So last week we were busy. Actually every week is busy. We've been so busy this past month. I feel like I'm hitting the ground running each morning and I don't stop until I fall into bed from exhaustion at the end of the day. And of course with Sweet Pea my day doesn't end there. No there's still a three a.m. feeding and a six a.m. wake up call to look forward to. More night wakings lately while she's either teething or going through the worst case of separation anxiety I have ever heard of. We either picked the exact wrong moment in her development to move her entire world around resulting in her screaming every time we so much as think about putting her down, or she's teething. There's drool, so I hope it's teething. But that's neither here nor there. (And in a side note I did take her to the ped to be sure there isn't something medically wrong. She gave me the oh-so-helpful advice to stop picking her up, she'll stop crying eventually *insert eye roll here*).
To get back to my story, we were busy. After running and cleaning and decorating and unpacking all day we found ourselves at Wal-Mart at 6:00 p.m. to buy Meaty a poster for his "All About Me" project. We wearily climbed into the car and assessed our dinner options. We could either go home and cook dinner, or since it was so late and we were oh-so-tired, and we WERE right there beside Chipotle so it wouldn't be wasting any gas (we're so good at this justifying thing) we could wipe out the rest of our checking account and buy dinner. Guess which one we chose!
So The Greatest hit the nearest ATM for some cash. After retrieving his wallet from the baby (she loves to flash the badge at people, Respect Her Authoritie!) he frantically flipped through it's contents, only to declare a moment later that his debit card was missing. The wallet is not one that the debit card could have fallen out of, even with the baby's enthusiastic waving. It had to have been removed. We quickly searched the car, but alas, nothing. I was just about to ask The Greatest where he last used the card when he turned on me. It was like a pit bull turning on its naive, loving, unsuspecting owner. I never saw this coming. He demanded to know what I had done with his debit card.
What the heck? I know how the division of labor works in our relationship. I lose things. I search. I get upset. I frantically search some more. I give up. I call in the search and rescue team, otherwise known as The Greatest. He finds my lost thing for me and finds my talent for placing things in new and increasingly creative "safe places" endearing. I understand I am the designated "loser-of-things" and he is the designated "finder-of-my-lost-things." But I tend to only lose MY things. And I've got my own debit card, which is not lost, but safely in MY wallet. Why would I even have touched his debit card in the first place?
I was furious at the unfounded allegations. And I told him so. I ripped into him. I tore him up one side and down the other. I tersely informed him that I was not in charge of his possessions. I did not lose his card and I resented the implication that if something was missing it must be my fault. I'm not the only one capable of losing things. Sometimes he makes mistakes too you know. And, by the way, why did he think I had his debit card in the first place when I have one of my own, which was not missing. I felt righteous in my anger. I had been unfairly accused with no proof. I was just fuming.
He murmured a soothing apology. He told me I was right and he was sorry. I was placated.
Now The Greatest is not only the love of my life, my best friend, the father of my children, and the finder of my lost things. He is also my Sugar Daddy! I rarely carry my wallet when I am out with him, so while my debit card was safely tucked in my wallet, my wallet was safely tucked into the diaper bag at home. So broke and defeated we headed home without dinner.
As we drove home I remembered something very important. I remembered I am afraid of heights.
See the universe has a hobby. It loves to knock me down off my high horse. If I climb up on it in my righteous anger I will ALWAYS be knocked right off. It has made me humble and scared of heights. I very rarely get all puffed up and confrontational angry because of this. But guess where I was triumphantly sitting! That's right. I was right on top of my pretty high horse. With a sinking feeling I knew that somehow, I didn't know quite how, but somehow this was going to be my fault. I had a sudden memory from our last shopping trip. In my memory I was standing by the register at Wal-Mart. I had scanned a card, and had paused to remember The Greatest's PIN which is different from my own.
Was this a real memory or my imagination? It seemed pretty real.
Softly I mumbled "There might be a chance I used your debit card."
Very matter-of-factly he replied "I know."
"I might have used it last time we bought groceries."
"I might have stuck it in the back pocket of my pants, that's what I always do with my card."
Feeling a little defensive I vainly declared "But I might have handed it back to you. This still might not be my fault."
He was gracious. He agreed I still might not have the missing card.
We got home and I raced up the stairs to find the pants I wore the last time we went shopping. I prayed the card wouldn't be there, but had little faith my prayer would be answered. I dug the pants in question out of the laundry pile. I saw right way there was indeed a rectangular square in the back pocket.
As I pulled the card from my pocket I had frantic thoughts of slipping it into The Greatest's junk drawer. He'd find it there eventually and I could claim it had been there all along. Then I looked at the card I now held in my hand. It was Sweet Pea's insurance card (I told you I'd recently taken her to the Dr.).
VINDICATION. I DIDN'T HAVE THE DEBIT CARD.
I hadn't lost the card after all. I was still unfairly accused. The Greatest was WRONG!
I grabbed my wallet and raced to the car, waving the insurance card triumphantly. This was not my fault. The Greatest was disappointed I didn't have his card, not because he wanted to be right, but because now he had no idea where it might be. I promised to call the bank the next day. Despite the fact that we were now home and should probably go inside and make dinner we set out in search of the ATM and Chipotle once again.
I was so relieved and elated at not having the debit card. But I grew wary. Stay off the horse I told myself. This still might turn out to be my fault somehow. I wasn't sure how at this point it could be my fault, but the possibility still existed. I poked through the diaper bag to be sure the missing card was not contained in the depths therein.
Nope, no card.
Then I opened my wallet to be sure that MY debit card was in fact still safely within it's imitation leather form. It was. And nestled safely and carefully beside my debit card was The Greatest's debit card.
And I remembered. In a flash I remembered the entire incident. The last time we went to Wal-mart The Greatest was loading bagged groceries into our cart. I was by the register holding Sweet Pea, who was tired from a long morning of looking cute in a grocery cart. The Greatest handed me his debit card to swipe since I was closer to the swiper-thingie (that's the technical term for it). He was too busy to take it back, and I didn't want to throw it in my back pocket where it could be lost, so I dug out my wallet from the depths of the diaper bag and carefully placed it where it would be safe and un-lost. Have assured that his possession was in "a safe place" I promptly forgot all about it.
This was my fault.
I can not describe what it took to say these next words outloud, but somehow I managed to humbly choke them out.
"I have your debit card."
He didn't say a word. But he grinned. He sat there driving down the road looking so smug and self-righteous.
"I hate you."
Well that prompted him to call me by my first and middle name.
"How can you say such a thing?"
"Because you're so smug and self-righteous..."
In my smallest voice I added "and always right."
He almost crashed the car reaching for his hand-held recorder.