As many women know, purses are much more than an accessory. They hold everything we need and all we think we need. When we buy them, not only are we carefully choosing them to hold all our stuff and things; but also to make a style statement and show our personalities. Indeed, they're personal space and an extension of yourself. A little more than a week ago a part of me was stolen.
Throughout my life I've been fortunate enough to have nice things that convey my personality and sense of style. I've always taken excellent care of my possessions - everything from clothes to childhood toys - because I know I or someone I care about has worked hard for the things I?love.
When I went to my car on the morning of Jan. 12 I found that I had let down my "things" and allowed myself to become a victim and a cast member of one of the many cautionary stories I've written for the newspaper. You know the ones: Police urging residents to make sure their doors are locked and how they shouldn't leave anything of value in their vehicles.
The night before I didn't lock my car door or take my purse in the house. When I went to my vehicle the next morning, I noticed some papers from my console were scattered on my passenger seat something wasn't right. Then I saw my large, brown Vera Bradley purse was missing because I knew I hadn't taken it inside. It hit me that someone I didn't know had been in my car and taken something of mine. Other than when I was in high school and left my makeup bag in a classroom, nothing of mine had ever been stolen.
Panic hit me because I realized my bank card, driver's license and personal papers were in my purse. Of course I thought someone might spending my money. Immediately I canceled my bank card and called the Randolph County Sheriff's Department to report the incident.
Luckily, my mom, who wasn't in panic mode, told me to search the area to see if the thief/thieves dropped my purse nearby. Upon walking about 50 yards from where my car was parked, I found what I thought were the important contents dumped in a field. I felt relief when I saw my bank card, driver's license and papers laying on the ground. I grabbed a plastic bag and with anger began picking up what the thief/thieves had left behind.
As I got ready to go to the Sheriff's Department to give a statement, I began realizing what else I had in my purse that was nowhere to be found. It hit me that another purse, a small, black Coach bag had also been taken. Not only was it a nice, somewhat expensive purse, it had sentimental value. Then I realized my onyx ring and earrings, also possessing sentimental value, had been taken. I was devastated. A few other things were taken, too; but I'll live without them.
While thinking about my purses' inventories, I couldn't understand why and how somebody could steal things that didn't belong to them - things that had sentimental value to me. I have my suspicions as to why; but the person or persons who took my things would never appreciate them like did/do, and would probably just try to sell them for a few dollars. At that point I would have preferred that they taken some cash because that, unlike my purses or jewelry, doesn't reflect who I am or my style.
I feel violated and it's hard to look at what he/she/they left behind - it's all a reminder of what was taken and how I really messed up this time. The selfish side of me hopes the police eventually find my things and the person or persons who decided to commit the crime; but ultimately, I've come to terms with the fact that I have, and therefore anyone can, become star of the cautionary tale to lock your doors and keep your possessions in a safe place.
Just when you let your guard down and think it won't happen to you it will. And most likely, the people who take your things will never feel bad or guilty, even if they're caught. So, those of us who respect what others have worked for and hold dear need to take caution every day and every minute. I certainly hope what happened to me doesn't happen to anyone else.
For a few days I carried around what was left of my dignity in a plastic bag. (How stylish.) Although I have an obscene number of purses at home, I couldn't bring myself to put the pertinent items that I know were touched by someone else into something I treasure.
The trauma led me to purchase a "therapy" purse, which is being used in place of that plastic bag to help me remember to always take care of even what some consider superficial. Yes, what was stolen were just fashion accessories and "things" that can technically be replaced, but it's still hard to think that a part of my style, and therefore me, will likely never be returned.
As a side note: At least they didn't steal my makeup.