March 13, 2009

Money, Loss and Control

I mentioned that I locked myself out of my car for five hours last week.

I didn't mention how that scenario served as a little therapeutic help for a financially frenzied friend of mine.

I could have called a tow service for $55 to get me back in the car immediately. But I had an open schedule that day, the weather was sunny and warm, and so I opted for a free, but time-intensive alternative. (It is true, what they say, Time is money. I had the time, so chose not to spend the money.)

I took six subway trips. First to a girlfriend's Loop office at Major Multi-National Bank to retrieve her house keys. Then to her northside condo to let myself in, turn off alarm system, and rummage through the drawer where she kept a spare key to my house. Back to my house, where I've another car key, only to discover that hers was an old copy; my locks had since been re-keyed.

So took fourth trip to second friend's house where her au pair let me in and found that friend's spare key to my house. Trekked home, neither did it work, so took sixth subway ride back to my car.

Meantime, a friend who has suffered a series of business setbacks in the current economy called saying, "I heard you were locked out. Where is your car? I'm coming to help." At this point, I did have a solution, but it would be another two hours before that happened.

"Thanks, but you really do not have to do that. I've kind of got the situation resolved."

"No, no," my thoughtful friend said, "There is so little in my life now over which I have control. Your situation is bugging me, and this is one thing I could accomplish. It would do me well to fix something."

What a good friend. I was happy to oblige, and enjoyed the therapeutic effect myself when we finally heard the satisfying sound of that car door lock click open.

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