1. One of my supervisors was quick to tell me that there is a difference between “robbed” and “burgled”, and that in my email to the office explaining why I wouldn’t be coming in I had used the wrong one. Thank you, supervisor. Truly.
2. Now that I know I was actually burgled, not robbed, all I can think of is that scene from A Fish Called Wanda when Wendy comes home unexpectedly and Archie hides Wanda’s necklace horribly/perfectly and Wendy shrieks “AAAHHHRCHIE! We’ve been burgled!” and he responds “…oh, NO!” Never mind. You had to be there. Go watch that movie.
3. The detectives in upper Manhattan do not resemble Elliot Stabler.
4. The police officers in upper Manhattan, on the other hand, are DARLING AND CHARMING all of them. I swear this one of them had puppy dog eyes and practically patted me on the shoulder while telling me it was going to be okay and it wasn’t my fault, and they all said they hoped the burglar falls off the side of a building soon. Fellas, y’all come back now, y’hear? Except, you know, not because of burglaries. Just for, like, a beer and some Downton Abbey (I AM BEHIND, ON ACCOUNT OF COMPUTER THEFT. SPOIL IT AND YOU’RE DEAD TO ME).
5. The way to make sure the burglar doesn’t come back to finish the job is to sit on the sofa in the living room all night, guarding the windows in my lace pajamas. That’ll scare him off.
6. I am, of course, pissed to have lost a thing of value that I purchased for myself (the computer), but I am sick and heartbroken to have lost the jewelry that my family gave me. I am staggered by the loss. Some of the things had come from all over the world, and some of them were my late grandmothers’, my aunts’, my mother’s. I remember being a little girl and watching as pearls were added to a chain, two at a time, every year until the string was completed for my high school graduation. I remember wearing a sparkling ring at my cousin’s wedding in her parents’ yard, surrounded by my mother’s family. I remember twisting a ring my father gave me around my finger, listening to a handsome man sitting across from me in a bar in NYC and falling hopelessly in puppy love with him. I want these things back because they are beautiful, but I mostly want them back because of what are inadequately called “sentimental reasons”.
7. Every day I will realize one more thing is missing, and it will make each day feel like I’ve been burgled all over again.
8. Every day I will remember with a little jolt some personal piece of information that was on my computer, and even though I changed all my passwords I will feel a knot of anxiety.
9. I will be anxious every time I come home, wondering what I’ll find when I open the door.
10. I got weepy the night it happened, but I cried and screamed in rage several days later, when I realized the burglar stole one of my cheap duffel bags to take away my computer and jewelry. FUCK YOU BURGLAR, AT LEAST DO YOUR DAMNED JOB PROPERLY.
11. I finally listened to my parents and got renters’ insurance and a timer for my lamps. Both of these safeguards required an embarrassingly small amount of time, effort, and expense, and I want to kick Past Me’s rear with great force and vigor for being a lazy ass.
12. In spite of my deciding that my parents would be furious with me for allowing a burglar to jump onto my building from a neighboring building, get onto my fire escape, jump from the fire escape to the next window over, land on my air conditioner unit, shimmy the window down, boost himself through, and steal the jewelry they had given me from the time I was a child, my parents, being loving, kind, actual human beings instead of the products of my hyper-anxious imagination, cared only that I and the cats were safe. Both offered to drive to New York to stay with me, and both immediately began to think of ways to replace some of the stolen pieces (which is ridiculous, parents, slow your roll you sweet things).
12. My aunt, who gave me quite a few of the jewels that were stolen, had several wonderful things to share:
- It’s just stuff. The people (and cats) I love are safe, and that’s what matters.
- There’s more (jewelry) where that came from (oh REALLY, Aunt G? You intrigue me, madam.)
- Let this be a lesson: don’t save your nice things for a special occasion. Wear them every day and enjoy them.
13. A reassuring number of friends inquired immediately about the state of my lingerie collection, which pleases me beyond all reason. For the record, THE KNICKERS ARE SAFE. All present and accounted for. Burglar clearly had no taste.
14. Invasions, violations, and transgressions are not one-time-only, easily forgotten affairs. I now notice every door, every picture frame, every rug corner, every spoon, every single thing in my apartment, wondering if I’d left it like that or if someone came into my private space and moved things around again. I am fortunate: the burglar came in quickly, grabbed what was in sight, and left quickly. He only took objects. I cannot imagine how I’d feel or respond if I’d been physically invaded or violated.
15. My cats are not heroes. I know for certain that Gus fled at the first sign of disturbance and hid under the bed. Ruby may well have sat on the bed throughout the entire thing, watching sleepily. And let’s be real: she has like 4 teeth and she’s tiny, so not exactly a threat. Cats, you are not guard dogs, and I’m okay with that.
To sum up, being burgled taught me that I love my cats, my family, my safety, my privacy, and my lingerie more than a computer. I guess that’s okay then. I’d still like the jewelry back 😉