Over a lifetime, we will lose some two hundred thousand items apiece, plus money, relationships, elections, loved ones.
Kathryn Schulz in The New Yorker, 2/6/2017
I ran across an article in The New Yorker today called “When Things Go Missing” by Kathryn Schulz. She talks first about losing items and then about the loss of her father. So much resonated in this article, especially since I “lost” my mother last year. I continue to lose things on an alarmingly regular basis. Sometimes I find them, sometimes I don’t. I just blame it on Parkinson’s.
This time it wasn’t because of Parkinson’s. I wish it were that easy. Yesterday I learned about a new kind of loss. I went to lunch with friends at a local restaurant. I was seated at a table, next to the wall. I put my handbag at my feet, put a package on top, and then my friend’s umbrella on top of that to get it out of the way. An hour later, when we went to leave, the umbrella was in a different place and the package was on the floor. Ok, now I knew I put the umbrella on the other side of my chair. How did it move by itself? Was there some kind of magic force in the restaurant? Fairies, maybe? And my purse was nowhere to be found. We looked under the table, under the table behind us. Nothing. Now other patrons joined in the search along with the restaurant manager.
One friend suggested that maybe I didn’t bring my purse. No, I remember putting my umbrella in my purse when I sat down. The manager said he would look at the security tapes. Sure enough, I had my purse when I walked in. The scary part is that he described in detail what he saw on the video. We were deeply engaged in conversation when two well dressed men sat at the table behind us. One of them slid my purse out and covered it with something and they promptly left, without ordering. We were apparently too involved in our conversation to notice anything. Fortunately the video cameras saw everything.
I was numb. Violated. Everything was in my purse, except for the one thing that could help us locate it. My cell phone. We checked the “find my iPhone” app to see if I had my iPad in my purse. No, it was at safe at my house. But everything else was gone. My drivers license, car key, house key, credit cards and more. Which meant that the thieves not only had my belongings, they had my address. They could get into my house and drive my car away. Fortunately, the Beverly Hills Police insisted on checking my house before I went in to make sure that no one had entered while I was out.
Now I had to figure out what was actually missing. Which credit cards needed to be replaced. Make an appointment to get a new driver’s license – they won’t let you do that on line. Fortunately, I have my passport to serve as ID for the next few weeks. Changed the locks, ordered a new key for my car. The list goes on and on. Today I went to put on my sunglasses, and discovered that they were gone, too. Have you ever taken an inventory of your wallet or handbag? It is amazing how much of our lives is crammed into that most essential accessory. It feels like I have lost 1/2 of those 200,000 items in the last two days.
As I said, this time I can’t blame it on Parkinson’s. This was not a mental lapse. I don’t think my identity has been stolen, but it certainly feels like it. I have to reconstruct everything that I carried with me. I hope that the police will find these two men but I am sure they have already taken the money (which wasn’t very much) and discarded everything else.
We have traveled the world and we are always given warnings to keep our belongings close and to leave everything valuable at home. We have never had anything stolen on a trip. At home, we don’t think about it and my purse gets stolen 6 blocks from my house in Beverly Hills. Go figure!!!!
Changing subjects: I woke up to some good news this morning. Feedspot announced its Top 50 Parkinson’s Blogs and Twitchy Woman was number 29! Thank you for your support and loyalty and helping to make it happen.