On Mother’s Day weekend I was part of my first big expo show, had a booth, was doing an interactive painting table, had prints for sale and everything. (I will blog about that soon, too. I know I’ve been woefully bad at keeping things updated on here)
I put a lot of time, effort and money into this show and feel kinda like I didn’t really get much of any of the return I was hoping for. So, exhausted and a little dejected, I started tearing down my booth and hauling things out to the loading bay. I had to go pull my car around and because of our ridiculous one-way grid downtown, had to take about a four block detour. I turned off of a 4-lane street and just past the crosswalk something caught my eye. Fluttering paper… lots of it… MONEY!!! And, because I’m generally shameless, I pulled my car over and ran out into the middle of a downtown street and started chasing fluttering 20s 5s and 1s. Bill after bill, I worked my way across the street pleased at the wad of cash I’d collected. This magical trail then led me to a credit card, then an out-of-state ID and a few other important personal items. It put a face and a name to the money. My razor sharp conscience quickly burst any sort of dreamy bubble I had. I pocketed the cards and money, hopped back in my car and drove back to load up my things and process what had happened.
One hundred and nineteen dollars was the total of what I had gathered off of the street. This was several times more money that I had actually made in the 13 hours I was at the expo (yet still a fraction of what I had spent on it). I had stretched my business budget, our household budget, and our credit line into a nearly-existent gossamer thread over this. $120 would actually have made my day feel successful. But my damnable steadfast conscience held out. I loaded up my things and cut out into traffic, hurrying to get home and unload this car full of disappointment.
I sped up hoping to catch the green light at the intersection up ahead when I saw a young guy walking dejectedly along the curb. Being in the middle of downtown on a Saturday evening, this probably shouldn’t have even caught my attention, but there was something about him… I looked down at the ID atop the stack of money in my console, and there was something familiar about the tanned skin and sandy hair. I changed lanes quickly and pulled to a stop at the green light (sorry to anyone I may have cut off or otherwise inconvenienced in the process– my bad!). I gestured to him, actually I think I was pointing excitedly and shouting through the glass. He gave me a weird look and put his head back down until I opened my window and yelled the first thing that came to my head “Hey! You! Are you looking for money?!” He gave me another strange look through furrowed brows and stepped a bit closer this time yet maintaining a bit of distance from this woman who, by all appearances, hopped up on sleep deprivation and Red Bull, was a stark raving lunatic. I held up the money and a look of disbelief crossed his face. It was, in fact, his brother’s money clip that I had found scattered blocks away and half an hour earlier. Still dazed, he thanked me and explained that they were here on a trip. He was still trying to shake the cloud of stress that had undoubtedly been following him down that sidewalk as I drove off feeling euphoric, better than if I had found that money with no strings attached, and with an overall sense that my day was a success after all.
A Lesson About Karma, Part II
Yesterday I bought a lawn mower– a super awesome no-gas-needed reel mower! I whipped into my driveway, ran inside long enough to change out of my skirt and went back outside to mow my lawn. I was giddy and full of the kind of excitement that I get about really unusual and generally nerdy things. The kids were playing with friends and I was so caught up with my lawn and its new-mower smell (cut grass, not exhaust!) that I completely neglected to roll up the window in my car, let alone bring in my purse or lock the doors when we all came in for dinner and settled in for the night. Now, I’m not going to lie, this isn’t the first time I’ve done this (much to my husband’s chagrin). Last night was different, however–– someone else noticed and, with all of the ease and convenience I’d made possible, snatched my purse and took off.
Don’t worry! There is a silver lining to my disorganized scatter-brain because most of my various credit and debit cards were strewn about my house on random counter-tops, in a tote bag, or tucked into pants pockets. I had also just spent all of my cash on that lovely new mower, and my scavenger-children poached all of my spare change (seriously, I couldn’t even pay a parking meter yesterday!). This left my ID, a Kohl’s charge card, and a debit card for an account that only has $14 in it in my wallet. Annoyed at myself and ignoring my husband’s “not to say I-told-you-so, but I told you so” lecture, I paced around the house hoping that I had hung my stuff somewhere out of the ordinary and it wasn’t really gone.
Finally I called and reported both cards and filed a report with the police because I thought my check book was in there too (but it turned up in my glove compartment haha). As the reporting officer drove away I walked back to my house thinking “damn, I thought I should at least get a karmic return on investment from that expo…”
Less than an hour later my sweet neighbor from a few houses down, whom I had just met about a month ago, knocked at my door. Some construction workers (out on a Saturday, even!) found my purse near her driveway and brought it to her. The purse and wallet had been ransacked, but nothing was missing! Well, except two out of the three fortune cookies left from dinner a few nights ago.