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Remember this?

July 1, 2015
Amy H. Peterson - Staff Writer ( , Estherville News


That's what you are.

Today is National "I Forgot" Day. Founded in 1999 by Gaye Anderson, it's celebrated as the day to make up for all the birthdays, anniversaries, school assemblies, sports practice pickups, promises, and errands you forgot over the past year.

I'm fascinated by ways people remember things. From phone reminders to the Remembrall from the Harry Potter series, I need tools to remember things, but I haven't reached the point of actually utilizing them.

Sometimes events collide, busyness gains traction, and we forget we even had something to remember. In May, I took a trip to New York and Boston to meet with people and prepare for the creative thing I do. I was flying out of Des Moines and traveled there to stay overnight with my brother in the east village neighborhood. I had to leave around 4 for the airport, so I stayed up all night packing and repacking.

Earlier in the night, an emergency had come up, and my niece and I drove around in her car to take care of it while my brother was otherwise occupied. In that process, I had dropped my wallet on the floor of her car. This did not even occur to me; I assumed it was still in my bag, I had my car keys, so I snoozed until I really had to leave.

After tearing through my brother's house in a panic, all through my car, anywhere I could think of, my wallet was still missing. I truly could not think of any other place it could be. I had trip insurance and had resigned to canceling the flight and not even going. However, something in me snapped, and I decided I needed to go to the airport and get as far as they would let me go. I had to try.

The Transportation Safety Authority(TSA) was really quite kind. They explained that if I went through their enhanced process and didn't make my flight, I would have to go through the entire process again if I got on a later flight. I decided to try it. They compressed what's usually a 40 minute process into 20 minutes, but even so, I sprinted to the gate only to watch my original flight pull away from the skyway. I don't know that there is anything in a travelers world that's quite so disheartening.

I booked a flight two hours later, which had all the elements I had avoided with my first, nonstop flight a long layover in Chicago, eventual arrival in Penn Station after the AirTrain during rush hour. I was offered a midday flight, but couldn't fathom walking through New York City after dark.

Had I waited, my niece would have been at the airport with my wallet and the ensuing days would have been far, far easier. I took from the experience what was good I went through enhanced security with the TSA three times with no huge issues and not so good, like the sheer exhaustion of making this trip with nothing to eat and the worry of being away with no money. Remembering the important stuff is really vital to our enjoyment of life and our survival.



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