Purse, aka Wallet, found!

Purse, aka Wallet, found!

I had quite a scare yesterday when I discovered that my wallet could not be found anywhere.

Well, being from South Africa, I said that my purse was missing.

It rained heavily Friday evening when my friend Karen and I went to the Gaillard Theater to listen to Verdi’s Requiem. I searched my condo, my jacket pockets, and my car. Then I phoned Karen to ask her to check her car. She came back with, “No good news. I will say a prayer to St. Anthony, who is the Saint of lost items.”

I thought it fell out while I was in the restroom, so I emailed the Ticket Office to alert them that my purse might have been turned in. My friend Donna corrected me, “You mean your wallet?” So, I wrote a follow-up email to clarify what the item was.

In the meantime, I phoned my credit card company to make sure no one had made purchases on the card. I had a good feeling that nobody had found the wallet yet, so I decided to wait before canceling the item.

Well, about an hour later, Karen phoned me. “Good news!” she beamed. “My neighbors found your wallet in a puddle of water in my driveway.”

I was elated. “It must have fallen out while I was handling the umbrella and trying to find my keys! They deserve a bottle of wine!”


On opening the wallet, Karen found everything soggy but salvageable. I could not believe how much stuff I had in my small wallet! So, thank you, St. Anthony, Karen, her neighbors, and Casey at the Gaillard Theater for responding to my email. 

I learned a few lessons from this episode:

  • Even after 22 years in the USA, I still confuse South African and American English.
  • purse is a wallet; a handbag is a purse or a pocketbook (bigger). So, a pocketbook can carry a purse that can hold a wallet. Further clarification: a pocketbook in the Commonwealth countries is a pocket-sized notebook.
  • Secure your wallet in an inside zipper pocket to prevent it from falling out.
  • Take only the necessary items, not the whole wallet, i.e., driver’s license and insurance, medical card, and a couple of bills (if you’re not going to need your credit card.
  • Remember the name, St. Anthony!

I’m writing another memoir, From the Lowveld to the Lowcountry, recalling how I emigrated to the United States and eventually became a dual citizen. Confronting confusion, as in the above episode, was part of the process of adjusting to life in a strange country. I’m thoroughly enjoying the walk down Memory Lane, not only exploring different cultures but also traveling to different States. I’ll keep you posted!


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