Nob Hill Theft
Denis returned from getting the luggage from the car, like a man who had seen a ghost. “What happened?” I asked. “Someone broke the window in the car. Glass is everywhere.” My husband Denis and I had flown to San Francisco. My brother Sean was scheduled to undergo surgery in the middle of the pandemic. I don’t remember taking a breath on the plane.
We picked Sean up in Berkeley. Friends were caring for him there. He was severely depressed and fragile. We parked the car on Pine Street in front of Sean’s apartment building on Nob Hill, and let him settle in. The apartment was disheveled after months of illness.
“Your purse is gone.” I stared at him. My purse is gone. Okay. Everything in the purse can be replaced: iPhone, pepper spray, passport. The purse itself, bought from the Marimekko store in downtown Copenhagen, not so simple. My appointment book and writing notebook, impossible. Fortunately, my wallet was in my back pocket, it’s usual place. I will have an ID to leave on the jet plane to go home. No one was hurt.
Denis cringed, “Your carry-on bag with the china is also gone.”
My carry-on bag. “The family china is gone?” I doubled over and tried to scream, but nothing came out. I entered another room, trying not to upset my brother. How could this happen? We’re in a good neighborhood, people on the sidewalks, the car was locked and only for an hour. It would be parked in a commercial garage during our stay. How will I tell my daughter?
After consulting with numerous moving companies, even at $3,000, none would guarantee the safety of the china from Massachusetts to the west coast. I was delivering the china to my daughter one small suitcase at a time. I took a long walk up and down the streets on Nob Hill, imagining how upset my daughter would be, or maybe how distressed I was. Then I began to think how surprised the thief would be when he opened the suitcase. What would a street thief do with a suitcase full of John Maddock-Royal Vitreous china from England? Serve himself afternoon tea or perhaps give his mother china for Christmas? A smile appeared, and I knew it would be okay to return to the apartment.
No one was hurt.
Do you have a theft story that turned out ok? Leave me a comment so I know you're out there. Thanks, Elizabeth
10/16/2021 12:42:46 pm
My luggage was stolen out of the back of my mom’s car while it was parked in our driveway- a quiet residential street with no history of theft. It was two days before Christmas and I’d brought home a suitcase full of my students’ work to grade. Imagine the thief’s surprise when he opened it! Imagine my students’ joy when they all got a pass on assignments. Imagine her surprise when, in early February, the school secretary answered the phone to someone attempting to confirm the address of the school so the recovered papers could be mailed back to Chicago!
Oh Maggie! I was laughing before finishing your comment!
10/16/2021 03:25:05 pm
I don't have a theft story but I recognize the attitude of acceptance at the core of yours. I was refused boarding in Iceland recently because I didn't have a form I needed (it wouldn't allow me to access it online). I was briefly angry, then chagrined, then frustrated, and eventually, after letting the circumstances I found myself in sink in, accepting, I became purposeful. I stayed an extra day in Iceland at some cost, but decided to roll with it all and maintain a positive outlook and be nice to people I met. And as you say, no one was hurt. Perspective.
10/27/2021 10:55:22 am
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