I was spending a glorious weekend in Ann Arbor for Wilson’s University of Michigan fraternity reunion (another post on that later)…. when I lost my driver’s license at the tailgate party.
Warning #1: They don’t allow any bags into Michigan Stadium.
None, at all. Whatever you can shove in the pockets of your skinny jeans is what you can bring into the game.
I didn’t realize this until I was at the Campus Inn picking up friends before the game. So I grabbed my phone, camera and a credit card and left my bag in their room.
Warning #2: Trust your instincts!
I debated whether to bring my license–I didn’t think I’d need it– but my friend convinced me you never know when you might need ID. (As if a 40-something year old mom would ever get carded by a 20-year-old bouncer at Rick’s) I wasn’t sure why I would need it but it sounded reasonable so I put the license and credit card in my camera case.
During several hours of tailgating I took the camera out to snap photos and was careful to put it back with the cards. But right at the end of the tailgate, the Bloody Marys had kicked in and I was not on my game.
I took the camera out to take a picture and my credit card fell out. As I picked it up, my friend, Eric, said “You better be careful not to lose that card.” I returned it to the case and saw the license in there.
That was the last time I eyeballed it.
Soon after, we walked to the stadium, laughing and talking as thousands of kids crowded the streets to get to the game. Just as we arrived, I looked down and realized the camera case was open and the license was gone.
My heart sank. I was pissed at myself for being a bonehead, but worse I didn’t want to be a buzz kill for Wilson and his friends. After an expletive-heavy outburst, I wanted retrace my steps back to the parking lot where the party was, to try to find it.
Although it was his only game at the Big House all year, although he was relishing bonding with his friends, Wilson took a half hour to help me look for it.
After an unsuccessful search we went back to the game. Michigan imploded on the field so although I felt badly that he missed some of the game, at least he didn’t miss any good plays.
I tried to put the stress of the lost license on the back burner and enjoyed the game experience and a fun dinner afterwards. I was worried about how I was going to get on my return flight and how I would drive at home without it but tried not to dwell.
I called campus police, emailed the tailgate caterer and asked around but came up license-less.
Warning #3 Get to the airport early if you don’t have ID
I called Delta when we got back to our friend’s house and they said I’d have to go through an extra security check when I got to the airport.
Warning #4 Don’t copy your passport
Wilson thought it was a good idea to have my mom (who was staying with my kids at our house) take a photo of my passport and email it so I could show that to the TSA people at the airport as another official form of ID. Sounded like a smart plan but when we showed it to the Delta check-in guy he told us it’s a federal offense to copy your passport, and digitally sending it is also a no-no. Who knew? We were so grateful he told us before we got in more trouble with the TSA.
Luckily, it wasn’t busy when we arrived at Detroit Metro. We told the TSA agent I lost my license and after a bunch of questions he got a supervisor to help us. He asked what other ID I had (my work photo ID, credit cards and a health insurance card were enough to prove I wasn’t an impostor) and escorted us through the regular security line.
Warning #5: If you’re going through security with no ID, don’t bring any sharp objects, and disguise all embarrassing items in your luggage.
My bag was checked thoroughly on the belt and then a rubber-glove wearing TSA agent went through it– right there, in front of everyone– testing for explosive residue. I had not planned for this, but was mentally rejoicing that I had put my dirty granny-pants in a side pocket and left all my see-through lingerie at home.
I was also treated to a pat down by a female TSA agent who seemed to take pleasure in ordering me around and getting to second base as Wilson looked on.
All in all, it wasn’t too bad.
We sailed through security with only a 10 minute delay and everyone was pretty nice and understanding.
Warning #6 (the most important one!) Don’t freak out.
After the uneventful TSA experience, I was glad I didn’t come unglued and let the situation ruin my good time Saturday night. It was a special weekend with friends we don’t see enough, and just wasn’t worth the stress.
I hoped it would all work out in the end and it did. Although spending the morning at the DMV this week to get a new license may sour my sunny outlook!
Wilson thinks some good Samaritan Wolverine found my license and will send it in the mail. I’ll keep you posted.