The Best Things I Learned from that Time I Got Burgled

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 😉

17 Comments on The Best Things I Learned from that Time I Got Burgled

  1. Anna Depew
    February 7, 2013 at 9:27 am (10 years ago)

    Oh no! I’m so sorry for the priceless things lost, including your peace of mind! I hope he not only falls of a building soon, but falls off of a building into a sewer teaming with hepatitis and crocodiles, and that after being chewed on and infected, floats his way down to the nearest police boat and is run over a few times before being apprehended… and possibly molested in jail before trial.
    Way to keep your chin up.
    Anna – A fellow lingerie lover.

    • Sweets
      February 7, 2013 at 9:34 am (10 years ago)

      HA! I appreciate your wishes for a vicious vengeance on my behalf. Thanks very much!

  2. thelingerielesbian
    February 7, 2013 at 10:00 am (10 years ago)

    Awww, that sucks so much. I can’t imagine how dreadful it would be to be burgled (not robbed… how could you POSSIBLY get those confused!!!!!!) and I hope you manage to get back some peace of mind soon and let your parents try to make some of it up to you.

    Also, A Fish Called Wanda is one of the best movies of all time.

    • Sweets
      February 7, 2013 at 10:11 am (10 years ago)

      Thank you so much! Also, yes, that movie rules utterly.

  3. Erica of A Sophisticated Pair
    February 7, 2013 at 11:16 am (10 years ago)

    A Fish Called Wanda is one of my favorite movies! Did you see the one the group did in the zoo? Fierce Creatures was the name, I think. I’m really sorry that you were burgled and lost so many sentimental pieces, but I’m glad no serious harm was done. My cats wouldn’t care if I was robbed either, especially if they were provided with food. In fact, they may point out where all the good stuff is. They are no loyal creatures which is why I also have dogs, lol.

    • Sweets
      February 7, 2013 at 11:31 am (10 years ago)

      They’re so loyal when I have treats in my hand. Any other time it’s a toss-up 🙂 Is Fierce Creatures good!?? I haven’t seen it!

      • sophisticatedpair
        February 7, 2013 at 11:41 am (10 years ago)

        It’s hilarious although I don’t know if it’s quite as funny as A Fish Called Wanda. They called it the “spiritual success” because it has Cleese, Kline, Palin, and Curtis working together again, and it’s got that same kind of witty/slapstick comedy. Definitely check it out!

        • Sweets
          February 7, 2013 at 11:43 am (10 years ago)

          Awesome, I will!

  4. mvcone
    February 7, 2013 at 12:10 pm (10 years ago)

    You are so awesome — and, with time, you will stop counting things and wondering what you will find when you get home!

    • Sweets
      February 7, 2013 at 12:13 pm (10 years ago)

      Thanks Aunt G! <3

  5. Fussy Busty
    February 7, 2013 at 3:15 pm (10 years ago)

    Still very glad you are safe and no one was hurt.

    Also, LOVE this piece of advice “Let this be a lesson: don’t save your nice things for a special occasion. Wear them every day and enjoy them.”

    I recently told my husband that we need to see if our home owner’s insurance covers the jewelry I have, or if it doesn’t, then we need to pay for something extra. I have too many pieces that I love and have real value that I would be devastated if someone came in and ROBBED us. He’s slow to get things done, so I suppose I’ll have to be proactive. Glad you are taking steps to protect yourself! 🙂

    You can have one of my dogs. They bark when the wind blows. You would be so safe 😛

    • Sweets
      February 7, 2013 at 3:25 pm (10 years ago)

      Hahahaha, oh dogs. Doggies are so great, bless their silly hearts. My building has a strict no-dogs policy, which makes me sad, because I miss Roommate’s dog and I want her to come visit me (the dog I mean. Wait, I miss Roommate too. You know what I mean). I know that the insurance agent I spoke with (I went with USAA, they were super nice) gave me a policy that covers everything as long as no individual piece is over a certain amount, and then he said if I did get a super valuable piece, I could just call back and tack on a little separate policy for that. It was a little hard/embarrassing estimating the value of all my possessions, but it really didn’t take long and was so worth it, if only for the peace of mind. And yes! I agree with you: wear the good stuff every day. Especially after reading your lovely post about your jewelry, I hope you rock yours!

  6. denocte
    February 8, 2013 at 8:01 am (10 years ago)

    That’s a gorgeous post. I’m glad to hear you got so much love from your family and that you are save 🙂

    • Sweets
      February 8, 2013 at 8:07 am (10 years ago)

      Thank you so, so much.

  7. Maggi
    February 16, 2013 at 10:34 am (10 years ago)

    Been thinking about you, and so sorry for this experience. And recalling mine at about your age, at 1618 Park. Like you was incensed that he used a beloved J. Crew canvas and leather tote to take the goods (in a day when computers were not so portable, but the stereo was) ~ and devastated to lose the emerald ring my grandfather had given my mother. Still, it IS only stuff, and you are save. Yay.

  8. Maggi
    February 16, 2013 at 10:35 am (10 years ago)

    Dang, hit send too quickly. You know I meant “safe.”
    PS Visiting March 1-4 ~


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