The Costs Of Forgetfulness – The Lunch Bag Story

The forgotten lunch bag

One morning I made my way to the kitchen and opened the fridge get milk for breakfast.

What I saw instead was Mr. FAF’s lunch box sitting on the rack and staring at me in the face.

“Is Mr. FAF going to lunch with his colleague today?” I asked myself.

I just assumed the answer was yes and went on with my day.

After I got to the office, I messaged Mr. FAF about the lunch box. He told me he had forgotten to bring it.

What happened next

My happiness level on that day just dropped by 50%.

A forgotten work lunch in my mind means eating out and spending money.

Mr. FAF told me that he would go to a Chinese buffet that normally costs $10.5.

I wasn’t thrilled about it, but $10 didn’t sound to bad.

Later that afternoon, Mr. FAF came back from lunch and sent me photos of three huge dishes of Chinese food.

He also informed me that it cost the two of them $60 or $30 each. I was livid.

After Mr. FAF started working and bringing in more income, I no longer track all of his expenses.

However, when I thought about how he went from forgetting his lunch to planning a $10.5 meal and from that to a $30 lunch sounded outrageous to me.

I was not happy about it. Mr. FAF explained that he initially just wanted to order one dish, but his friend insisted on three.

He implied that he didn’t choose to spend $30 on lunch when it would have cost him $0 if he hadn’t forgotten his food.

His friend made that decision, and he just went with it. I accepted that explanation. But deep down I wasn’t thrilled about it. Mr. FAF’s forgetfulness cost us $30 that day.

My lunch bag story

I was upset at Mr. FAF for forgetting his lunch at home. But it has happened to me before. And sometimes I still wonder if I actually made the right decision in this story.

It was a rainy day in October last year. I took my lunchbox out of the fridge and put it on the dining table to take with me to work. However, after grabbing the umbrella, trying to play a podcast on my phone, and carrying a bag, I totally forgot about the lunchbox.

As I was heading out of the house, I felt like something was missing. I didn’t carry as much stuff as usual. But I thought maybe it was the rain that made me feel so liberated.

I kept on walking to the Metro. As the train had passed one stop, I suddenly realized that I had forgotten my work lunch at home. In the next 3 minutes, I ran a series of cost-and-benefit analyses of whether I should go home to get my lunch instead of eating out at work.

At that time, it was just Mr. FAF and me living together, so no one else was at home to help put my food back in the fridge.

Costs

1. At least $1 for swiping the Metro card in and out of the platform

2. A 30 minute walk home and back to the Metro. I got up an hour earlier than usual than that day, so I wasn’t afraid of being late for work.

Benefits

1. Not having to drop at least $9 on lunch

2. Not having to spend at least 15 minutes going to get lunch and waiting in line for it

3. Exercise with a 30-minute walk (despite the rain)

4. Packed lunch not wasted in room temperature at home

5. A memorable lesson/reminder for not forgetting the lunchbox

Decision

The analysis didn’t take me than two minutes since the pros seemed to outweigh the con. At the next Metro stop, I stood up with conviction and made my way off the platform to go home. I got my lunch bag and secured my lunch for that day.

Related: 5 Reasons Why I Love Free Food At Work

Other incidents

It wasn’t the first time being forgetful costs us money. Both Mr. FAF and I have forgotten something somewhere, which caused us a lot of grief, anxiety, and even tension in our marriage.

Mr. FAF

One of my pet peeves about Mr. FAF is that he’s very absent-minded. I would be surprised if he didn’t have to look for something every day. It could be his glasses, wallet, or clothes.

There was one week when Mr. FAF would ask me where his wallet was every day. Sometimes he would get tired of looking for things himself and just waited until they magically showed up somewhere. Sometimes both of us would spend hours trying to find our belongings thanks to Mr. FAF.

On our trip to China and Vietnam 4 years ago, we almost lost our camera because Mr. FAF had simply forgotten it on the plane. Twice.

Needless to say, we spent hours frantically trying to contact the help desk at the airport in order to retrieve the camera. We had planned to take a look around at the airport in Soul and maybe try some Korean food. It was a loss of time, fun, and efficiency.

Me

After a series of issues with BlueHost, I decided to transfer my blog and the domain name to SiteGround at the recommendation of other bloggers. The site transfer went smoothly, but the domain didn’t.

I was supposed to open an email from SiteGround and approve the domain transfer. But I didn’t. I might have even opened it but ignored it altogether.

It wasn’t until I got an email from BlueHost warning me that my domain was expiring in a week that I started to freak out. To make the long story short, I paid Bluehost $15.99 to renew the domain for another year to ensure a smooth domain transfer to SiteGround.

I was just so happy that I wasn’t so absent-minded to the point of letting the domain expire and later having to spend hundreds or even thousands of dollars trying to recover it.

I was so embarrassed and felt so guilty that I didn’t even tell Mr. FAF. I’m not sure if it qualifies as financial infidelity, but maybe I will tell him this story one day when he’s in a super good mood or something. He probably will just say it’s ok, but it won’t take my guilt and shame away.

Related: 6 Tips On How To Be Productive

Conclusion

We are human and can’t remember everything all the time. Sometimes it’s just a small incident such as forgetting to take our vitamins in the morning. Sometimes it can be a major nuisance such as forgetting our lunch bag. Sometimes it can cause a headache and ruin the fun on a trip like forgetting our passport or luggage somewhere.

I now check if I have my lunch with my every morning before heading out the door. I also keep dry food such as instant noodles, oatmeal, nuts and salted duck eggs at my desk to avoid having to buy lunch if I indeed forget to bring food with me.

For other aspects of my life, I think trying to stay organized is key to knowing where things are and address problems the moment they arise.

I know it’s easier said than done. I’m the first person in my marriage to freak out if Mr. FAF and I have an emergency. But it’s always a learning process, and part of me is glad that Mr. FAF, my absent-minded husband, is with me on this journey.

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17 thoughts on “The Costs Of Forgetfulness – The Lunch Bag Story”

  • I can relate to this post. As i grow older i noticed my memory is just getting worse. Maybe it’s time to do some crossword puzzles?

    • Haha that’s a great idea. I will tell Mr. FAF and will probably do it myself too. Thanks for the suggestion! πŸ˜‰

  • I think you are hiding his wallet and then accusing him of being forgetful. I know this because my wife constantly hides my things and even rearranges the kitchen cabinets when I’m asleep so that when I get up and reach into a cabinet for a glass I’m staring at a cabinet full of nothing but plates. Sure, she denies it but I know better. You probably hid his lunch that morning too! I’m with Mr. FAF, in the club of longsuffering but incredibly patient husbands.

    • Haha maybe Mr. FAF is thinking the same thing: I’m hiding his stuff and blaming him. But he has such a long history of forgetfulness even before we met (and his parents knows it too), so I’m in the clear here hehe πŸ˜€

  • I can totally relate to this story also. My mom always packed me lunch everyday back when I still lived at home and she hated it whenever I forgot it. I also felt bad whenever I forgot the lunch at home… had to shell out money AND waste food.

    • I also hate myself when I forget lunch at home. It’s such a nuisance. I pack lunch for Mr. FAF too! πŸ˜€

  • I hate when I forget to bring my lunch too. I realized that bringing lunch not only helps me save money, but it also helps me save time since I don’t have to waste time figuring out what to eat, traveling to the lunch place, or having to stand in line to buy food. I use the time I saved to read and catch up on my personal things.

    • I totally agree! Packing dinner leftovers takes less than 3 minutes, and it saves me both time and money the next day!

  • When I forget my lunch (when I use to work) I would just go hungry to teach myself a lesson. I only forgot 2x in total! But my issue with packing a lunch is how messy it gets. The things move around and if you separate stuff it all becomes mix. I have a pet peeve about the neatness of food apparently! Just food πŸ˜‰

    • Wow that’s hard-core self-discipline! I used to pack things separately too. But it got heavy since I use glass containers. Now I just put the rice on one side and meat/veggies on the other side of the container. I also put the rice at the bottom and meat/veggies on top when I feel like it. πŸ˜€

  • Sadly, I’m absent minded like your husband. Keys, purse, glasses… all going missing several days a week.

    I now have a specific hook to hang my keys on which has helped, but when I don’t know where my glasses are and I just took out my contacts, I’m lost.

    As for lunches, thankfully I’m a sahm. We’re usually at home for lunch anyway and if not, the price of going out with 4 people vs 1 is quite significant, so the decision to head home and eat there is pretty easy.

    • Eating out for a family of 3-4 is definitely expensive. That’s why we eat out maybe once a month since my MIL is here. If it were just Mr. FAF and me (and our 3yo son who refuses to eat when we go out), we’d probably do it once every week >_<

  • I haaaaaaate when I forget my lunch too. The worst!
    I’ve tried to cut down on spending $$ at my work so I am making more of an effort to bring lunch.
    So if I forget it, it is a double loss of being out $5-10 and then missing good food.
    I do enjoy eating it at the end of the day when I get home if I forget it haha.
    I work super close to home, so when the weather is good I will resume walking home for lunch πŸ˜€

  • Mrs. RB40 forgot her sandwich a few days ago too. It happens.
    Here is our house rule for her.
    Rule #1 – don’t forget your cell phone
    Rule #2 – don’t forget your lunch…
    She still forget these things occasionally. I think that day she didn’t eat lunch and came home early. That’s not healthy either.

    60 bucks is a bit much for lunch. Probably ate way too much too.

  • Mother with Cents tends for forget either her phone or keys whenever we leave the house together. It happens at least once a week because she feels that she rushed to get out of the house because I’m usually ready before her. I tell her to pat down her pockets where she usually puts them to see if she has it but she forgets to do that too…lol!! I think it’s a matter of getting into the habit to do it

  • I keep a small list on the fridge with a magnet of items I want with me each day before I leave the house as a checklist.

    I also have specific places to keep each item so they are seldom misplaced. Cuts down on a lot of issues.

    Always had a professional office. If you dont turn It, you don’t earn it so an hour lunch is wasteful. Little extra time… lot of extra money each week towards retirement.

    Always had a big fridge in the staff lounge and a small one in the Dr office.

    Dr always made his lunch be it salad or sandwich while the staff ate out or ordered in!

    I.found I could make better food with fewer calories than the restaurants.

    Seemed odd the staff ate out while the Dr ordered in, but then again the Dr. Retired at 58!

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