Wednesday, October 5, 2011

shiz just got real. [part 1]

Inadvertent hiatus over, I'm back to you to report on real life shenanigans, and not just the most recent materialistic must-have, or lovey dovey weekend report on time with the Mister. I'll return to that soon enough... until then, I have a little story for you.

Picture a twenty-something girl on her Thursday commute home. Long day of work over, she performs a series of seemingly mundane errands... dropping by a friend's house to pick up a borrowed crafting tool, returning some redbox DVDs, getting her car washed. An all-too-ordinary routine. The night's plans include packing for a weekend trip to Houston for a BFF's bachelorette party and getting her house spruced up for her out-of-town boyfriend's stay... nothing too crazy. At the last minute, she darts into her dinky hometown grocery store parking lot, remembering that last possibly-arbitrary-but-it'll-probably-make-them-taste-sweeter ingredient for the cookies she plans to bake tonight. Oblivious to the outside world, she jabbers away to that same long-distance boyfriend on her iphone, hits the clicker on her car remote, locking the doors as she skips up the store sidewalk in pursuit of that one little item.

As she slams the car door behind her, chatting away, she glances up at the figure of a young man slinking around the front of the store. He's gone from her mind as quickly as he appeared there.

The girl breezes through the automated sliding doors, on a quest for lemon juice. After browsing the back aisle, she asks an employee where to find it, he points her in the right direction, she grabs a bottle and proceeds to march to the lone check out counter. She'd hung up with her boyfriend a minute or two earlier, proceeds to pay for her item and walks right back out to her freshly-washed parked car. She clicks the remote, unlocking her car and slides into the seat.

And immediately something isn't right.

The shopping bag of icing and other baking necessities from a lunch break at Hobby Lobby is absent from the floorboard. More importantly, her work bag is missing.

She frantically glances to the backseat, all the while realizing the action is useless. The work bag always goes in her front seat.

And all at once, she remembers the lingerer. The eye contact with a guy who didn't appear threatening enough to warrant more than a millisecond of brain memory...

So then the girl had a meltdown. I had a meltdown. Mother of God, did I have a meltdown. I ran back into the store, asking the manager if the store had surveillance cameras. He immediately sensed something was awry, what with my hysterical demeanor and all, so he hesitantly said "umm, no?" He followed it up with quizzing me on where I'd parked (the last spot, facing the store, far right). His expression matched the dismal explanation that the camera pans the parking lot--only not quite as far as where I'd wedged my little 328i into. But of course.

He asks if I want him to call the police... Between my near hyperventilating, and trying to get my head to stop spinning, I tell him yes. I use my cell phone to call Sean. I stammer out what happened over the span of 20 seconds before my phone dies. I use the store phone to call him back, and cool as a cucumber, he tells me what to do. I hang up with him and call my dad. There's something about the sound of my dad's voice when I'm in extreme distress always, always makes me fall apart... as if I wasn't a basket case to begin with.

My dad shows up to the grocery store within 5 minutes and we wait outside for the policeman to arrive. He silently hugs me and tells me it'll all be alright... while I miserably repeat, "my life was in that bag," he continues to remind me that I am alive, my bag and its contents were just things, and things can be replaced. The store manager surveys the area along the fence line near where I'd parked for any sort of sign of my stuff, or the thief. The cop eventually shows up and my dad leaves... I spend two hours, sitting in the front seat of a patrol car, rehashing the events and struggling to remember every last article that was in my bag. I manage to ask a few questions in the mix--namely, be straight with me, hombre--will I get any of my stuff back? He tells me there's a good chance I'll get my computer back, being that it'll be entered in a database for pawn shops, as well as if someone uses it, IP addresses can be traced. The cop issues me a case number and tells me he'll be in touch.

I proceed to climb back in my car and sob for the entire drive home... the one recurring thought was my MacBook, a surprise from my Mister. The 9000 pictures, safely filed in uber specific folders on iPhoto. Photos that were indeed backed up! ...on the hard drive that was in the same bag. A bag that is now almost certainly sitting atop a mass of rancid trash in a dumpster in my hometown. My planner... color-coded and meticulously marked with every single life occurrence possible. My address book. Receipts. Makeup. Business cards. Bills. Earrings. Not to mention, list after list of things I can't even remember (one might argue that this would attest to their lack of meaning, but for a type-A personality like me, I totally disagree).

I pull into my driveway and am scared to get out. I feel like I'm being watched. I feel like the same creepy tattooed freakshow will be hiding in my house as I unlock my front door. I've never been stolen from, so the feelings that are associated with it are completely foreign to me. It wasn't as black and white as having a material possession taken away, it was the violation of someone being IN my car, someone having access to my personal life, someone handling things that were gifted to me, someone trashing my hard work. I charge my phone, call back my Mister and have a really hard time falling asleep.

But here's a little spoiler:

Fast forward five days, and the computer is back in my possession...

Stay tuned!

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