Remember that wonderful old song by Tony Bennett, “I Left My Heart in San Francisco?” Well, I didn’t leave my heart there, or anywhere else over Christmas. But I left my wallet in Los Angeles. Not fun. Not fun at all. Also, it wouldn’t make much of a song title – too many syllables.
When last seen, my wallet was in my back pocket in a lovely children’s park near the Los Angeles suburb of Agoura Hills, where #4 daughter, Amy, lives with her husband Dave, 6-year-old Dylan, and 4-year-old Molly. That is, they live in Agoura Hills, not in the lovely children’s park. As you can see, I’m still a little rattled about losing my wallet and so not writing clearly.
My wallet contained (you did ask, didn’t you?) my driver’s license, Medicare card, Humana card, two credit cards and a card with my blood type on it. I never can remember, when asked, which admittedly isn’t often, if ever, what my blood type is, but I never panicked because I knew it was written down on a card in my wallet. Now I’ll never be able to tell inquiring minds what it is – oh, bother, as Winnie the Pooh would say.
The real bother came when I was ready to fly home without any identification to present to the airline people. I had no other photo ID, indeed, no other official identification at all. No. 3 daughter, Meg, accompanied me to LAX to vouch for my identity. She took along the book she compiled last year of my Inkspots columns. It has numerous pictures of me, including one from my college days, which isn’t exactly a dead ringer for me now, but oh well.
We were bounced through five TSA agents along the way, each one, I will say, as nice as could be. At one point, Meg held up the book to show the agent my picture and byline. He looked a little bemused and said, “But it has to be an official government photo.”
Then there was the everlasting problem with my name. I have covered this dilemma in previous columns, but for you latecomers, I am Mary on my birth certificate because the priest who baptized me said Molly wasn’t a saint’s name. My mother argued that it is the Gaelic for Mary, but to no avail. On every other document, I am Molly.
When TSA agent #4 asked bewilderingly, “Who’s Mary and who’s Molly?” Meg whipped out the book, opened conveniently to the column in which I explained my double identity and read it to him. Poor guy looked quite helplessly confused but passed us on to Agent #5 and, finally, I was okay-ed to fly.
I know there’s a moral in this sad tale of woe somewhere, but I can’t seem to find it yet.