If there’s one thing I could work on as a person, it’d be organization. I don’t have the need to know where things are at all times (which is extremely concerning to my mom). I know they’re somewhere, more times than not. That’s why my studio apartment is ideal. There are only so many places I can set things down.
Bag checks are my nightmare. On numerous occasions, security professionals have gone out of their way to give me feedback on the state of my purse.
At the security checkpoint entering a Justin Timberlake concert (FutureSex/LoveShow, just to clarify) at the Verizon Center, the guy checking bags looked inside of mine, and chuckled, looked me in the eye and said, “You need to get yourself a wallet.”
I was stopped at the Gatwick Airport leaving England last summer because I had too many loose coins floating around in my purse. (My friend, defending me, thought the best way to diffuse the situation was to yell, “It’s because she doesn’t know how to use them.” While it was true, it did not stop the security lady from sifting through my bag.) My irresponsibility with my belongings had turned me into a security risk.
Usually this is the turning point for the protagonist, but I did not, have not, and most likely will not suddenly care about the organization of my purse.
Just yesterday morning I was attempting to buy an iced coffee, and I reached in my purse to find it was literally empty except for my keys I used to lock my apartment door behind me. Thankfully I had a loose five dollar bill wadded up in my jacket pocket (normal). I had left my wallet and purse accoutrements in my backpack, which I had carried to and from work on Sunday.
And why check your purse when you leave the house to make sure you have everything? I’m slightly concerned I didn’t notice the change in weight (from something to nothing); I was carrying an essentially empty bag during my entire commute to work.
But before you judge me, let me tell you, sometimes (one time) it just might work in your favor.
A few months ago, I was enjoying some happy hour beverage discounts at, let’s call it “MOUNTAIN CITY”. The layout of the restaurant makes it so in order to get food, you have to leave your table, get-it-yourself style. After so many Yuenglings, a girl is going to get hungry (please see: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, similar chronology).
It never crossed my mind to bring my purse with me. I know that breaks like six rules of Girl Code and ten rules of Adulthood, but I can’t go back. I didn’t bring my purse. I left it on my chair UNDER my jacket.
I get back, I’m eating mac n cheese, life is good.
I’m reaching for my purse to pay. I put my hand in my purse to reach for my wallet. There is no wallet.
I was gone for like 5-7 minutes (complete after-the-fact estimation). I had assumed being surrounded by tables of other people would dissuade any thievery or mischief. There was a security camera on the ceiling two feet away from our table.
I had taken my cellphone with me because #millennial, but I quickly checked my purse to see what else had been taken.
As my hand makes contact with the items scattered in my bag, I start to laugh. The growing kind of laugh that might occur right before a mental breakdown. My friend who’s been watching me the whole time on this emotional roller coaster is just waiting for the fallout.
But instead, I start placing items from my purse on the table. Credit card. Debit card. Driver’s license. Health insurance card. Access card for my office building. Dollar bills. Coins.
I hadn’t put anything back in my wallet correctly.
The pilferer had stolen an empty wallet.
I felt tickled at the thought s/he would open the wallet to find nothing but a Starbucks gift card with probably around $6.00 left (hey, that’s a beverage) and an empty Dave & Busters Power Card. But I also felt a tinge of sadness for them. All that mental preparation and dedication to committing a crime just to get caught on camera stealing a near-empty wallet.
But we all learned a lesson that day. Don’t ROB a SLOB.