Gut Rumbles

March 19, 2005

panic attack

I went to bed around midnight last night. I wasn't in bed long when the phone rang. Since I now sleep in Quinton's old room, and I don't have a phone in there, I decided to let the answering machine get it. I figured that it was some drunken blogger wanting to babble at me anyway because those are the calls I usually receive after midnight.

But when it machine kicked in, it wasn't a drunken blogger on the line. It was Samantha, screaming and crying hysterically, "DADDY! DADDY! Pick up the phone! Pick up the phone! I'm going to keep calling until you answer. This is an EMERGENCY!!!"

My blood ran cold. All I could see in my imagination was the truck in a ditch, Stacey dead and Sam, broken and bleeding, stranded in the middle of nowhere. I jumped out of bed and stumbled through the dark to the phone, almost breaking my neck in the process. "What is it, Sam?" I gasped as I finally found the receiver.

"STACEY LOST HER WALLET!!! WAAAAAAAAAAAH!!! WAAAAAAAH!!! It had all of her stuff in there!!! WAAAAAAH! Her driver's license, her Social Security card, the credit cards... EVERYTHING!!! We're in Mississippi and her wallet could be anywhere from here to Georgia!! WAAAAAAH!!!"

I went from being scared half to death to being angry. I told her to calm down and stop hyperventilating. A lost wallet isn't the end of the fucking world. Did they still have money? Yes. Did Sam have HER credit card? Yes. So you can still get back home without running out of gas? Yes.

Then, WHAT THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO DO ABOUT IT? As calmly as I could, I told her to either back-track to the last place they stopped and hope some Good Samaritan found the wallet and turned it in, or go on to Texas and cancel the credit cards when they got there. Then apply for a new driver's license and Social Security card. It's a pain in the butt, but it ain't the end of the world.

I couldn't go back to sleep for three hours after that.

I talked to Sam this morning. They back-tracked about 50 miles to a rest stop where they had taken a bathroom break and sure enough... someone found the wallet in the lady's room and turned it in at the security desk. Everything was intact, INCLUDING the $400 in cash that was in the wallet.

The girls were lucky that we DO still have some honest people in this world.

But I learned one thing for sure. I DO NOT want Samantha on my side during a legitimate crisis. She was a blubbering, hysterical bundle of absolute panic last night over a lost wallet. Do you know what REALLY had her frightened? "SOMEBODY CAN STEAL OUR IDENTITY!!!" Bejus. How would she behave when faced with a REAL problem?

Not well, I imagine. That phone call took ten years off my life over nothing.


Being a single parent of a teenage daughter, I can totally relate. lol

Posted by: Just D on March 19, 2005 01:24 PM

Kids, natures way of giving parents grey hair. Glad she was having a case of the vapors vice any serious injury or worse.

Posted by: Guy S. on March 19, 2005 01:33 PM

Having been the victim of identity theft twice, I can relate to her concern. Not, as you say, that it is the end of the world or anything remotely as serious.

About ten years ago I was napping after a long day at work. The phone rang, and at the other end of the line was a collection agency from San Francisco. They wanted to collect on my deliquent $800+ bill I had run up on Airtouch (now Verizon) cell phone. Only one problem.

I did not have an Airtouch, nor any other cell phone at the time.

I reacted angily, basically telling them to stuff it. They reacted by threatening to screw up my credit. After pulses returned to near normal, they actually talked me through how to clear up the matter.

The real reason they dismissed the account as fraud? Most of the calls were made to Mississippi and Florida. The decision-maker that had the authority to decide that I was telling the truth told me that I did not have a Southern Accent, so he believed me.

The same people opened a conventional land-line account also, and ran up about a $120 bill on that account before vanishing. The perps somehow got my name and SSN. One dead giveaway was my name on the account was mispelled, but they had everything else correct.

When your identity is stolen, the fact of the matter is, you are guilty until proven innocent. I was fortunate that someone had only run up an bill in my name, and not done something more drastic, such as empty my bank account. The land-line account default DID make it onto my TRW. Those incidents took about a year to clear up.

Posted by: Impacted Wisdom Truth on March 19, 2005 01:42 PM

I would have been rightoeusly pissed off as well.

If my kids call me in the wee hours screaming and moaning that it's an EMERGENCY! it had damn well better be one....

Posted by: Graumagus on March 19, 2005 02:25 PM

IWT-- you were not a victim of "identity theft." You were a victim of fraud.

And if somebody wants MY goddam identity, they can have it. I ain't all that happy with it myself.

Posted by: Acidman on March 19, 2005 03:09 PM

Girls do over react.

One day my teenage daughter was on her cell phone while in the house:
"On NO!. Is she all right? How is she taking it? This is awful!"

And so on.

I got very upset. After she hung up, I asked what happened to one of her friends. Her friend had gotten a bad hair cut.

Posted by: joel on March 19, 2005 03:35 PM

yeah.....but it's still nice to be daddy isn't it?

Posted by: Robert on March 19, 2005 03:54 PM

Overall, a good experience, I'd say. Sam learned that she can depend on her daddy and A-Man got to exhibit his infinite wisdom!
Way to go, A-Man!

Posted by: Indigo on March 19, 2005 05:36 PM

I had hair until I had 2 daughters. Pretty much EVERYTHING after toddler-hood was a crisis for one or both of them. They always wanted to be so independent....that is until the feces hit the fan. Then it was, "Dad! Hel-l-l-l-l-l-p....!!!!"

Posted by: Hap Arnold on March 19, 2005 07:59 PM

Well, on the plus side, think of the relief you felt when you found out it wasn't something serious

Posted by: pdwalker on March 19, 2005 11:26 PM

Yeah, but by the time he found it it wasn't serious...

One of my kids pulled something like that on me, and once things calmed down I said "You just cost me about five years. AND I CAN'T SPARE THEM!"

Posted by: Mark on March 20, 2005 04:14 AM
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