Hiding Places

Well. I have really outdone myself this time.

So you know how your birth certificate, social security card, and marriage license are like, REALLY important life documents? I mean, the first two are my entire identity, and the third is a major part of my identity but also the legal document that makes my marriage, well, legal.

A WHILE ago, and I mean a WHILE – three years maybe? – I am pretty sure it was back when we were converting our Brewer room to the guest room, so that was… In 2013. January 2013. Thanks for working through that with me. Anyways, many moons ago when Daniel’s room was a storage space for things that we didn’t know what to do with, I had a box full of wedding memorabilia. This included all of the things that I eventually want to put into a wedding scrapbook (3 years and 9 months later… still not even started…) so that we can relive the most fabulous day of our lives for all of eternity. The box got moved down to the basement with a slew of other things.

Shortly after, I, for some reason that I truly cannot remember, was in the basement going through boxes. OH. Do you know what? I was looking for my DIPLOMA. Oh it’s aaaaaaaall coming back to me now. For Christmas 2012, Peter’s mom gave me a beautiful diploma frame. I was so excited to be able to hang it in my office at work! However, it dawned on me, on that wonderful Christmas morning, that I actually didn’t know what happened to my diploma. When we moved to our house at the end of August 2012, it just… disappeared. I was always completed confounded by this, because I can still picture today exactly where I had my diploma displayed in my apartment.

Anyways, I couldn’t find my diploma ANYWHERE. So I contacted UW-Madison and had to pay $55 to get a new one. I remember telling the story to my boss at the time, and he was like, “Huh. I guess when I hired you I should have asked to see your diploma. You DO have one, right?” Obviously his flash of doubt made me expedite the process of getting another diploma.

OH MY GOSH ANYWAYS. When I was looking for my diploma, I opened up my wedding box, and I saw my social security card, birth certificate and marriage license. I had never put them in a safe place after we moved, so there they sat. I remember being SO RELIEVED that I came across them, because, I mean, IDENTITY. We didn’t have a lock box at the time, so I put them in a nice envelope that was clearly labeled and was like “OK, I need to have a really good hiding place for these.” WHY I needed a really good hiding place is beyond me. But I honestly remember thinking, “This is SUCH a good hiding place!”

I also kept all of the document information (what to do if you lose your social security card, confirmation that we had a marriage license, etc.) in a separate envelope labeled “Social Security Card / Marriage License INFORMATION”. I put this “information envelope” in my nightstand drawer.

Fast forward oooooooh 6 months maybe? Something came up where Peter needed his social security card for something, for some reason I think it was a new passport – is that possible? Anyways, he needed his social security card, and it was at his parents’ house. Along with his birth certificate. So the next time we were down by his parents, his mom gave us an envelope with his social security card, birth certificate and immunization form with all of this shots and stuff from when he was an itty bitty baby.

When Peter started talking about his documents, I started wondering about MY documents. I kept this a secret because these documents are not something that you are supposed to lose, and I didn’t want to have to explain myself to Peter.

When we got back home, I went into our bedroom because my nightstand was ringing a bell. All I found was my “information envelope” with no sign of the ACTUAL documents. I went down and searched the basement to no avail. I looked in our file drawer and anywhere else I might keep important documents. Nothing.

Since I didn’t need the documents at that moment in time, I didn’t panic. But it was always in the back of my mind. WHERE did I put my IDENTITY??

A couple of times in the last year or so I’ve thought about how I really need to either find those documents or request new ones. My search was renewed after we got Daniel’s birth certificate and social security card. That’s when I bought a lockbox. So Peter and Daniel’s identities were safe, but mine was NOT because I had no idea what I did with that fricking envelope. I mean, was our marriage even LEGAL anymore if I couldn’t find the PAPER???

This evening, Peter and I were bringing the Christmas decorations (sad!) back down to the basement. Whenever I’m down there in the storage area, I think about my stupid identity. Tonight I casually mentioned to Peter when we were downstairs, “I told you that I lost my social security card, right? And also, my birth certificate. And also, our marriage license.” I was met with a blank stare and an “I’m sorry, what??”

I took that as my cue to find everything stat. STAT.

So I searched the places I had searched before, hoping that I missed something. Spoiler: I didn’t. I was sitting on my bed, going through every scrap of paper in my nightstand, losing all hope, when something caught my eye. I busted out laughing. Really, really hard.

“Peter! PETER! Come in here, you’re not going to believe this. LOOK at where I found my identity.”

I am such an idiot.

I put this very valuable envelope, INSIDE the nightstand. Like, I slipped it between the empty crack between the drawer and the actual nightstand, so it was stuck in this abyss.

That’s my swimsuit/beachwear drawer.


In case you can’t read that, it says, “Marriage license / Sara’s social security card / Sara’s birth certificate”

So after Peter was like “Sara, wtf?” and I was laughing so uncontrollably that I had tears streaming down my face, I was like, “Well shit. How the hell are we supposed to get that out of there? WHAT was I thinking?”

We tried pulling the drawers out. Nope.

I went to the kitchen to get some tongs. Nope.

Peter then left me to my own devices because he was like, “Sara, I really have no idea what you were thinking.” and I was all, “Well if someone broke into our house they would ONLY be after my identity, so this was a really good place to hide it!” … Oops.

I sat there staring at the envelope and then yelled, “I’VE GOT IT!” Peter didn’t look up as I ran (“ran”) down the hall to the kitchen to get the longest wooden spoon we had and the duct tape. I put the tape at the end of the stick and fished for the stupid envelope.


So now I have my identity properly stored in a REALLY SAFE AND SECRET PLACE that I told Peter this time, because clearly, I’m way too smart for my own good.

PS: One of the times that I was looking (again) for my identity, I found my original diploma in one of the storage boxes with junk that really should just be thrown away because it has been in that box since we moved over three years ago. So now I have two of the same diplomas from the University of Wisconsin proving that I am DOUBLY SMART than I thought I was.

That’s how that works, right?


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