Total Weight Loss

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Great Chicago Wallet Incident & Getting Home Without It

On Friday, the plan was for 65MD to attend the morning session of his conference and leave the hotel at noon. (We had arranged for late check-out. I don't know why conferences schedule meetings past check out time.) We would make our way to the airport, get through security and have lunch in the airport while waiting for our flight. All neat & tidy like. That is not what happened. 

I fasted breakfast because I'd overdone it on Thursday. Then around 11:30, I realized that it would be another two hours before lunch. I was getting a headache. I decided to eat a Larabar that I'd brought with me. About that same time 65MD got back to the room and began to pack his last few items and he could not find his wallet. We tore the room apart looking for it to no avail. We called hotel security using the in room phone. They were no help. We tried calling the credit card folks to see if any charges had happened since he'd bought breakfast but we could not get a cell signal anywhere, even outside on the sidewalk. He retraced his every step since breakfast and could not find his wallet anywhere. I sent out an emergency 'please pray' email to my family and we left the hotel. When we checked out, 65MD asked if they would send his wallet home if they found it.  They said they'd call and get an address and let us know how much shipping would be.  Really!!

I had $23.63, because my mother had given me a $20 bill before we left! He had $2.00. I also had $100 gift card that I brought just in case I ran across something I couldn't live without. I had not spent any of it. I also had the other credit card on the joint account. His was in his wallet. We needed money for the train ride to the airport and for lunch. We thought we could make it. We bought the train tickets with the credit card. It was a good sign that it hadn't been maxed out already. We got to the airport and found a hot spot to call and report the lost cards. He had two. No charges had been made to either one that weren't ours.  Then it was on to check in and get through security. 

The airline folks (Southwest) were most kind and checked our luggage in early and gave us both boarding passes without a hassle. They said that it was really TSA that made the decision to let us fly or not. We stood in the eternal line to get our ID's checked. The security man was nice, and took us to his supervisor. She was all business. Not unkind, but quite firm and told me to step away since I was not a party to this! I wasn't leaving my husband, but I did move about a foot away. He had nothing that she would accept for proof of identity. He had to complete some sort of document, I was not allowed to assist with and then she made a phone call. He had to answer some questions and passed. Another TSA agent escorted us through security. If I hadn't known what was going on, I would have thought we were getting VIP treatment. This guy was very nice and seemingly quite concerned about the missing wallet.  He surmised that 65MD had his pocket picked.  He said they targeted the nice hotels, dressed to blend in and knew how to spot the tourists.  Of course 65MD had a lanyard around his neck as a conference participant.  He might as well have had a sign saying "I'm not from around here!" 

Once we got through the scanners, 65MD got a very thorough, very complete pat down. When we got through all that. I realized, I'd never finished the Larabar (I'm not sure where I left it, maybe on the bed in the hotel, and that is good enough for them!) I was quite hungry. I didn't want to eat in the food court because we still had our carry on luggage with us. I didn't want to have to try and schlep that around with food as well. We stopped at the first, sit down place we saw.  As we were waiting for the table, I thought I was going to get a Coke. A real one with sugar in it and dessert - something creamy and cool. Almost immediately, I thought that really wouldn't help anything and decided to get a salad. I needed cool greens. I got probably the worst restaurant salad in history and water. I ate it anyway. It wasn't awful, just not good. Besides, I was hungry. 

We got to our gate only to learn that our flight had been delayed. I got hungry again. I remembered passing a nut shop and went back to find it. It must have been before security because I couldn't find it. I was not going through that again even with my ID. I wound up buying some overpriced trail mix at a little stand. It was good, but had too much sugar. AND, I ate the whole thing. The package was 4 ounces and was supposed to be four servings. Right!. We finally got on the plane, where I drank two glasses of ginger ale and ate all 10 peanuts in the package. 

We parked the car at a hotel near the airport.  They have a very reasonable daily rate and they run a shuttle to the airport every 20 minutes.  We got our luggage and the shuttle arrived very quickly.  We had the kindest driver.  We told him about the lost wallet and he seemed genuinely concerned for us.  He drove us straight to our car, since we were the only passengers.  65MD tipped him the last $2.  It felt good to be home.  Even the air felt welcoming.

On Sunday, 65MD got online and reported the missing license and has a new one on the way.  The bank has already sent a new debit card.  We expect the new credit cards any day.  He has a new work ID.  Now the only things to replace are the voter registration card and a couple of store loyalty cards.

It was an ordeal.  We've learned a valuable lesson.  We are taking copies of our ID's with us from now on when we fly.  We'll leave the originals locked in the room safe while we are out and about.  We are thankful that we got home safely and the only thing lost was material.


  1. Wow....that's a rough one! So glad that you guys were able to find the right people and the right sympathetic ears to help you get home safe and sound without the ID and money!

  2. Yikes! No fun at all. What a mess. Glad you are home safe and sound.

  3. Ughhhhh. There's just not a worse feeling than not knowing where your personal things are! I'm so sorry that happened, but I'm glad it is turning out okay in the end. I'm sure it was SUPER stressful at the time and for many hours afterwards. It's too bad the hotel staff wasn't more helpful in trying to report and retrieve it in case it was just lost somewhere during breakfast!

  4. Yikes! That is craziness. Glad you all made it through okay. And bonus points for eating a crappy salad right in middle of said drama. Go girl!