Anyone who has gone out to dinner, shopping, or anywhere that we get carded with me has seen my most constant accessory. In fact, it’s also the most commented on accessory, as well.
My hot dog wallet.
This little guy has been with me for a long time.
The summer between my junior and senior years of college, I took a little road trip to St. Louis with my summer roommate (one of my besties, to this day) to meet another of our friends for a day at the zoo. After our delightful time looking at all the furry animals, our friend took us to Fitz’s and then shopping in a second-hand store.
I still believe that fate led us there, because it was there that I found the original hot dog wallet, inside the glass case, almost directly below the cash register. And of course, I had to buy it.
From that day on, it was me and the hot dog wallet, taking on the world. Until that spring break, sadly, where I managed to drop the hot dog wallet in the parking lot of a Hasting’s and it was gone forever.
Or so I thought. The same bestie that was with me that fateful day managed to find the hot dog wallet online, and we were reunited in what I still considered the best present I’ve ever gotten. And I’m not even kidding. I tried to think of a better present just now, and I couldn’t. The closest I can get is the battery-powered Barbie corvette my Grami gave me when I was a little kiddo.
Now, I’ve had the hot dog wallet for 5 years, but I think it’s finally time to retire the old boy. He’s starting to show his age, and, frankly, so am I.
Gone are the days of getting carded at bars and them scrutinizing my Driver’s License because not only do I look young, and not only am I wearing pigtails, but I whipped the ID out of a wallet shaped like America’s favorite ballpark treat.
And so, I made the rough decision to retire my old friend, moving on to a slightly less juvenile form of storing my cash moneys and IDs. But he’s served me so well, I thought that he deserved a send-off. A last hurrah, as it were.
This summer, he really got to see the sights. I mean, he’d been all over the world, or at least our hemisphere, from Canada down to Argentina, but I rarely let him get out and enjoy the open air. He’s earned it.
His summer o’ fun started with our trip to Vegas at the end of June. HDW checked in with us to his luxurious accommodations at the MGM Grand.
He was especially excited about the complimentary bottle of champagne they sent us.
I mean, who wouldn’t be excited by that? It TOTALLY put him in the Vegas mood. He was all, “Let’s get our drink on!“
So we did.
But Vegas is not just about drinking. It’s also about indulging in other vices. Like food.
And after our week of excess, we hopped on the plane to head back to the 2-1-4.
I thought about ending our summer there, retiring HDW right at that moment. But it just didn’t feel right…I wanted to get the full 5 years in. And he wanted to see NY.
So he did.
HDW indulged in many of the same indulgences in Manhattan as he did in Vegas, in the East Coast style. Dessert at Bette Midler’s restaurant, Dominican food in Wash Heights, and drinks pretty much all over the city.
But as any good tourist worth their salt knows, New York just isn’t about the excesses, it’s about the culture, the experiences. And Hot Dog Wallet wanted to have the full experience. So we went to a couple of museums and the public library, where he got to visit the Goodnight Moon house
…we spent plenty of time shopping around town, including at Chelsea Market and the Strand…
…we went to a Mets game…
…and we drank/dined on a patio in Riverside park at sunset.
On our last night, HDW finally mustered all his courage and managed to ride the subway up to Washington Heights, all out in the open. He felt very gangsta.
When I arrived back from the Big Apple, HDW and I knew it was time. He had a long and fulfilling life with me, more than most novelty wallets could ever hope for, and he had one hell of a farewell this summer. So we said our final goodbyes, I took all the important business out, and HDW settled into his new home, among my other former compatriots and sometimes-travel companions.
He’s in good company. And now he can watch from above, aka the kitchen cabinet, as I go about my daily life. So, in a way, he’ll always be with me.
Yep. I went there. You like it.