Monday, June 1, 2009

Treasure Among the Wreckage

A month or so ago Brandon's business partner paid Brandon his small share of the sale of their business. Theirs was more of an informal, verbal agreement so his friend took care of everything then paid Brandon in cash. Brandon came home with the envelope and laid it on the bookcase near the front door. We planned to use the money for a much needed vacation.

As we were leaving the next morning, I didn't want to leave cash laying in plain sight in case maintenance showed up unexpectedly. I hit it on the second shelf among some magazines. Then as is highly unusual for me, I promptly forgot about it.

A few weeks later as I was cleaning I went through that shelf to recycle the old magazines, ads, and expired coupons. Two days after we dropped everything off at the recycle center I suddenly thought of the money. A sick feeling washed over me. Had I moved the envelope? Was the cash now laying in the recycle center bin? I frantically searched everywhere trying to convince myself that I had moved the money. I couldn't find it anywhere. It was gone. I had recycled $1500 in cash.

I was so embarrassed, who does something so stupid? I absolutely dreaded having to tell Brandon. He is such a wonderful person, he just hugged me and said it wasn't all my fault. He said he should have put it in the bank as soon as possible.

We wrestled with whether or not to go to the recycle center to try to find it. We finally decided to give it a go. We called the recycle center to find out when the bins are emptied and if we could go and search through it. We were passed around from person to person, no one knew what answer to give. We went later that night when it wasn't busy. Looking at paper bin was like something out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie, it seemed to stretch on forever. My stomach sank and the defeatist in me said we would never find it. After 15 minutes we gave it up as a loss.

I felt horrible. It was Brandon's money and I had lost it in a stupid fashion. He promised not to constantly bring it up and use it against me. I told him I deserved all the grief he could dish out.

After our flood I was packing our bedroom up to get everything out of the way so our flooring could be replaced. I picked up Brandon's old Mac laptop that he rarely uses and found the bank envelope lying there. !?!?!?!?!?! There it was! I had had a nagging feeling all along that I had moved the money but I couldn't remember where.

At least this story ended well and we can now find humor in it. I fully intended to write it down as a lesson in humility for me once I got over the sting of it. It turns out the sting isn't so bad anymore and I learned my lesson. I won't make that mistake ever again.

2 comments:

  1. I thought I had thrown away all our spending money on our honeymoon--we found it on the very last day, buried under a pile of Carl's stuff. I think I saved the envelope for a year afterward, as a reminder to me to pay attention, and an example of grace. I'm so glad your story had a happy ending!

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  2. Oh my gosh, I'm so happy you found that money. I hate that sick feeling of having lost something like that. I've recently had to learn to be more thorough with what I throw away at work, and it's awful.

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