The week after the alleged traffic infraction, we came home from the Fishpond and were greeting by two yarking poodles in the driveway. I'm confused and alarmed and a little sweaty. I never, ever leave the poodles out when we’re away. Ever.
I head towards the front door and, yep, the door jam has been jimmied and there’s the lock on the welcome mat. Damn. We head back to the church to call 9-1-1 … lovely, people who answer those calls. So nice! The police call me when the house has been cleared by them.
The girls have a zillion questions. Why would someone take our stuff? Don’t they have they same rules as us? Is the bad person coming back to take more stuff? When I joke to Charlotte "Don't worry, hon, there's nothing left to take," she gets teary and asks "what if they come back to take me?"
Then Charlotte, rule-loving Charlotte, says loudly and clearly (yes, the speech therapist is working wonders!) “Mommy, should you tell him [the officer] that you did something bad last week? Maybe he can’t help you since you broke a rule and got a ticket. You should tell him.”
Yeesh. The officer is intrigued and immediately agrees with the injustice of it all. “It’s a bus lane. One lane buses, one lane cars. Everyone knows that.”
There are such odd thoughts that pop up out of nowhere.
Well, I’m glad I vacuumed yesterday.
My laptop is gone. And the cord. I don’t know why, but I’m incensed about the cord.
Thank heavens the kitchen floor cleaned up so nicely. I'd hate for the cops to think I'm a crappy homemaker.
Alllll jewelry is gone. Brooch from 1890 that survived two world wars and the great depression and the great recession. Poof. Gone. That great planet swarovski bangle that I wore the first time I was on TV in 1991. No more.
That’s okay, I’ve got the vintage stuff in the box behind the dog treats.
No more. The entire box is gone.
The gi-normous desktop computer, the place where I earn my income, that’s intact.
The thief stole a pillowcase? But it was a set of 4 matching cases. Honestly! If you don’t have the tools for your job then you should get a new job.
Charlotte has more questions. With her heart-stopping big brown eyes (and thumbs out of mouth as this is important to her) she asks the officer “Was the bad person a boy or a girl?”
At that moment, I can tell the officer has a daughter. You can see him weighing and measuring his words.
“Well, all men are pigs and they’ll just take what they need, little girl.”
Nope, can’t say that lest Charlotte end up a lonely man-hating reluctant lesbian.
“Probably a girl since she took your mommy’s horsehair makeup brushes that mommy paid too much money for. That’s all girls like… is looking pretty.”
That'll lead us straight to pole dancing, smoking, and early crow's feet.
Nope, can’t go that route.
He smiles warmly and says “Thieves are boys and girls and I’m sure there are some very good thieves out there that are girls just like you.”
After the police leave, James comes into my office while I am trying, desperately, to remember how to login to my cloud to track my laptop. James is holding a sunglass case.
“Is this case yours?”
Clearly, James has horrible timing. I do not have time piffle around about eyeglass cases, I had logged on to eBay that morning, oh, god, the thief is out there, right now, bidding on things. Maybe not even things from my watch list! Oh cloud, wherefore are thou?
Crap. Is my eBay account linked to PayPal? Damnit.
“So then these are not your syringes?”
Zoiks and bazinga!
Apparently when Mr. Ill Prepared ThiefBoy was yanking off my pillowcase to steal three decades of my jewelry, he left behind his little let’s-commit-crimes kit: heroin, syringes, band thingy to go around the injection site. Actually, it wasn't the rubber tubing that you saw Christopher on the Sopranos use (before he injected heroin in between his toes). It was a long strip of velcro, like the kind you'd buy at Michael's. Eww.
James has impeccable timing … he’s amazing. When I call the officer to give him the news he says, simply, “I’ll be back at your house in about twenty seconds.” Officer is very excited because we’ll clearly get fingerprints from this little gem and hopefully find the bad person and then I can get my crescent moon brooch back.
The girls spend the rest of that night looking for all their treasures: Elmo, Bubbe, ladybug watch, princess shoes. Phew – all accounted for.
James reports hearing the following conversation as he’s driving them home after work.
B: “I know why they took the laptop – because the bad person likes playing Angry Birds.”
C: “But what about mommy’s jewelry?”
B: “I bet they wanted to look pretty. You know, wearing mommy’s earrings while they play Angry Birds.”
And just for fun, my little snowpeople being silly when we were visting grandma.