Night and Day

Earlier this week, Lady Tatum acquired some free tickets to the Minnesota Orchestra’s performance of Mahler’s Symphony Number 7: Apr-2010_mahler (These are the program notes I downloaded from The Minnesota Orchestra’s Website) and posted “Who wants to come with me?” on the internet. I jumped at the chance to see Tatum, see the orchestra and get dressed up. After two of the most amazingly fantastic lunch hour shopping trips ever, I managed to get a complete outfit together for $60: Dress, shoes, leggings (yes I went with leggings) and a necklace. I brought everything to work Friday morning and after my shift was up, I went into the bathroom where Jessie helped me get ready. After, she insisted on taking a picture:

Not Seen: The beautiful ivory wrap that Jessie let me borrow that Jason tossed into my window as I drove passed Starbucks.

I’m in love with the whole outfit. Not gonna lie. After the picture was taken, I took my ID and bank card out of my wallet and put them in my little going-out bag. Then I braved the downpour (thanks to the use of an umbrella a co-worker let me borrow) and threw the bag with my clothes and my mom bag in my trunk. I didn’t want to do this at the parking ramp because that would just scream “ROB ME!”. Then I went into my car, drove to Starbucks where Jason threw the bag of scarves through my window and off I went to meet Tatum for dinner.

Traffic was sucky because of the rain and so I was a bit later than I thought. Actually, I was on-time according to our original plans. Tatum got off work earlier than expected and, as a result, she’d been waiting for over an hour at the restaurant. By the time I’d parked in the ramp, I was frazzled and super excited to see my lady so I hopped out, threw a wrap around me, locked my door and went to dinner.

Dinner was lovely and I finally had the mashed potatoes Jessie’s been raving about. The raving was warranted: who knew plain mashed potatoes with butter and sour cream could be SO DAMNNED HEAVENLY? After dinner, we drove in my car to Minneapolis for the concert where we felt very fancy, especially during the 20 minute break that was actually closer to 5 minutes when we both slammed a glass of wine then raced back to our seats. An older lady (in her mid-60s I’d say) even complimented us on how nice we looked which made us feel that much fancier.

Mahler was perfect. I’m not a classical music expert but I know what I like. I liked this. I closed my eyes and let my mind drift along with the music. Sometimes I thought about the kids, sometimes I thought about fairies and wood nymphs. It was nice.

Afterwards, I drove Tatum back to her car and then headed home. All in all, a perfect night.

The next day, Matt and I talked about what we should do and I suggested we use the ride tickets for Nickelodean Universe that I got at the JDRF walk back in February. He agreed and I got dressed, running out to my car to grab the bag with my brush and makeup in it. I came in laughing at physics because my purse was at one end of the trunk, the opening facing the trunk door, and all the papers that were inside were now resting together in a pile outside of it. “It’s like at one point I stepped on the gas too ubruptly and everything flew out of my purse.” I giggled.

After I got ready, I hopped online to check my account to make sure the money I’d transfered to savings and paypal (to pay for a flat deposit) had gone through.

My balance was roughly $500 less than it should’ve been. Which put us $400 short of our mortgage payment that was set to pull Monday.

I clicked on details and saw some really large purchases that I didn’t make. I called Matt over and he looked and handed me the phone to call the bank.

I told the lady from the bank that I didn’t understand how these purchases could be made because I was holding the only bank card for this account. My mind went to these news reports I’d read where people are able to create fake bank cards with your information by swiping them through their own reader. That was the only explanation other than witchcraft. Then Matt came upstairs and announced they’d gotten to his account, too. “How is this happening???” It made no sense.

I went into my purse to grab my wallet and it wasn’t there. Thinking it fell out of my purse (no, I still hadn’t figured it out), I sent Matt out to my car to get it out of my trunk.

Yeah, it wasn’t there.

“I just found out my wallet’s been stolen.” I told the lady on the phone who was busy filing the claim. I started shaking as all the pieces fell into place and I freaked out.

I DID have another card in my wallet. After getting a new card with a cute picture on it, I never destroyed the old one. I had a bank card for Matt’s account so I could use it in emergencies. I had a couple credit cards in there as well.  My library card. Everything except our social security cards (which wouldn’t be notable except that I was going to order copies of the kids’ birth certificates and would’ve needed their cards. Only I’d put it off for another week. Thank god.) was in that wallet.

After I finished filing the claim, I hung up and collasped on the floor in uncontrollable sobs. Matt sat next to me and held me while I cried and we both asked what the hell we were going to do. We had virtually no food in the house, two empty gas tanks, mortgage pulling on Monday and now, no money.

Jaden and Jonas had been playing in her room but she came out to see what was going and found both her parents on the floor and her mommy freaking the eff out. “Mommy, what’s wrong?”

Matt answered, “Someone stole our money, sweetie.”

Jaden looked concerned, “Why would they do that?”

I looked at her and wiped tears away as more came, “Because, sweetie, there are bad people in this world. I hate to tell you that, but it’s true. There are bad people in the world and one of them took our money.”

Then she hugged us and said, “You and daddy can have the money you gave me that’s in my purse so you can buy food.”

Matt told me later that that moment was when he lost it but managed to keep it inside. We both hugged Jaden tight and thanked her for the offer but we couldn’t take her money. There’s all of $2 in her purse but she doesn’t know what that means. She just wanted to help.

We got everyone ready to go to the bank to talk to someone in person. The lady on the phone had no answers for me other than the investigation into the claim would take 7-10 business days. She couldn’t tell me if the money would be returned or the over draft fees or what would happen with the mortgage payment or anything. Looking in my purse, I saw that my ipod was gone. The bastard took my ipod. I told Matt and cried again and went back to running my hands through my hair in the frantic “what are we going to do?” motion that these situations warrant. After I calmed down again, I went out to the garage and put Jonas in his carseat and saw his pacifier sitting in the rear window.

And I lost it all over again because I realized that the asshole saw that I had two car seats in the backseat. They saw the pacifier in the rear window. They knew I had small children and they didn’t care. They took the money. That knowledge brought this theft to a whole new level. Who does that? Who takes money from children, because that’s exactly what they did. They stole food from my children’s mouths.

On the way to the bank, Jaden asked if we should call the police. We told her we were going to the bank and they would take care of it. She took out her toy cell phone and said that she would call the police. “Hello, some bad people took my mommy and daddy’s money and now they can’t buy oatmeal or milk. And they took my mommy’s ipod!” And yes, I cried again because her pretend conversation put the situation in the glaringly pathetic light that it deserved to be in.

Then I started asking how they got into my trunk. Matt inspected the lock and didn’t see any damage. How did they get in there? The only reasonable explanation is that I forgot to lock the door and they were randomly checking doors and hit the jackpot with mine. This makes me mad at myself because I ALWAYS lock my doors. I open the door, lock it, get out of the car, close the door then hit the lock button on my key ring for good measure. Every time. Except Friday Night.

We walked into the bank and looked completely like the bedraggled, confused and lost family that we were. A guy came out of his office right away and asked how he could help. He brought us into the office and explained everything: Both the cards had been inactivated, he’s seen investigations done within 48 hours, if we’re telling the truth, all the money will be returned and any over-draft fees resulting from the left would be reversed. I felt relief in the knowing that eventually, things will be put right. He gave us his card and told us to call him if we seen any other strange activity.

On the way home I called my mom and told her what happened and asked to borrow some money so we can buy some food. She gave me more than I asked for which was perfect because I’d forgotten about the empty gas tanks. At home, I called the credit card companies and canceled everything and got new accounts set up. Matt switch both our trunk locks so they can’t be popped open. We’ll need a key to open them. Now, I’m waiting for the mortgage payment to pull so I can close my bank account and open a new one.

The immediate, physical problems have been taken care of and will be back to normal within a few days, hopefully.

The emotional and pychological problems, on the other hand, aren’t going to go away for awhile. I’m afraid to check our accounts for fear that they did get my check book and are opening up accounts all over the internet and continuing the spending spree. My purse feels dirty to me; this morning I dug out an old and significantly smaller purse. I can’t rationalize why I did this. I went to Target yesterday so finish grocery shopping and was afraid to leave my car alone. I’m more heart-broken over the loss of my ipod than you would think. It was a gift from my husband and had my Learn German podcasts on it so I can communicate on our honeymoon.

It could’ve been so much worse but…

Matt asked what we did to build up such bad Karma. “We’re good people, we work hard, we play by the rules so why would this happen?” I suggested that maybe this has nothing to do with us. Maybe Karma’s testing the people who did this and they failed and Karma will pay them back in kind. Then Matt asked, “Good point. But what about our karma?” to which I replied, “I don’t pretend to understand karma.”

I don’t know if wishing karmic retribution goes against the laws of karma but the assholes stole food from my kids. And I want them to pay.

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