It’s not even 5pm yet, and I have one hell of a Saturday
A day of lessons and personal limit stretching spanning from getting lost (or rather detoured) driving in the sketchy-as-hell drug dealer and crackhead-laden Tenderloin neighbourhood of San Francisco to…you guessed it, losing my wallet.
Allow me to backtrack…
It all began with a little bit of this:
Don’t even for one second think this is just some average “meeting for coffee” experience. Nuh uh, not any “meeting for coffee” experience can warrant braving the nightmare of driving through the streets of San Francisco (in a sketchy yet slowly gentrifying hipster-infused area nonetheless) and using an entire canister of quarters for an hour of parking…unless it’s Sightglass Coffee, aka the epitome of a hipster coffee bar and roastery which has been garnering a ridiculous amount of press whether in the New York Times or on Natalie’s blog recently
Sightglass is located on 7th Street in the SOMA (South of Market) area of San Francisco, which though seems decently safe is still verrrrrry close to the Tenderloin and the infamous Mission & 6th Street corners.
And with me being a Paranoid Penelope, I spent around two hours on Google Earth this morning trying to find a route to get to Sightglass without having to drive through or near the Tenderloin. In addition, I forewent any blatant designer items, put on a pair of skinny jeans and left my REGULAR wallet at home just to put my credit card, driver’s license, and a relatively small sum of cash in a credit card holder to put in my front jeans-pocket.
Call me ridiculous. Go ahead. But I am absolutely terrified of the idea of ever being purse-snatched/mugged/etc and my life mantra has always been to ‘better be safe than sorry’, and to take all necessary precautions and preparations as preventative measures.
Anyhow, dear Hallie met me at Sightglass, we ordered our drinks; her- a Cappuccino and me a freshly brewed pot of some sort of a full-bodied Kenyan brew tasting of tropical fruits- mango most notably; it truly was perhaps one of the most exquisite, unique, and robust cups of coffee I have ever had
Of course I would have loved to photograph the place for your viewing, but that would be SUCH a faux pas and the non-ironic hipsters (unlike myself) would probably shoot me dazed better-than-thou glances. It’s a large open space though, very warehouse-like with an intense collection of coffee-roasting equipment, a display of enticing baked goods, and you order and pay via ipad…oh and if you enter your phone number they send you a text message asking if you want to start a “tab.”
Apres our java jaunt, we set out for what we do best (besides coffee connoisseur-ing of course) and that would be eating
We headed to the Ferry Plaza at the Embarcadero and parked at some random office centre parking garage nearby and randomly decided to have brunch at Market Bar
As usual, I maintained my Clean Plate Club elite status
And quality bread and cheese makes everything all the better. You know, in case you didn’t know that
Oh yeah and we had a pretty glorious view of the Farmer’s Market, and this rather pessimistic looking “Cycle Rickshaw” driver:
(Now this is where stuff gets intense)
Hallie and I paid the bill, headed back down a few blocks to the centre we parked, but stopped over at the restroom in the complex we parked in which is when I discovered my wallet was gone. Not in my pocket. Not in my bag. Nope. And we had JUST paid the bill minutes earlier.
Let me preface by saying this has NEVER happened to me before, I am a self-proclaimed caution-phile as I am sure you have sensed and in fact the ONLY reason i had been keeping my wallet in my front pocket was because of my irrational fear of being purse-snatched while dealing with a parking metre or the like.
Alors, Hallie and I lunged in a frantic run retracing our steps from the past few blocks. I felt that unmistakable surge of fight or flight I have always read about in books; an instant jolt of energy to whiz into the streets blind to any semblance of self-consciousness and disregarding the fact that attractive men in the vicinity may be pondering the silliness of our intense running form (actually that’s a lie, it was totally in the back of my mind but I did not care). We headed back to the restaurant…it wasn’t there…
…we raced back to the parking garage. All I could think in my head were hushed expletives, yet still a sense of relief that it only had my credit card, a small sum of cash and a replaceable driver’s license. I found myself almost accepting it’s loss, or perhaps not quite believing it, hoping that whoever found it needed it or had the decency to return it- my only wish in regard to if it was gone was that it would “not be spent on crack,” (as said to Hallie)
Hallie headed back to the restroom to see if I had possibly dropped it en route there again as I walked into the other side of the parking complex to see if I could give my contact information to the Reception in case it were to be found and returned. Sure enough the Receptionist dude stood up, i started to speak and…
He pulled out my credit card holder
Everything was there. Credit card. Driver’s License. Cash. There is a reason that Marc by Marc credit card holder has “Bonne Chance” (Good Luck) emblazoned on it (it also was my money transport device when I studied abroad in India)
I realised today that I have changed for the better, unbeknownst until now. A couple of years ago I would have had a panic attack and bawled until my eyes resembled balsamic-speckled cherry tomatoes. Instead, I kept calm, and even while the wallet was not in my possession I was thinking of solutions, and trying to foster an optimistic look on human nature; and the best part was perhaps that I had accepted it’s loss before finding it- going through the whole cycle.
A Lesson in Disguise?
Everything happens for a reason
Of course that was the main catastrophe of the day so the fact that I had to deal with the aggravation of getting lost in part of the Tenderloin on the way back to Union Square (thanks to the OBNOXIOUS fact that you can’t do any LEFT TURNS ever on Mission or Market Streets); but luck continued to show it’s face in another way:
I was the lucky 50th person at the cellular store so I received a coupon to get any SmartPhone I have unlocked for free.
And why am I getting my Blackberry unlocked? You’ll find out soon. Very soon. It’s the same reason why I had to purchase a new trench coat and a bunch of new Minimalist chic t-shirts recently
Have you ever lost your wallet? How did you react? Did you find it?
What fears or phobias do you have and how do you deal with them?
What is your coping mechanism in times of distress?
Ever got lost driving/walking in a sketchy part of town? Do tell…