My absentmindedness is no secret, and the fact that it seems to be getting worse with age is no surprise to me, but when I came home from grocery shopping Saturday night without my purse, even I was shocked. I was frantically searching the interior of the car and in the trunk when Jon came out of the house to help me carry everything in. I just looked at him with wide eyes and squealed, "I think I left my purse in the shopping cart!" I was too busy beating myself up to drive so Jon volunteered, and since the dog had so obediently followed him outside we had Jack hop in, too.
I could very clearly remember being extremely uncomfortable having to turn my back on the purse, sitting in the seat of the cart, as I loaded groceries into the car. I kept thinking that it wouldn't be so difficult to silently walk up behind me, snatch the purse, and make a run for it. I wouldn't have noticed until I finished loading the car. Now I couldn't understand how I could just walk away from it.
During the drive back to the grocery store I ran all possible outcomes through my head. I didn't have any cash or credit cards in my purse, which was a plus, but I did have at least 10 checks that I could either spend $300 dollars to cancel, or not bother, and hope that a financial institution wouldn't cash it without identification. On the other hand, because it was 15 minutes to closing time, and the cart receptacle was nearly full as best I could remember, an honest store employee could have come out to collect the carts, noticed my purse, and turned it into the lost and found. Although I knew this outcome would be much better than the first, I dreaded it just as much, because c'mon, how embarrassing is it to admit to forgetting your purse in a shopping cart? I still carry mental scars from leaving it at a restaurant a few months ago, and upon returning to claim it the staff snickered at me, and then commented on how cute it was. Mostly, I was just hoping that my purse was still sitting in the cart, unnoticed.
Luckily, the store is only a 7 minute drive from our house. Jon pulled up next to the cart receptacle that I described. We both looked over at the last cart to be pushed in and there it was. My black purse had gone unnoticed in the dark. I hopped out of the car just as the presumed honest workers walked out to collect the carts. I snatched my purse without sparing another glance in their direction, and climbed back into the car. Jon drove off as I checked to make sure that my wallet was still intact, it was.
LESSON LEARNED: I am very, very lucky. And I am not responsible enough to carry cute handbags that do not fit comfortably over my shoulder while wearing a winter coat. I must either stick with a messenger bag or larger purses with a long shoulder strap. If I cannot comply with these rules I will be forced to resort to a fuzzy bunny backpack.