I got robbed this week. Actually, that’s not quite true. My husband got robbed. I, more importantly, was robbed of my self-esteem. Hear me out. At 430am on Wednesday morning, the doorbell rang. I immediately started to panic – my first thought, as an Angeleno, was that there’d been an earthquake. I don’t know why I thought that when a big earthquake hit in the middle of the night, it would announce itself by politely ringing my doorbell but that was my initial reaction. It wasn’t some friendly neighborhood earthquake, however; it was the police. They were alerting my husband and I that our cars, which were parked oh-so-innocently in the driveway, had been broken into by a treacherous street gang that races cars through the streets of Japan for money and honor. Okay, not sure about the last part. My only knowledge of gangs comes from the movie Fast and Furious 4: Tokyo Drift but it’s safe to assume that the movie is pretty true to life.
This gang of ruffians had broken into not only our cars, but as I looked around my cul-de-sac, I saw that my neighbors were outside going through their ransacked vehicles as well. My husband’s glove compartment was emptied, his CD collection scattered and pilfered. My neighbors complained of stolen iPods, clothing and other valuables.
As I ran to my car to see which of my irreplaceable belongings had been ripped from my vehicle/heart, I suddenly realized that they had taken… nothing. There was my Best of Broadway three disk set, totally untouched. Seriously? They didn’t want to at least steal the Lloyd Webber years? And Glee: The Music, Volume 2 was literally sitting there open in its case – were these thieves blind? They also left behind two adorable pairs of earrings from Urban Outfitters, a hardcover collector’s edition of Wuthering Heights (which I dare them to try and find on Amazon) and the crown jewel of my belongings, a cashmere Theory sweater. Granted, the sweater is sort of an off-white color that can make you look a bit muted if not worn with the proper make-up, but still. I paid a lot for that sweater. It demanded the respect of being stolen.
I suddenly found myself angry and a little embarrassed. Why didn’t the thieves want my stuff? Do I have bad taste? According to my neighbor, this was the second time in two weeks that his car had been robbed (braggart). Why’s his stuff so in demand? What’s his secret?
Now, I know this all might sound a bit crazy. Most people would feel happy and relieved that their valuables had been left untouched. Not me; I felt unwanted, dirty. Maybe I felt this way because this has happened to me not once, but twice before.
The first time I was robbed was ten years ago. I was young and carefree, living the Sex in the City lifestyle in New York City, thinking I was a “Carrie” when I was probably more of a “Steve”. I had just returned home from an eight-hour waitressing shift when my roommate alerted me to the fact that our apartment had been broken into. They had stolen his laptop and two of his finely crafted leather satchels (he went to Yale – smart people carry satchels). I quickly inspected my room. My underwear drawer and jewelry box were completely ransacked but when I went to investigate what was actually missing, everything was accounted for. They had obviously picked through my jewelry collection – which included a beautiful onyx ring and a garnet necklace – and decided “Nah, not for me”. None of my underwear was missing, either. Granted I’ve never been much of a thong girl as I’ve always valued comfort above all else. But there were some cute boy-shorts in there that were at least worth being taken and hidden in some perv’s pocket to later be sniffed.
When did thieves get so picky? What happened to the good ol’ days when robbers wore little black masks around their eyes and a cape and just wanted to steal all your burgers? Wait, I might be thinking of the Hamburgler. In any case, I was a bit confused that nothing had been taken, but I figured it was a fluke.
A few years later, I was living with my now husband in another apartment. I arrived home one day only to be told by him that our place had been robbed. I’m not going to lie, I had to hide the excitement in my voice as I oh-so-very-upset-ly asked him what was taken. He explained that the thieves had gotten away with three or four of his silver belt buckles, a switchblade he had gotten on a recent trip to Greece, a basket of loose change he kept in his drawer and all of his Guns ‘N’ Roses CDs. A weird array of items to say the least but yet again, nothing of mine was taken. I have some awesome belt buckles! One even has a desert landscape painted on it that I got in Santa Fe. It’s freakin’ beautiful and they wanted none of it. And if this thief liked popular late ‘80’s/early 90’s music so much, why was my Madonna collection left completely intact?
So as you can understand, when this last incident happened the other night, I was a bit shaken. My self-esteem was rocked. I thought, “What’s wrong with me that no one wants my stuff?” I quickly calmed down and realized that I was being ridiculous. I can’t wrap my self-worth up in what others think of me, or in this case, what they’ll steal from me. I like who I am, and if that means no one shares my love of granny-panties and the sweet dulcet tones of Ace of Base, then that’s just fine with me. I won’t be locking my car doors tonight; I think the Gilmore Girls trivia book I have stashed in the back is totally safe.
Image via thethief-moyer.blogspot.com