I have a feisty independent streak, and while sometimes that’s a good thing, sometimes it makes me forget that I can ask for help instead of doing everything myself. After I moved, I had a bed from Ikea delivered, and when I mentioned it to a friend, she said, “Oh, if you’d told me I would have driven you to Ikea so you wouldn’t have to pay the delivery fee!” Then this past Sunday, our Internet went out when our modem committed suicide, and my roommate (a grad student who had a paper to research) and I spent a good deal of time trying to figure out how we were going to deal until Tuesday when the new modem came. Six hours later, it finally occurred to my roommate that, duh, we could just ask the next-door neighbors for their Internet code (we live in a duplex, so we didn’t even have to leave the front porch). Juno the dog is officially smarter than both of us. If one human won’t pet her, she tries to get another one to do it– if she were a person, she’d definitely do the same thing with the Internet.
Which brings me to another awkward-moment story from this past summer. I’m on my office softball team, and one day after work, we had a game, which we carpooled to. It was a cloudy, rainy day, we started late, and the game was pretty long. So when it was over, rather than heading to the Southie dive bar we always go to for beer and free pizza post-game, we were all tired and didn’t feel like staying out any later, so instead, we all piled into cars and headed home. I got into a car with four other teammates, hoping the ride wouldn’t take too long since, like the rest of us, I’d had a few cans of Miller Lite during the game and really needed to pee.
We got to Central Square, where we dropped one guy off, and by then, I knew I couldn’t make it the rest of the way home. I asked to be let out of the car, dashed into the nearest ice cream shop, and used the bathroom there, figuring I’d take the T home from there.
When I got out, I thought, “Hey, since we didn’t get our free pizza tonight, I should go buy a couple of slices.” So I walked to a nearby pizza place and ordered two slices of pizza. I reached into my purse for my wallet so I could pay, and–holy shit.
My wallet was not in my purse.
I was about 90% sure that it had fallen out of my purse at my desk at work, since I’d definitely had it when I left for work that morning and didn’t remember seeing it during the game. It was either that or someone had stolen it out of my purse at the field when the entire rest of my team wasn’t looking, which was unlikely.
Now, I need to emphasize how unfortunate it was that the one time I left work without my wallet, it was this day. On any day where I didn’t have a softball game, I would have taken the T home and realized when I got to the T station that I didn’t have my wallet and, therefore, my T pass, and would have headed back to work to get my wallet. And if we had gone to the bar like we usually did and I’d discovered when trying to buy a beer that I didn’t have my wallet, I would have just walked back to the office (pretty close to the bar) and gotten it.
But no. This was the one time where I both didn’t take the T home and didn’t go to the bar. And on top of that, I was in Central Square- THREE MILES from home. So instead of discovering that my wallet was gone in the comfort of my home, I was stuck with no T pass and no money to buy a new one. I had no choice but to walk those three miles home. (Luckily, it had stopped raining by that point.)
So that solved that problem, but then there was the matter of how I was going to get to work the next day with no T pass and no money. I looked around my room once I was home and spotted the penny rolls I’d made but was putting off taking to the bank. I had five or six rolls of 50 pennies each– enough to buy me a $2 one-way T pass. A quick glance at bank opening times revealed that none of them opened until 9:00 AM, the time I needed to be at work. What to do?
Then I remembered Coinstar, which I tend to avoid using because they take a percentage of the money you put in. There was a Coinstar at a supermarket a mile from my house, so I decided that I would get up early, walk to the supermarket, put my penny rolls into Coinstar, and use that money to get a $2 T pass to get to work.
And that’s exactly what I did the next day. When I got to my desk, I located my missing wallet and the rest of the day went on as planned.
By the next weekend, the whole situation seemed funny, and I told the story to some friends at a birthday party. I was feeling pretty pleased with my resourcefulness at finding a way to get to work with my limited resources.
Until someone said, “Why didn’t you just ask your roommates to borrow two bucks?”
Uh, yeah. Or I could have done that.