Last year when I got my current car, I had a hitch receiver installed such that I could attach my bike rack to it. The car was fitted to receive a 2" hitch, but my bike rack has a 1-1/4" insert on it, so the hitch people gave me an adapter piece and sent me on my merry way.
When the huz and I set out for a morning of biking one day last summer, the adapter piece was nowhere to be found. This of course prompted a futile, frustrating, search. Then I convinced myself that I had left the adapter piece attached to the car without a fastener, which would have resulted in said adapter plunking out on a highway somewhere, wreaking havoc on someone else's vehicle upon their driving over it. I've experienced some guilt about that.
Since the hitch store was out of the way, we ended up removing the children's car seats, folding down the actual car seats, removing the front wheels from the bikes, and stuffing our bike pieces into the hatchback in a way that prompts people to buy bike racks to avoid such hassle. We did this several times since I could never seem to remember to go buy a new adapter.
Nonetheless, I have always found myself scanning the interior of my garage, looking for that piece of black metal, 2" square by 4" long. Or 6" long depending on who you ask.
Finally, just last week, I remembered to go to the hitch store and buy a new adapter. I paid my $45, and was handed the adapter in a small white box.
This morning I decided to take the bikes in for a tune up since we could now use the rack to drive to the repair shop. I grabbed the adapter from the small white box that was sitting top of a crate in the garage, and used it to install the bike rack onto the car. Then I noticed another small white box sitting on the passenger seat inside my car.
Had I actually known that all along I should have been looking for a small white box instead of a small piece of black metal, I'm pretty sure I would have found it a year ago with absolutely no effort. And I'd be $45 richer. And their would be fewer scuff marks inside my car...