Things get misplaced in our house a lot. Certain people never put things back in their proper places, and chaos ensues whenever the person in charge of handling things needs the misplaced item.
Usually my husband is at fault for losing things. Check books, bills, important documents. He’s lost his social security card and Little Man’s birth certificate before. He replaced the former and we found the latter.
As you can imagine, with my tendency to be a bit high strung (to put it lightly), I don’t tend to react well when items are misplaced. Well, now I’ve lost something. Somethings, actually. And it’s one of the biggest fuck-ups of my life thanks to the potential outcomes this loss could have.
We have four safes in our house. No, we don’t have that many valuable objects by a long shot. One has a few coins and stamps and other miscellaneous things I collected as a kid; one has random objects of sentimental value my husband has picked up along the way; another has letters; and the last has things that really belong in a safe–my guns, credit cards, bullets, and medications.
That’s what it has now. It used to also (occasionally) have our passports, birth certificates, Social Security cards, and marriage license.
Prior to a month or so ago, when I finally got Baby Girl’s birth certificate, these personal items were scattered in various places throughout the house. If you wanted, say, my birth certificate and Little Man’s Social Security card, you’d have to go on a treasure hunt. You might find one item in the letters safe and the other item in my husband’s desk.
And when BG’s birth certificate came in, I had a great idea–“why don’t I collect these items, put them all in an envelope, and put them in the one important safe. That way they’ll be all together. And if we need one of the items, we’ll just take the envelope, keep everything together, and do whatever we need and put the envelope back when we’re done.”
I now see what an idiot I was. Keeping everything, all the items needed to prove our identities, get credit, etc., in one place? Sigh.
A couple weeks ago, Sam and I set out to the bank to open a savings account for BG. We’d been sticking all of her money in a fancy cup that’s on display in the kitchen (not in the safe, because what sense would that make?). Now that we had her birth certificate, it was time to give her the real thing.
I got the envelope full of important documents and off we went. I was so fucking nervous that something was going to happen to it. I realized then how stupid it was to carry everything at once–what if?! As it turned out, the bank was busy and we couldn’t get in to see anyone about opening the account, so we decided to try another day.
Yesterday I went to get something out of the important safe. And I realized the big envelope wasn’t in there.
Holy shit, holy shit, holy shit.
We’ve searched everywhere. We’ve looked in the car, all over the house, and that fucking envelope is nowhere to be found. As you can imagine, I was freaking the hell out.
“Gah, I hate myself, I’ve pretty much told all the thieves in there world, ‘here, let me making it really fucking simple to steal our identities!'” I told Sam in tears. “I mean, I have possibly ruined our kids’ futures!”
Sam tried to console me. “Maybe I was the one who lost it,” he suggested.
“No, I didn’t trust you to hold the envelope,” I told him.
More freaking out ensued. Anxiety attack. We searched again. Nothing. More anxiety and tears. I have no idea how I could have lost it, considering how freaked out I was about carrying it to the bank. Even on the way home, I had it clutched in my hands, worrying over it. And I have absolutely no memory of doing anything with it afterwards. It’s so fucking weird.
“Look, you either left it in the car and it got stuck in some trash or you brought it inside and it got mistaken as trash and thrown away. I doubt any thief is going to go through our trash and find that envelope,” Sam said.
“Then why do you shred all of the bills with our names and account numbers?” I countered.
He was silent for a moment. “Well, I don’t want to make it easy for anyone to get, either.”
“Exactly. And I made it easy as hell. Someone’s gonna find it, get lines of credit in our names, the kids’ names, then everyone’s credit will be ruined, they won’t be able to get student loans, get a house…someone could see the kids’ ages and come kidnap them and sell them, since they have all the proper ID,” I continued ranting.
Sam disappeared for a little while and called me into our bedroom, where he was typing up something on the computer. “Look, here’s a list of all the documents missing and how we need to go about getting them. Doesn’t that help?” he asked.
“No. I knew within five minutes what we’d have to do to get them all replaced. Why would that help?” (Yes, you’re probably right to think “Poor Sam.”)
He sighed. “Think about what’s likely to happen. It’s not likely that someone’s gonna find that envelope and steal our identities or come kidnap our kids.”
“I don’t care about likely. I care about what’s possible.”
Sam continued to try to calm me down. “Look, we’ll get these things replaced. I’ll get the kids added to our credit tracker online, that way if anyone tries to open accounts in their names we can stop it automatically. It’ll be okay. Try not to worry.”
After that, Sam talked me into going out by myself for a while to calm down. I went out to grab a bite of dinner and drove around for an hour or so. It helped. Later last night, Sam and I talked again after the kids went to bed.
“Thanks for being so nice about it,” I said.
“Why would you thank me for being nice? It was a mistake. Mistakes happen.”
“I don’t make those kind of mistakes. And if it had been you, you know I’d still be pissed at you. I got pissed when you couldn’t find Little Man’s birth certificate for an hour.” To state the painfully obvious, he is by far the better half in our relationship.
“Yeah, well, we’re different people. It was a mistake and everything’s probably going to be okay. We’ll just keep an eye on things and if something happens, we’ll handle it,” Sam said.
I was hoping that those damn papers would turn up somewhere today, since sometimes it’s easy to overlook things when upset, but no such luck. I know that everyone is prone to screwing up–lord knows I have more than my fair share of fuck ups–but I’m baffled by this one.