Sometimes the only thing to do is just to go home, call it quits, and lick your wounds.
Although I generate some income from my blogging and freelancing, for the most part, I inhabit the warm cocoon of stay at home motherhood. My days are dictated by the rhythm of my children’s lives, jarred by the occasional stomach flu or playground accident, but on the whole we live in a safe and very comfortable bubble. Every once in a while, crime reaches in and pops my bubble, sending my world crumbling into chaos. Trying to pick up the pieces today made me crawl home crying from the DMV to lick my wounds.
But let me rewind 48 hours.
Everything started when I got made as a rube on Michigan Avenue on Saturday.
We’d just had a fairy tale night celebrating Jack’s birthday as guests of the Ritz Carlton Chicago. I’ll blog in greater detail this week about the amazing services they have for families, but for now, I’ll just tell you that we were glowing, relaxed, and happy. Well, at least I was. We’d lingered a bit too long at the Ritz Carlton pool and the kids were hungry and bickering. We left our luggage with the concierge and went to grab a quick bite across the street at l’Appetito. I had high hopes of finishing our sandwiches with a heavenly affogato. The bitterness of the espresso dissolving into the creamy gelato would have been the perfect way to end our family sleepover staycation.
The thief must have spotted me the minute she walked into the coffee shop: harried mom, cranky kids, open purse. I was an easy mark. She squeezed onto the crowded banquette, close enough to me that I apologized and shifted our pile of coats over a bit. She didn’t smile, and I remember thinking that it was strange she would choose to sit so close to our chaos. I was busy refereeing the kids, so I didn’t give it a second thought. She didn’t stay long. Just long enough to grab my wallet and go on a shopping spree at Bergdorf, Saks, and Nordstrom totaling over $10,000.
Visa called and alerted us to the theft a few hours later, and I quickly cancelled all my credit cards. I had way too many in my wallet. Store cards I’d never used. Cards I’d meant to cancel but hadn’t gotten around to it. I’m still not sure I remembered them all. We won’t be liable for any of the charges, thank GOD. But the credit card replacement wasn’t the hard part.
The hard part was my license, and that’s what sent me home crying to lick my wounds today. Because my license was from out of state, I can’t just replace it. I need to do the whole test, including the road test, to get a new license. Just the words “three point turn” made the tears start to flow.
I’ll be calmer tomorrow, more ready to relive the teenage humiliation of driver’s ed failed tests. But until then, I thought I’d share my woes so you can benefit from them. Take a minute to minimize the pain of the loss of your wallet:
- Photocopy the cards and ids in your wallet
- Remove your social security card from your wallet and store it in a safe place
- Cancel any cards that you don’t use or at least remove them from your wallet
And be aware, regardless of how harried and distracted you may be. If you feel like someone is just a little too close to you, keep a hand on your purse. Crime is all around us. And when it strikes, rebuilding the building blocks of our identity and payment is a colossal pain.
Whining over. Back to food tomorrow, but for tonight, I’m burrowing deep in the couch and traveling to the land of Downton Abby. I could use a creamy vanilla rice pudding from Miss Padmore tonight.