The place had good food, but horribly slow service, and they put lettuce on my burger after I specifically said they could put whatever they always put on it except lettuce. I saw the waitress write this down on her notepad. There was no excuse for botching that order! I didn't complain. I just peeled the lettuce off and munched away happily.
The reason I mention this is I have a random childhood memory that always flashes before my eyes when I see lettuce. It was December of 1998. I was 9 years old and my decidedly religiously apathetic mother decided that the perfect family holiday memory would be taking her agnostic German Jewish parents and my brother and me to a Unitarian Christmas pageant. You know those well-meaning family moments that are just doomed from the start? This was one of them. I remember nothing about the play except for the bored expression on the face of my grandpa, who bore a disturbing resemblance to one of my favorite authors, Elie Wiesel--I am not joking; they could have been twins--and a skit set in the Titanic's dining room. (This was when the movie was really popular.) Anyhoo, a man was sitting at a table to order, and the waiter asked him what he wanted. The guy said salad, so the waiter asked him what kind of lettuce. The man said "Iceberg!" and right then, an iceberg tore up the ship. I remember being nine and thinking a) What the heck does this have to do with Christmas, b) That pun amuses me in a horribly corny manner, and c) That was some excellent special effects for a local play. Thus, every time I see lettuce or say lettuce or hear the word lettuce, this scene flashes before my eyes. And it flashed before my eyes in slow motion this afternoon as I gazed down upon the lettuce that contaminated my hamburger.
But I digress--lettuce has a tendency to do this to me. While I was setting up my new bank account, I had to hand over my driver's license and social security card. As I was digging through my wallet to do so, I realized that I have a ton of stuff in there. I decided to organize my trusty wallet after I got home. And now here I am, staring down at all of the cards I have in that wallet and wondering what I am doing with half of them.
- I carry a driver's license, which is nice, seeing as I have been driving for a couple of years now.
- I carry my social security card, which is senseless because I know my SSN and also have read it's not really safe to carry the card with you.
- I carry photo IDs for two separate colleges, one which I no longer attend and one I haven't started at yet.
- I carry a handy little tip chart that shows the correct percentage for tipping waiters for meals that range from $1 to $200. I never use the handy tip chart.
- I carry a Wal-Mart gift card that I received for Hanukkah last year. I believe it's been used up, but I am not sure.
- I carry an Aeropostole gift card that I received for my eighteenth birthday in 2007. I went in the store once and never found anything I liked. I am not sure if it's expired by now or not.
- I carry two current insurance cards for my car--I think I forgot to put one in my glove box--and two expired insurance cards.
- I carry a campaign card some guy who was running for sheriff handed out. It has a calendar on it. The calendar is for 2008. I did not vote for the sheriff because I do not even live in that county.
- I carry a somewhat more useful 3 year calendar card from my insurance agent. (It's still current. :D)
- I carry a hunter orange card that affirms that I did pass a hunter safety course three years ago. I have yet to use it.
- I carry a library card. Mine is red, but we stopped issuing red ones a few months ago. In fifty years, I believe it will be a rare treasure for that reason.
- I carry a voter's registration card. *launches into "responsible nerd who does her civic duty dance"* After working two elections where eighty percent of the voters did not carry theirs and had no idea which precinct they vote in, I think not carrying one's voter registration card should be punishable by flogging. Don't argue with me. I'll flog you.
- I carry a Post Office box card that I rely on because I can't remember my newly minted P.O. Box's zip code.
- I carry a handwritten ID card that lists my name, address, phone number, and emergency contact information. I have no idea why that's in there because I have so many other cards that list my name and address.
But the one thing that really puzzles me and that I barely remember putting in there is a large folded index card that literally lists the phone number of every relative I am in contact with. It also lists all of my then friends' numbers. There are two of them. I haven't spoken to either one in nearly a year--nothing personal; I just don't see them anymore--and neither of the numbers are accurate because one friend is now divorced and lives in another state and the other is just married and moved away. The card also lists the numbers for the local tow truck company, my eye doctor, a doctor who my grandma goes to but who I have never been to, the electric company, the post office, the library, the city police, the county sheriff, and--get this--Wal-Mart. I have no idea what possessed me to write this out, let alone carry it around with me for years. I feel sorry for whoever finds this card and tries to figure out who would feel compelled to write down the local Wal-Mart's number.
After I was done, I decided to blog about my wallet. I then promptly restored all of its contents to its rightful place, including the creepy card with mostly outdated numbers. You never know when you'll need to call Wal-Mart . . .
What's in your wallet?