Changing Wallets

I started looking for a new wallet in December.  Not smart.  Everyone and her cousin was out buying a wallet to give as a Christmas gift.  Even in early January when I hit the malls after the holiday rush, the pickings were slim. “Who wants to get a wallet as a gift anyway?” I bitched to my friend Jo-Anne who I dragged along on one of my hunts.  “How can you choose a wallet for someone?  It’s like choosing their perfume.”

She was momentarily silent.

“Every wallet I’ve ever had was a gift,” she said matter-of-factly.  “You see,” she held hers up with a contented smile.  “This one’s great.”  And it was.  Damn her and her perfect, wallet giving friends.

The only time I had ever received a wallet as a gift was in high school, from one of a pair of twins I was friends with.  Apparently my pink, faux leather number with the silver, green, red and blue patterned flap was tacky.  They sought to convert me with a tidy, black leather style that I hated but carried anyway because their mother was a fashion buyer and they – by default I assumed – had taste.

Target, Ross, Anthropologie and in a moment of desperation Nordstrom, I had long given up on thrifty.  These were dangerous times.  My wallet had now sprung a cord.

Why are you being so stubborn, I chastised myself.  Just pick one!

But it wasn’t that easy.  Nothing felt right.  Yesterday as I drove to Burbank, my wallet search had taken on epic proportions and become an analogy for my life.

Why are you so picky? I demanded.

Specific, I corrected.

Why can’t you just make up your mind?Pick a new color!  Get a bigger size!  You’re never going to find exactly what you’re looking for.  What you think you want doesn’t exist so you might as well just pick one!

Maybe my inner bitch was right?  It was just a wallet.  Why was I having such a hard time choosing one?  Why couldn’t I make up my mind?  I was driving myself crazy.  I was panicking because I’d waited too long and now I wasn’t finding a new wallet fast enough and the old one had completely fallen apart.

I’d lost my window.

That’s when I started to get pissed off at the Universe.  It’s a wallet for crap sake and you can’t even make that easy to find that!

This YOUR problem, I sneered.  This is what you do…with men too.

And there it was, the thought that these days had the power to level me.  It wasn’t about the wallet.

Now that I was finally ready to be in a relationship, maybe it was too late?  Certainly one book on the market (which I’m not giving any free publicity too) will tell you so.  I’d never thought having a happy marriage of the minds was possible before, but now that I did…well…my cord is popping out.

Then, on the verge of completely losing it in Loehmann’s, I changed my mind.  I give up, I told myself gently.  I didn’t feel defeated though.  Deep down – even though it had taken me a while to decide - I knew I was going to find a wallet and I knew it was going to be one that I loved.  It was just going to take time.

I let go of every fear I had in that moment – got clear – and reminded myself that I knew what I needed.  I reminded myself that the wallets I’d passed up, weren’t right.  I trusted my judgment.  I had stuff I needed to decide before I could let the old one go.  It had taken me a while but I had arrived.

I needed a wallet that could hold all of my crap in an organized way and the only thing that really mattered was that I liked it.  Suddenly I was excited.  Maybe the wallet I needed was arriving in an unexpected package?

Thirty seconds later I found the purple, Liz Claiborne that had the exact same set-up on the inside as the one I was carrying now.  I had wanted a red one but I liked the smart buckle on the front of this one.

At Ross about ten minutes after that, I found the red leather Kenneth Cole.  It was long and although I’d wanted small, somehow this one managed to be elegant and youthful.  Now I had two wallets.

I'd like you to know, dear reader, that this strategy also works with men.