Good Samaritan

Lost and Found: What’s In Your Wallet

December 29, 2011 at 3:41 pm , by

Phone, wallet, keys. That’s my checklist every time I leave a place, and I usually check more than once. So why didn’t I check and double-check when I got out of the cab in front of my apartment yesterday? Well, I had just spent a week in Florida and was still coming down from the holiday high. I was dizzy from the bumpy three-hour flight and equally nauseating cab ride from LaGuardia Airport to my apartment in Brooklyn. Plus, I was simultaneously texting my roommate, paying for the taxi and trying to figure out how to get my luggage and my body out of the car before people started honking.

It wasn’t until hours later that I realized my wallet was gone. Just when I thought I had escaped the holiday travel frenzy without a scratch, I’d lost all access to my money, plus my ID and a bunch of other important things, like my health insurance card and subway pass. And I’d managed to do this between paying for the cab and walking into my building. Was it outside on the sidewalk? No. Was it still in the cab? Maybe. There is one way to describe this feeling, and it is a borrowed expression from my Facebook status: Uggghhhh.

But there is a nice ending. After I canceled my credit cards, I decided I should probably file a police report in case someone was planning on stealing my identity. But just as I dialed out, I got a beep from a number I didn’t recognize and decided to answer. It was an officer from the police station near me. Someone had found my wallet on the sidewalk and turned it in. (Below: some of the things I would have lost if not for that anonymous good Samaritan.)

Talk about sweet relief! I marched over there immediately and was delighted to find all of my stuff intact—even my lone $10 bill was still nestled safely inside. Isn’t it nice when people do the right thing? Unfortunately, that isn’t usually the case, so I had already deemed my wallet long gone. This time I just got lucky—or was it a little holiday miracle?

If you’re finding your way home after the holidays, here’s your friendly reminder: Stay calm, check twice to be sure you have everything—and keep your purse zipped in crowded places. Safe travels!