending time indoors when away from home. Thoughts of replacing a jacket for a woman of my stature is worrisome. My arms are long, and my upper body is slim so I have a hard time finding something that fits me well. Besides, I am mentally maxed out on unexpected expenses resulting from last week: a $40 parking citation, $180 brake pad replacements, and a $1,000 mattress set. And now, 100 bucks to replace my jacket. Fortunately, I can afford to pay for all these things even if I really don’t want to.
I recalled an experience from last month that reminded me that even your closest friends can have next to no regard for your money. Your loss doesn’t cost them anything. With that experience still sorely fresh in my memory, I had to ask myself “how much could a complete stranger care about my loss of what he likely considers a disgusting, unfashionable, brown, corduroy jacket? Did he even look for it?” Even if he did, his search couldn’t have been performed with the same level of zeal that I would’ve conducted the search.
Peeling myself off the couch, I wiped away my tears, got dressed, and headed off to the restaurant. When I entered the restaurant, I checked the bathroom stall I used the night before, examined the bar hook where I hung my jacket, and questioned the bartenders. After that got me no where, I turned to the host who took me to the lost and found. Well, wouldn’t you know, I spied the sleeve of my beloved peeking out of the lost and found drawer. I claimed my jacket and immediately started jumping up and down like a school girl, laughing and clapping my hands. I didn’t care that people were watching. Mind your own daggum business! I clung to my jacket as if I was Peanut’s Linus and it was my security blanket. I thanked the host and skipped (figuratively) back to my car.
I share this experience with you in hopes that you’ll be reminded, or informed if you don’t already know, that no one cares about your time, money, or things as much as you do. Take care of them, and always remember to take care of yourself.
Originally posted May 10, 2009