Andrea's column: Andrea's fiscal cliff
Sometimes, when I least expect it, when all seems right in my world, the earth goes flat and I topple right over the edge. It happened again last week.
Late Monday afternoon, I was working on my column when my husband called. He was leaving work and would stop at the store to pick up salmon and asparagus. I looked at the clock and figured I had an hour to finish writing.
When an hour and a half had passed, I started worrying. Just then, the phone rang. In a voice so quiet I could barely hear him, my husband said, "I lost the checkbook." I played cop at the crime scene and went into interrogation mode.
Yes, he had gone back inside to see if he left it at the checkout counter. Yes, he had talked with a manager and given him his telephone number. Yes, he had retraced his steps. Yes, he had backed out of the parking spot to see if it had slid out of his pocket and under the car.
While he was on his way home, I called the bank. The man I spoke to said, "Oh, no," when I told him what had transpired. He said the same thing had happened to him once. He would transfer my call to the extension of the woman who takes care of this sort of thing but warned me I would get her voicemail because she was gone for the day. Helplessness washed over me.
A lost credit card would have been easier: call the 1-800-number and report it. But banks don't have people on duty day and night so if the wrong person found our checkbook, that person had 14 hours to go on a spending spree with the nearly-full book of blank checks.
Hopefully, anyone who did so would run into the same scrutiny I encountered at the local post office when I moved to Rosemount. The clerk wanted to know why I didn't have my driver's license number and street address on my check; why just an initial instead of a first name. I told her it was to prohibit identity theft. She harrumphed and gave me the once-over.
When my husband got home last Monday, he grabbed a flashlight and went out to the garage. Ten minutes later, waving the checkbook above his head in a show of victory, the look on his face had changed from abject agony to victory. "Found it," he said, as he launched into a stirring story of his search and recovery mission.
The next morning, he went to the bank. Not to tell them the checkbook had been found. No, to put a stop on a check that had been written earlier the day before. Our homeowners' insurance payment. My husband had intended to mail it on his way home but with the checkbook missing, it slipped his mind. A day later, it was nowhere to be found. The payment, that is. Not his mind.