About a year and a half ago, during the summer of 2016, I lost my wallet. It was a warm and pleasant Saturday. I had decided it was nice enough to walk to my local Walmart, rather than rely on motorized transportation. I initially thought the walk was uneventful but I realized this was not the case once I was about twenty feet inside of the store. I put my right hand into my pants pocket and to my dismay, my wallet was not there. I started to panic slightly. Where was my wallet? Did I just forget to bring it? That seemed unlikely, I have this ritual of checking for my wallet and keys before leaving my apartment, no matter what I’m doing. Did it drop out of my pocket somehow? That seemed like the more likely scenario.
Without a wallet, I had no business being in Walmart anymore. I had nothing to pay for things. I immediately turned around began re-tracing my steps. As I walked back the way I came, I began to wrack my brain. Along the way, when was the last time I could remember feeling my wallet? If I could remember that, then I knew the wallet must have been lost somewhere between there and inside the store. The problem was, I could not definitively remember when I last detected the presence of my wallet.
I re-traced my steps all the way back to my apartment without seeing my wallet on the ground. Once home, I searched through my place, just in case I indeed had just forgotten it at home. There was no wallet to be found. Resigned to the reality of a lost wallet, I began the process of cancelling all the cards that needed attention. I also began to monitor the cards for any sign of activity. I expected that if my wallet had been picked up by someone less than decent, my transit card would probably be the first thing to be used. Four hours after I lost my wallet, none of my cards showed any activity.
In the weeks that followed, I replaced everything in my wallet that I could. There were some things, I couldn’t though. For some reason, I always kept my old student ID from my grad school days in my wallet. It had the best picture I’ve ever taken for an ID. I also had my social insurance card in there. They don’t make SIN cards anymore as they just make people memorize it or write it down elsewhere.
So as weeks turned into months, I was always wary of my identity being stolen as a lot of very important info was in that wallet. Nothing indicated that something nefarious was happening though. I always kept wondering what happened to my wallet.
On Friday, this weekend, I received a random message on Facebook from a stranger. He said that he and his girlfriend were in possession of my wallet. His girlfriend worked at a restaurant on a very busy street, a street that I had walked along to get to the Walmart. Apparently, the wallet was in their lost and found, and had been since probably that evening I lost my wallet. I can only surmise that my wallet had popped out my pocket outside the restaurant and someone had thought it might have belonged to a patron and then gave it to the restaurant staff. I guess they assumed that if a restaurant guest had lost their wallet, that person would come looking for it, so they just waited… and waited. I was not a guest though.
I was also told that the restaurant had recently gone under some renovations, which probably spurred them to move things around, including perhaps the lost and found box, which contained my wallet. Seeing my wallet still there, they decided to take action, which led to the Facebook message.
On Saturday, I picked up my wallet from the restaurant and I spoke to the Facebook stranger’s girlfriend, who was a really nice lady. I wanted to give her $20 for her troubles but she wouldn’t accept my thanks. I told her instead that I’d come by again soon for a meal and I’d tip really well. The restaurant itself is extremely popular and has great reviews.
Once I got home with my reunited wallet, I went though the contents. Nothing was missing. Everything was still there. I had no cash in it originally but all my cards were present, including my SIN cards and old student ID. The other cards are useless now since they were cancelled and replaced a long time ago but it’s good to have closure.
A year and a half mystery has been solved!