Sunday, May 01, 2011

Musings on Being Burgled

This is not a fun post to write and for the past four days, I've avoided writing it.  I kept telling myself it was far too cliche to blog about getting robbed but I keep writing it in my head.  The sentences are swirling and they won't leave me alone until I put them out on the internets (stupid sentences).

My life has become just a series of lists.  A list of lists.  Of things that were taken of value, of things that were taken but are worthless, of things that weren't and should of been, of things that weren't and could of been.  The past few days I have not really felt like a person, but rather just a zombie with things.  Or rather, without things.  Without a little camera, without a rolling suitcase, without a TV, without laptops, without nearly every piece of jewelry I've ever owned.

Its not so much the things, its the memories that they inspire.  My heart is broken that I won't be able to wear my big pink ring for T-bone's wedding.  The rings we bought to cement our love, and because we could.  Because we were young and stupid and we could do whatever we wanted.  The ring that means just that. The cuff bracelet from South Africa.  The ruby slipper from Granny, which every one thought looked like a letter from the Hebrew alphabet, that reminded me I was never far from home.  I'm even going to miss all the stupid lightship basket jewelry.  While I never wore it - just seeing it hanging there reminded me of my favorite placeThe bears bracelet.  The bracelet from when Boyfriend got mugged in Jamaica.  My gorgeous Murano glass ring and new Turquoise necklace - things that barely had a chance to become memories.  

I do have to make a confession, I have been telling everyone that I am now, "a girl who does not own a single pair of earrings." which is delightfully hyperbolic but not entirely accurate.  They took my jewelry box and jewelry out of various little boxes on my dresser (I am a girl who loves little boxes, I take after all the women in my Mother's family that way) but they did not take my necklace tree (so I have like 10 necklaces to my name).  Just the earrings in the basin of it.  There were ones hanging from a branch of the tree that both managed to hold on through the terror.  So I have one pair of earrings.  The pearls my Big Cuz gave me when I was in her wedding.  I haven't worn them since.  Maybe I should start?  Meh, I don't really wear earrings anymore because my lobes are crazy sensitive.  It doesn't take away from the fact that I feel so strange not owning earrings or bracelets or rings (I now own exactly one of each). 

While I am a pretty big failure as a girl, I am quite proud of my jewelry collection.  Its weird to know that as of Wednesday I'm starting almost all over.  Its all just very weird.  To feel as though a part of my ladyhood - a superficial silly part to be sure is just kind of not there anymore.  Earrings.  Who knew how much I attached them to femininity.

I learned a lot about how my brain works.  First of all - I cry a lot when there is no one near by to calm me down.  In terms of fight or flight - I still maintain (though it has never been truly put to the test) that I am hands down a Flight, but with the caveat of post stress fortitude and determination.  Once I got home and knocked off the waterworks, I could not just sit and wait for things to happen.  I needed to be doing - even if that doing is going through all the dumpsters on my block hoping that the robbers had realized that the things in my jewelry box that they had taken were (to them) valueless, and had abandoned them not too far away.  There was some calmness in the dark alley by myself.  The moments that I felt like I was doing something, were far preferred to sitting and waiting for someone else to take action.

Also - let's be totally effing serious.  My cat is fine.  My stupid, noisy cat did not take this opportunity to escape in to the great big world.  And for that, I am beyond thankful.  I am curious how she handled these intruders.  She is not one to shy away from anyone, really.  She has learned that the click of the deadbolt means there is someone home to snuggle and feed her and so she tends to jump off whichever piece of furniture she's on and run to meet you.  Did she do that when they pried open the deadbolt with a crowbar (PS, we got a better deadbolt)?  Did she meow at them because she wanted food?  How does that not humanize you?  How does that not make you think twice? How far gone into the depths of ambivalence that a cat trying to show you affection doesn't stop to give you pause?

What about pictures?  I've always (and still do) wonder how seeing family pictures and scribbled notes on yellow post-its does not affect the need to steal.  Does it make them more angry perhaps?  "How dare these people have happiness and a television?  It is my right to have at least one of these things that belongs to them?

The truly scariest thing was seeing our bedroom torn apart in a quest for hidden treasure (which they did not manage to find - a fact that fills me with bittersweet joy).  I am not a modest girl by any means, and I used to pay people to do my laundry (this is not weird, btw, everyone in New York does it - its normal and awesome, like most of NYC).  But the thought of someone touching my clothes gave me this sensation of exposure and discomfort that I wasn't really expecting.  For the first day and almost a half I couldn't even go into our bedroom because the feeling kept returning.  

And there are silver linings to every cloud.  For years I have been begging Boyfriend to have a sleepover party with me in the living room.  We own two fold out couches and I had never slept on either of them.  I have often mentioned how much fun I think it would be to pull out one of the couches and get out the sleeping bags and fuzzy throws and watch TV and sleep in the living room All Night.  Why I want this, I cannot actually tell you - but I do.  And Boyfriend refused to oblige (why sleep on an uncomfortable fold out when your actual bed is about 60 feet away is his far-too-logical thinking).  But the night after it all happened, he gave in.  Neither of us got much sleep - with every noise jerking us both awake - but it was a small glimmer of happiness.  Also, we left it out of the rest of the week.  As Boyfriend quickly discovered how awesome it is to have a bed in the living room.

We're going to be okay.  They just took things.  They did not take how much we love each other, or the strength we find together to get through the bad things.  And they certainly did not take away my ability to write in really hokey cliches.  Thank goodness.

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She's pint-sized and amazing.