I am not a religious person. But I don't believe the world is entirely random, either. I think it enjoys a good practical joke. Or a stream of them.
I decided to enjoy the only warm day of the holiday weekend by driving my dog, Buster, out to the tip of Washington's Landing, where he could enjoy the smells of animals, romp through grass and root among brush. It's a respite from the more urban canine experience of enjoying the smells of bus exhaust, romping through potholes and rooting among discarded chip bags and chicken bones.
When we returned to the car I saw his little paws were in broken glass. Too much glass menacing doggy feet, I thought, and then I looked up and discovered the broken glass was all that remained of my driver's side window.
There was nothing at all remaining of my purse.
I was left to ponder that great question of our time, as so eloquently posed by the fake Vikings or Visigoths or whatever they are on TV: What's in your wallet?
Fortunately, my phone wasn't in my purse. I carry it on me always, just in case I spot someone riding my bicycle, which was stolen last month. I've called 911 more times in the past six weeks than in my whole previous life.
When your car is full of broken glass, the cops are en route and you can't even refresh your lip balm because it's probably been flung in the river by now, you have leisure to wonder what your wallet's proud new owner is likely to do with your stuff. The ATM and credit cards were instantly canceled. The health insurance card -- is the perp going to get a chiropractic adjustment on my employer's tab? Gas up with my Giant Eagle fuelperks? Blow my Qdoba points to qualify for a free burrito?
What else was in my purse? My good phone charger. My checkbook (also immediately disabled). My pricey, barely used lipstick, which won't be the thief's color. Reading glasses I hadn't even worn yet because I am far too young.
The wallet. Italian leather, a little splurge. To be honest, I didn't like the color. I did like the plentiful pockets for cards and receipts. Rethinking that.
And then there's the purse itself, which I'd had only a few weeks. It was beautiful. It didn't hold much, which I foolishly thought was a drawback. I can't even imagine how much more I would have lost if I'd been robbed of a giant mom purse. Makeup. A first-aid kit. Shoes.
The cop who came pointed out (gently) that only an idiot leaves a purse on a car seat (I did cover it, but thieves are not fooled by a jacket or newspaper over a purse-sized lump), that Thieves Are Everywhere, and that she thought that in this scenario, ID theft was unlikely. Which I really, really hope is true, because it took me decades to figure out who I am.
The perp likely just wanted the cash, and thus received a payday of something like $8 American and $12 in Icelandic krona, which will be a challenge to spend on anything but dried fish.
I am lucky to have excellent friends, and one named Chris made me a temporary window out of acrylic and duct tape. After he left, I was thinking how many wonderful friends I have when Chris called with a question.
"Have you seen my wallet?"
While lending me cash, he had dropped it in the parking lot behind my building when he got too close to my karmic Bermuda Triangle. Fortunately, he never carries money and nobody took his cards, because he is not me.
The next day, when I left to get the window replaced with real glass, my battery was dead.
At least with a new window, I can finally go to a car wash and remove the massive spattering of bird poo. I didn't mention the bird poo?
I must have been laughing too hard.
Samantha Bennett, freelance writer: email@example.com.