by Fran Simone
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes.”
– Neil Gaiman
I’m out-of-town visiting my friend, Ted, at a skilled nursing facility. He sleeps. I read a book on my iPad. Hours pass. Ted’s daughter arrives. I wait for her in the lobby where I place my coat and Baggallini tote on a chair. I love that bag. It’s lightweight with multiple compartments, including an iPad slot. Susan joins me and we head out for dinner.
After dinner, I drive to Comfort Inn and grab my suitcase from the car trunk. My bag isn’t there. I search inside the car. No bag. Not a problem. Probably left it in the lobby. I settle in and call the nursing facility, confident it’s there. No bag. Still not a problem. I call the restaurant. No bag. Maybe it fell in the parking lot.
I call Ted’s sitter. “Please double-check the lobby and if my bag isn’t there, then look in the parking lot.” No bag.
Now a problem.
The next morning, I check housekeeping at the nursing facility. No bag. I call customer service at Apple to report a lost or stolen iPad. I learn that I need my Apple ID and password or serial number.
“Well, what if I don’t have either one?”
“Then call the place where you purchased your device for serial number.”
Who carries around the serial number or memorizes their ID and passwords?
I call Best Buy back home to track the serial number. No dice. I need my credit card number.
My iPad was a gift to myself when I retired in 2011. Since then, Bank of America issued me a new credit card, one with a chip.
I call my daughter.
“Calm down, mom, we’ll figure it out.”
She calls back. “Mom, check your Amazon account which lists old credit card numbers.”
I track it down.
Back to Best Buy. They find the purchase order, but don’t keep track of serial numbers.
My daughter calls again. “Mom, I located the serial number.”
I don’t ask how.
Back to Apple.
“We can now resolve your problem but not over the phone. You have to report the loss in the cloud.”
What’s the cloud?
It’s late and I have a six-hour drive ahead of me. Although exhausted when I return home, I locate iCloud and report the loss. My iPad’s locked and can be located. Triumphant I fall into bed.
Next day while unpacking the car, I push aside a blanket in the trunk and uncover my tote bag. I am elated. My iPad is located at my home address. I am embarrassed.
During that frenzied day, I learned to keep track of serial numbers and passwords. More importantly, I learned that loss of an iPad is small potatoes compared to Ted languishing in a nursing facility. Mistakes happen. No doubt I will make many more this year.
Fran Simone is a Professor Emeritus at Marshall University, South Charleston, WV, campus. She directed the West Virginia Writing Project and taught classes and conducted workshops in personal narrative, memoir and creative non-fiction. Her memoir, Dark Wine Waters: a Husband of a Thousand Joys and Sorrows was published last year.