I Lost My Wallet

002

Claudia and I were eating in a restaurant this morning when I realized I didn’t have my wallet. This meant I had lost it. I was wearing the same pants as yesterday (and the day before – I roll that way) and I know it had my wallet in it. Which meant it was gone, or I might be dead and already in hell.

We went home and of course we both checked everywhere. Desk, floor, under bed, over bed, couch, kitchen, outside, on the ceiling. Claudia checked in car. She checked in her purse for some reason (note to self: does she take my wallet sometimes?). Checked in my jacket I had worn on TV the night before although I knew it wasn’t there.

Losing a wallet is a violent amputation without an anesthetic. You think your life is held together by stomach, heart, brain but  its all a living financial nervous system that feeds into your wallet. My stomach, heart, brain were on fire.

I felt an urge to blame Claudia. I had never even used a wallet in my life until she had given me one for my birthday. Every girlfriend since I was 18 had bought me a wallet and I always ended up insulting them by never using it. Why? Because I can always lose a credit card or a dollar bill. But if I lose a wallet I lose EVERYTHING. Why take the chance?

But for Claudia I was going to do it. I was going to take the plunge into wallet-dom like every red-blooded American male on the planet. So I could be “organized”. I was going to make it work for me. I started using the wallet every day. And now that I had lost it, of course, it was COMPLETELY HER FAULT. My brain was starting to short circuit. THIS IS WHY I NEVER USE WALLETS. FUCK!

And she was blaming me. How could he lose his wallet? What kind of person is this? If he loses a wallet maybe he can lose me? Leave me behind some place. The wallet’s the molten center of the Earth. Ready to erupt and destroy everything. Or hold it all together. Wallet? Love? Or Love? Wallet?

I got lucky in two ways. One is: my ID and all my credit cards were loose in my pockets. So nothing important was in the wallet (Phew!).

What was in the wallet? 100 $2 bills. Some random other subway cards. An expired credit card. So I didn’t even care anymore.

Claudia said, “call the movie theater”. Because we had gone to the movies before I had gone on CNBC the night before. Don’t tell CNBC! I had told them I had taken a nap and that’s why I was late returning all of their calls yesterday. We saw “The Hangover II”. I highly recommend it. I laughed the entire time.

I called the theater and they said, “oh yeah, we have it. Wait, what’s in it?” And I said, “100 two dollar bills.” And the woman laughed and I think for a brief second I fell for her because Claudia might’ve still been mad at me for losing the wallet but now this faceless, nameless woman who maybe was even missing a nose but had a good laugh found it. “Yeah, we have it. It had no ID in it but all of these $2 bills.”

So Phew! Wallet found.

I asked Claudia, “why do you think nobody stole it? It had at least one credit card and all of these $2 bills. Some guy cleaning the theater could’ve stolen it.”

She said, “because you don’t steal. So nobody is going to steal from you.”  (Well, except for here)

It sounds like a cliché. It sounds corny. But everything comes from the inside. You lose all the money in your bank account. It’s because you didn’t work on building your core from the inside out. You lose your job, maybe you gossiped too much. Lost your mind, maybe you think too much. You lose your 5 year relationship, it’s because from the core, inside of you, some energy started to leak and you didn’t patch it up. It’s your fault.

After 100 personal anecdotes (a 1000!) I finally believe this. After losing everything repeatedly and starting from the core inwards with The Daily Practice I believe this. Interesting also to me is that in the three or four days prior to losing my wallet I wasn’t getting enough sleep, exercise, etc because of traveling and speaking engagements, etc so I was off my own personal Practice

Bad things happened. I lost my wallet. Then I found it.

We’re going in five minutes to the theater to get it. X-Men: First Class is playing. We’re going to see it. And I’m going to get my wallet back.

And at least, for today, I know there’s no way I’m going to lose it.

(the young Professor X in “X-Men: First Class”. Claudia HATED the movie. I liked it.)

Update: Got back from the movie. Got my wallet:

 

Enjoyed This Post? Get Free Updates

  • jlcollinsnh

    Wallet retrieval technique

  • jlcollinsnh

    in your last post a commentator provided a link.  He had nothing nice to say, but I appriciated the link and enjoyed the segment.  meant to thank him for it…

     Hope you are right on Dow 20k….

    maybe we’ll see a post on those ten reasons?

    • http://twitter.com/weezrichardet Wes Richardet
    • CMS

      I agree, he may not be far of base.
       

      But be careful what you wish for.

      #1: Dollar worth_less

      ____

       
      Agree with you on the comments, too.  They are on par with youtube. It’s hard to believe
      (and scary) that people have that kind of hate festering in their heads.
       

  • Anonymous

    Front pocket FTW!

  • http://Stockerblog.com Stockerblog.com

    You do know that in the old days, two dollar bills were considered bad luck. (Occasionally you will see some older $2 bills with a corner torn off, which was supposed to take away the bad luck.)

  • Timothy Burgess

    Okay… how in the world do you fit 100 bills on your wallet?  That’s gotta be really uncomfortable!

  • ZenPen

    Oddly enough, I lost my wallet at a movie theater, on Yom Kippur, 20 years ago.
    I called the theater the next day, but they didn’t find it or the 100 $1 bills that was in it.
    (Cue Twilight Zone music)

    I know, from your posts, that it was my fault.
    It was my fault because I went into the theater, in spite of my gut telling me not to due to the presence of one of the employees at the theater, who happened to be a rabid anti-semite.

    I had lost something else of great personal value when I was around this person’s twin brother, when I met him a few months before that.
    That was my fault, as well, as my gut told me that, though this guy was initially quite personable, he was bad news and that I should run away from him immediately.

    Not listening to my gut cost me a wallet, $100 and my ID.

    My gut told me to never use a wallet again.
    I never have and I’ve never lost any money or IDs, in the 20 years since.

    Zen wisdom states “The more you gather things together (such as, in a wallet), the easier you make it for a thief.”

    Also…”Go with your gut.”

  • http://twitter.com/CapCube CapCube

    My Dad is into $2 bills.  He also likes to supply my kids with them.  They probably have about 15 or so that they are hoarding.  Between you and my dad, you probably corner the market on $2 bills.

    I don’t carry a traditional wallet.  I have a money clip that I carry some cash, subway cards, and usually a couple of credit cards and maybe my license.

    And a small leather card wallet that I picked up in Italy on my honeymoon.   Its only slightly larger than a credit card & holds only about 6-8 cards.  Sometimes I misplace it and I flip out until I find it.  Fortunately, I haven’t lost it yet.

    No Costanza wallet for me !

  • Lincolnhahn

    Your prediction is possible ! There is sooo much money bouncing around…. there are bound to be big moves! I’m a PM type myself, but I don’t underestimate the current administration’s effort to do everything in their power to prop up the Dow leading up to the election !

  • Anonymous

    It was horrid. Don’t go. Imagine watching Hangover 1 again, this time less funny, and in bangkok. Literally 99% of the movie was an exact reenactment of the first movie in a different city with slightly different list of things that happened but overall, its pretty much a lamer version of the first movie. I totally disagree that it was worth watching and Rotten Tomatoes seems to agree. 

    • http://www.brookefarmer.com Brooke Farmer

      That is pretty much what I would have expected. Thank you for saving me the $13 bucks or so! 

  • Anonymous

    My buddy actually has about 100 $2 bills in his wallet too. Although I agree not every person does that.

    • Todd_Andelin

      Thats funny!  Does he have a specific reason that he carries them?

      • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

        $2 bills are good to carry for several reasons but the most important: when you use a $2 bill, people don’t forget you. So I would never use a $2 to pay for a cab. But if I buy a coffee an donut at the same same coffee shop they have it waiting for me by the time i walk by the third time I’m there.

        • http://www.zacharyburt.com/ Zachary Burt

          I think that wearing sunglasses is a similar “life hack”. 

          Thanks for the great tip on the 2s.

        • Kevin M

          Is this because there is no “slot” in the money drawer for a $2 bill? Or just the unique factor?

  • Fubar

    re: “Don’t tell CNBC! I had told them I had taken a nap and that’s why I was late returning all of their calls yesterday.”

    Classic Altucher. Hilarioso. You obviously take the corporate TV stuff far too seriously. (sarcasm)

  • Nbnm

    nobody cares about your wallet

  • Fubar

    I saw a Jay Leno TV show rerun in which James Altucher was mentioned as part of a joke. Has an explanation been provided that I missed? TIA!

  • Anonymous

    Great read — my heart rate jumped at the thought of my wallet going missing. It lives in the same drawer every night so this won’t happen. My keys too. I’m probably too hypersensitive about this. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QAQZQ63L26FNAGYSOUBIL6XXIQ kjp712

    Congrats! Zero Hedge ran a post on your CNBC appearance.You are reaching a new set of audience….

  • DEVILDOG

    You’re an idiot. Stick your stupid 20K DOW BS up your ass.

    • jlcollinsnh

      I, for one, love such insightful analisis.

  • http://www.zacharyburt.com/ Zachary Burt

    Banks should have them.  Ditto coin dealers.  If they hesitate tell them you need it to land a date!

  • http://www.zacharyburt.com/ Zachary Burt

    I do not like to carry a wallet.  I carry cash and loose credit cards and identification.  Fortunately with the advent of technology “wallets” are being disrupted.  I will no longer have to endure the occasional chastisement of the slow-thinking “normals”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1272980067 Priscilla Benfield

    100 $2 bills?? Seriously?

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Try it.

  • lee

    “What was in the wallet? 100 $2 bills”

    Why do you carry so much cash around? Your wallet must be thick as a book. Is it for convenience, and if so, how long does it take you to go through them before replacing?

    My wallet usually has no more than $5-10, 2 credit cards, drivers license and insurance card.  99% of my purchases are paid by CC as it’s less fuss and change to deal with.

    Maybe as part of your ‘Daily Practice’ you should try to simplify your life and ‘travel light.’

  • Client#9

    You roll that way. hahaha.
    Same pants wearing LIKE A BOSS!

  • wsc

    i carry one $2 bill around in my wallet.  i found it on the ground.  it was tied in a bow.  good story.  keeping mind body and spirit aligned all the time is hard!  did you happen to read my comment on your comic post?  they got the 1-800 Flowers ceo’s name wrong.  it’s jim mccann, not jim mcmann.

  • wsc

    i carry one $2 bill around in my wallet.  i found it on the ground.  it was tied in a bow.  good story.  keeping mind body and spirit aligned all the time is hard!  did you happen to read my comment on your comic post?  they got the 1-800 Flowers ceo’s name wrong.  it’s jim mccann, not jim mcmann.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      wsc, thanks!  I will get them to correct that. Funny about the $2 bill tied in a bow. People always ascribe special meaning to it. I tihnk its the prettiest bill.

      • Jim

        Last time I lost my wallet it was at the movies, probably a sequel too. I called, got it back, nothing missing. Now I just go to the drive in.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      wsc, thanks!  I will get them to correct that. Funny about the $2 bill tied in a bow. People always ascribe special meaning to it. I tihnk its the prettiest bill.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      wsc, thanks!  I will get them to correct that. Funny about the $2 bill tied in a bow. People always ascribe special meaning to it. I tihnk its the prettiest bill.

  • wsc

    i carry one $2 bill around in my wallet.  i found it on the ground.  it was tied in a bow.  good story.  keeping mind body and spirit aligned all the time is hard!  did you happen to read my comment on your comic post?  they got the 1-800 Flowers ceo’s name wrong.  it’s jim mccann, not jim mcmann.

  • wsc

    i carry one $2 bill around in my wallet.  i found it on the ground.  it was tied in a bow.  good story.  keeping mind body and spirit aligned all the time is hard!  did you happen to read my comment on your comic post?  they got the 1-800 Flowers ceo’s name wrong.  it’s jim mccann, not jim mcmann.

  • http://HireHassan.com Hassan

    GREAT post! Looking at losing your wallet as a symptom of other things in your life being out of balance is a cool way of looking at things. I don’t have a wallet (I use a slim card case that holds 3-4 cards + ID and cash) and i still find this to be so relevant haha

  • Kevin M

    My Grandma used to give them to us as gifts – she worked at a bank.

  • Kevin M

    “everything comes from the inside”

    I really need to start the Daily Practice. I’ve been so negative lately.

    • http://jamesaltucher.com James Altucher

      Its hard to avoid being negative. i suggest you also, as a basic precursor to the daily pratice, avoid all news and anyone else who is negative. negativity spreads like a disease.

      • Kevin M

        Thanks. I just think sometimes I’m too negative (gut feeling). It’s like I have to remind myself to be happy even though my life is pretty great. I am going on a news diet, avoiding negative people will be harder.

  • Marie

    I have lost my purse twice and both times good people found it and returned it to me. Most people are honest and I like that (although one has to be alert for the bad guys).

    Completely off topic, I see that you were on Kudlow’s show. Do you like him? I used to watch him all the time and even wrote him an email once (about national sales tax) and he answered. But I think he has imbibed too much of his own Kool-Aid, like so many of these guys, and I stopped. If only I’d known you were on, would have made an exception to see the show.

  • Jamalchahboune

    That is very spooky because I had a similar experience. When I was a kid me and my friends bunked school to go to the cinema. We had to take a train to another town because the town we lived in didn’t have a cinema. We ended up watching “The Others”. While watching the film we were asked to leave. We were being too noisy. As my friends were being escorted out I pretended like I wasn’t with them (I wanted to finish the movie). The cinema staff took the bait. My friends left and I stuck around. Big mistake. I was gonna pay the price for ditching my friends to watch a lame movie. On the train home 3 things went against me:

    1) My friends were ironically on the same train (They shopped around while I watched the movie) and they were pissed at me. 

    2) A family friend recognized me. She would tell my parents that I didn’t go to school that day.

    3) I left my wallet on the train. It had EVERYTHING in it.

    These things happened because I wasn’t loyal to my friends. It was a lesson that stays with me to this day. 

  • Ken

    I have the ultimate “lost” wallet story for you.  I use to have a huge wallet – the bill fold kind that seemed to weigh almost a pound.  It seemed to take on a life of its own. 

    Years ago, we were going camping and stopped on the way at a Walmart to buy some camping chairs etc.  Then we proceeded to drive to the campground which was about 25 miles down a 2 lane 55 mph country road (including a set of railroad tracks).

    When I went to pay for the campsite, the wallet was missing – we looked everywhere in the car, the equipment.  No wallet.  Crap.  And then panic set in.

    We decided that I must have dropped it somewhere around Walmart 25 miles back up the road.  So back up the 25 mile 2 lane highway we go.  We search Walmart, the floors, the parking lot -even got stock boys to help.  No wallet.

    About to give up, I started walking back to the car – and there it was.  The wallet, with a life of its own, was sitting on the back bumper of my old Tahoe.  Mind you, this Tahoe had a tailgate that dropped down over the bumper.  We tried to retrace what happen – apparently I put the wallet on the bumper to load in the equipment – and left it on the bumper.  For a 50 mile round trip on a 2 lane country high speed road with a railroad tracks in one of the small towns.  The wallet sat quietly for the 50 mile joy ride on my bumper.

    The moral of the story – if you lose your wallet, check your bumper first.

    Ken 

    • TomiJ

      I have a pretty similar story, though without quite as precarious a place to lose the wallet: I was in Miami, FL, on my first business trip to the US, so I was renting a car solo for the first time. I arrived at MIA at around midnight, got the car (a minivan was all they had, as it was Thanksgiving), and drove 12 miles to the hotel (and got lost, twice, almost ending up in Hialeah).

      At the hotel, I went to check in and couldn’t find my wallet. I searched the car and my luggage, but couldn’t find it anywhere. At this time, I’d been up for 26 hours straight, and was getting pretty desperate. I managed to phone the rental company, who started looking for the wallet while I drove back there. No wallet there either.

      With the help of the rental staff, we started looking really closely through the car, which was huge, but finally we found the wallet in a pocket on the passenger door. I’d put my wallet on the side seat when I had to show my driver’s license on the way out from the rental, and it’d fallen to the door pocket at some crossroads. In my panicked and jet-lagged search at the hotel, I just had not noticed the pocket even existed.

  • Brian

    James – I agree with you on Dow 20000, I just think it will visit 5000 on the way.  Everyone is entitled to their honest opinion, that’s what America is supposed to be about.  Hating people because you disagree with their opinions is self-defeating and becoming a cancer in contemporary American culture.