JOPLIN, Mo. —
At first, I didn’t think it was a big deal.
Our 16-year-old daughter, Emma, called me from work and asked me for a favor. Emma asked if I would go up to her room and get the wallet in which she keeps her debit card. We got Emma a debit card some time ago because it made it seem less painful to put money into her account than to fork over cash every day.
Emma needed her debit card because there was a sale going on in the clothing store where she works.
When she was offered the job in the clothing store, my wife and I were happy for her.
“This will teach her some responsibility,” my wife and I said.
“This will teach the importance of work,” my wife and I said.
“This will teach her the value of a dollar,” my wife and I said.
“This will allow me to buy a bunch of cute clothes with the money I get from working,” Emma said.
Emma is a bit of a fashion fan, so a job in a clothing store isn’t exactly work for her. It would be like me getting a job in the Anheuser-Busch brewery in St. Louis.
On Emma’s first day on the job, I received the following text from her (and this is true):
“Worked three hours. Bought a dress. Only owe work $10.”
When I read that, I swear I could hear Tennessee Ernie Ford singing “I owe my soul to the company store.”
Actually, Emma has gotten much better at keeping more of her paycheck, but she still will spring for the occasional item that is “too cute to pass up.”
So when Emma told me that her work place was having a sale and asked me to get her wallet out of her room, I figured it was no big deal.
“Dad,” Emma said after I agreed to get her wallet, “you might have to search for it in my room.”
“That’s OK,” I said because I was a moron. “How hard can it be to find?”
Emma didn’t say anything, which should have been a clue.
When I went upstairs and walked into Emma’s room, I understood why she hadn’t said anything.
Have you ever seen video footage of those soccer riots they have in Europe? Well, imagine one of those soccer riots taking place in a bedroom. Then imagine, after the riot was over, being asked to find a wallet in the midst of all the riot remains.
“How can one person cause such a mess in such a small room?” I asked myself.
Then I thought about what my wife’s side of our bedroom looks like and decided that the fallen apple couldn’t be any closer to the tree. The tree, of course, being my wife and the apple being Emma.
The first thing I did was look through the pile of stuff on the floor by Emma’s bed. I didn’t find the wallet, but I did find a cat I hadn’t seen in a while. The cat was not happy.
Then I looked through the pile of stuff on Emma’s bed. Again, I didn’t find the wallet, but I did find a surfboard.
“I didn’t know Emma had a surfboard,” I said.
Then I started looking on a desktop near Emma’s bed. It took awhile, but I finally found the wallet.
Later, my wife came home, and I told her about the sale at the store where Emma works. My wife said she would take the wallet to Emma because she might want to buy something at the store, too. And then my wife asked me to do something that I figured was no big deal.
I mean, how hard could it be to find her debit card in our bedroom?
Do you have an idea for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.