I was walking up to the counter of the local, not as good as Los Laureles in the Urban Jungle, Mexican restaurant and reaching for my wallet in my back pocket. It wasn't there. I tried a couple more times to verify I hadn't just 'missed it' and then the opposing pocket. I came up empty on all accounts. Panic sets in briefly but then I soon realized what had happened. Being it Sunday, I had put on my church pants and simply forgot to add the wallet and though it was now lunch time, this was the first time I needed the wallet. It was probably still back home.
Although I'm not a 'regular', I've eaten at this restaurant probably hundreds of times over the years and since this is a small town, I would like to think that the Mexican man who runs the place would know me well enough for me to joke about the situation. So when I walked up to the counter to pay my bill, the following conversation to place.
Me: "Well I forgot my wallet so I'm going to have to do dishes."
Owner: (blank stare)
Me: "I don't have any money to pay you. Can I work off what I owe you?"
Owner: (I could see the wheel start to turn inside his head and I knew he thought I was trying to pull a fast one over on him.)
Me: "Is it alright if I go home while my wife and daughter wait here and get some money?"
Owner: (nods... he is a man of few words and always has been.)
So I left my wife and daughter behind as collateral and drove home across town to retrieve my wallet and went back. I gave him a healthy nearly 50% tip for his understanding and all was good in the world. But still I feel as if I crossed a line and it didn't really feel as bad as I would have thought...