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Just Fl*sh It (Lessons Learned After Flushing My License Down the Toilet)

Yes, it happened. How, you ask? Well you’re only asking that if we haven’t actually met. Because for most who know me, I’m not sure they were really all that surprised. Which I personally think says more about them than me. Or at least that’s what I’m going to keep thinking. Just let me have that.

Anyway, since you probably still want to know how, here’s how. It was in my back jeans pocket when I went into the stall. I felt it. But like a minute later, as I was pulling up my jeans, I no longer felt it. And then, just as I spun around in semi-disbelief to look in the toilet, it automatically flushed! Damn those sanitizing automatic flushers!

So now what? Well, here’s my sage advice if (when) it happens to someone you know.

1) Don’t stick your hand in. 

I mean really. Not that it even occurred to me for a second, but I actually had a lot of people ask if I did. Are you crazy? It’s not like it’s my diamond ring! And even then, I think I may have just let it go and filed an insurance claim. Yeah, I said it. But people, this is a profound tip because I also think this applies to not sticking your neck out or your mouth into situations that you just have no control over.

2) Be nice. 

Listen folks, when you’re in a situation where now you have to be asking official people, like the guy working at the airline’s lost luggage desk if there is maybe, possibly, pretty-please-with-a-cherry-on-top someone who can go back and check your seat on the plane just to make 100% sure that you’re not losing your frigging jetlagged mind, you might not want to be a total bitch. And believe me, I have seen plenty of people lose their shit and rage all over people that they want help from, only to be treated exactly the same way they’re treating such person. You know who you are. Control yourself.

3) Laugh it off. 

Seriously, what are the other options? And FYI, this applies to most things in life. Laugh. It. Off. For real, you should try it.

4) Don’t lie to the cops. 

Ok, hear me out. I went to the police station near where I was staying to file a lost license report. Keep in mind, I didn’t even have the good sense to flush the license down the toilet of my hometown airport. Nope, I was literally across the country and was somehow going to have to get back on a plane a few days later to get home. So I walk in and when asked where I “lost” it, I said I thought the airport. Boom. I’m told that I have to go back to the airport because the police jurisdiction wasn’t the same as where I was. My brain starts furiously calculating time and cost of making another round trip to the airport, and I stupidly blurt out, well what if I say I lost it here? To a cop. To which she sternly responds “but you DIDN’T.” I backpedal and try to smoothly explain that the truth is, I’m not exactly sure where I lost it, because I just know I didn’t have it when I arrived at my sister’s house. Obviously I left with no police report.

5) Think positive. 

I’m actually really good at this. Maybe too good. I generally walk around thinking people are good and things are good and everything is good. And then I’m surprised when sometimes people are bad or things go wrong (then I remember tip #3). Anyway, seeing as I did still have to make it through airport security and catch a flight back to NYC, I set my mind on the fact that it would work out. I’d get to the airport early, and maybe spend an extra hour experiencing the joys of TSA rummaging through my carry on and giving me a pat down, but I’d make it. And if not, there are worse places to be for an extra day or two than San Diego. And wouldn’t you know it, with a smile on my face and using my most patient and relaxed indoor voice, I basically sailed through security with my state-issued real estate license photo ID card and my health insurance card. No joke. I knew getting my real estate license years ago would come in handy every now and then. And then I got to spend that extra hour sitting at my gate. But at least I got on the plane.

So there you have it. The lessons I learned after a toilet-flushing debacle, but really life lessons we can all remember and make use of probably more often than you’d have thought.  

What are some of the most valuable life lessons you've learned?  I'd love to hear them!  (I'd also like to hear if anyone else has flushed their license down the toilet.  Just saying.)

Jess xo


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