For awhile yesterday, I thought I had reached one of those milestones that only a few people can claim in life. I thought my credit cards had been stolen.
It was lunchtime, and I was at the checkout, ready to pay for my club sandwich. When I examined my wallet, I saw that the credit card I use 95 percent of the time was not in its usual slot. I then looked for my backup credit card, which I rarely use, and it, too, was not there. All other items - including cash, a debit card and my library card -- were accounted for.
My first thought was that I had misplaced them, because I couldn't imagine when they would have been stolen. I had used card #1 as late as the afternoon before, when I ran out of gas for the lawnmower and ran up to the station in my grungy yard work clothes to fill up the can. Since then, I had done nothing more than gone to bed and gone to work, wallet nearby at all times.
But I remembered that when I got home from getting gas, instead of trudging through the house in my messy clothes to put up my wallet, I had laid it on a shelf on the far wall of the open garage while I finished cutting grass. Hmmm. Could that have been when the cards were stolen, if indeed they were?
I couldn't take any chances -- the thief might have already booked a Hawaiian cruise or bought a Harley, courtesy of yours truly. I got my card numbers, called the respective card companies, and was overjoyed to find out no unauthorized purchases had been made. I went ahead and canceled the old cards and got new ones ordered.
The thought of someone stealing the cards from my garage while I was not 20 yards away was troubling. To do this, they would have had to have been casing the joint, watching me, maybe from a car parked down the street, and looking for the exact moment when I was around the corner from my wallet. If this didn't happen, it meant that someone had snuck in the house overnight, quietly cleaned out my wallet, and left unnoticed. Both scenarios seemed far-fetched, but...
Searches of the house and cars came up dry. Later, though, I did one more search of my wallet, and...SHAZAAM!...there was card #2, hidden in a fold I didn't even know was there. And when Mrs. Muley and I talked through my actions the day before, she asked me if could have left card #1 at the gas station. "That's where it had to be," she said. "Surely you wouldn't have left it in your yard pants."
Oh yeah? With a sheepish look, I slid my fingers into the pocket of those pants, and...guess what? There was card #1, all rested from its daylong nap. Boy, did I feel stupid.
Even though I'll have a few administrative updates to make, I feel glad knowing that some lurking sneak thief is not watching my house with binoculars. I wish now I had waited to cancel the cards, but I couldn't risk getting a bill for a time share in Florida.