Funny story. The other day, I get home and my husband is searching through his dresser looking for a wad of cash he had stashed in the back of his drawer. He’s usually pretty good with money, but we recently moved into a new house, which, by the way, happens to be across the street from my boss. Funny, because of all the places to live in Dallas, we fell in love with a house that makes it possible for me to have regular weekend run-ins with the one person whose job it is to tell me to do more work.
But that’s not the funny story. What I’m getting at is that since we moved, there seems to be a lot of cash around for carpenters and window treatment installers, etcetera, etcetera. In fact, we’re just spending all kinds of money, what with the new refrigerator, the sectional sofa, and all the other furniture we’re buying to fill in the extra space we now have. And that’s exactly why my husband was looking for the wad of cash. We were about to pick up a chair from one of those Instagram vintage sellers in town. “Where would I have put it?” my husband kept saying. “I thought I moved it after The Kid told me he saw it in my drawer.”
He was referring to our 5-year-old son, who has been adjusting pretty well to the move considering he’s a kid so averse to change that he once had an hour-long tears-and-snot tantrum when I replaced a lamp. The trick was promising him a swing set at the new house, which his four grandparents agreed to collectively fund. Of course, we’ve been so busy with the new fridge and sectional and window treatments that we still haven’t bought or built a swing set. And the lack of swing set might have been the problem.
Since The Kid didn’t have a swing set to play on, he and his best friend had to get creative during a recent playdate. So instead of sliding and swinging, their default activity was to act like ninjas and slay imaginary bad guys. But, to be ninjas, they had to dress like ninjas. And to dress like ninjas, they had to put on my husband’s Nike sweatbands, the ones he keeps in his dresser. You see where this is going? Well, yes, because the answer is in the title.
Sure enough, when I picked up The Kid from school, I asked if he and The Friend happened to take any money out of his dad’s drawer. “Yes,” he said. No torture necessary. It was Monopoly money to him. He said he put it in his pocket, but it must have fallen out at some point.
I rewound my memory to that day. I remember stopping at the Rubial’s on Grand where The Kid asked if he could buy Sprite out of a mini-fridge. “I have money,” he said. I said no, but of course I had no idea he was rolling like the Wolf Pup of Wall Street. Then we went to Walton’s Garden Center on Garland, then on to Chik-Fil-A, but that was just the drive-thru, because I remember The Kid spilled his whole Sprite in my Subaru before he could even drink it. Then the boys ran up and down our street for a good two hours while I planted pansies.
I have since checked every pocket in every pant. And I’ll tell you what, I felt pretty dumb calling those garden centers to ask if they found $400 lying around. But then I thought, if someone called my office and said there might be significant amount of money just floating around, it would certainly make for a pretty fun, yet unproductive, day.
So yeah, there’s no twist here. We have no idea where our cash went. It could have made someone’s rent, a gift from God, they probably thought, not knowing that God is a kindergartener who wipes his boogers on the collar of his school uniform. The cash could’ve decomposed into a very rich ground cover. Or it could have ended up in my boss’ yard. In the office the other day, he told me my next-door neighbor’s gardener blew all their pecan leaves onto his lawn and he spent his weekend filling something like 15 garbage bags. And I know he’s not very observant, because he says he lost his garage door opener in one of them. Then he told me to do more work.
The money could have also been donated to the North Texas Food Bank or used to buy a dozen Nicholas Cage sequin pillows or could be going up someone’s nose in the Candleroom bathroom. Hell, it could be anywhere. Arkansas, even! But thinking of all the places where that money could be is still not the funny part.
The funny part is that on the ride home, The Kid got quiet for a minute then said, “Mom, was that money for my Christmas presents?” I looked at him in the rearview mirror and told him his Nerf-gun-heavy gift list was not at risk then gave him the facts. “No sweetie, that was cash your grandma gave us to go toward your swing set.”
Oh man, the look on his little face.