In Which I Have to Laugh or Else I'd Cry

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

If there is ever a time in my life where I think that Murphy's Law doesn't exist, please point me to this week in history. It is days like today, and weeks like this week, where I remember something that my high school, AP Psych teacher said to our class. He was recounting a story in which he worked in a mental health facility on a locked ward, and how some of the patients were absolutely ridiculous. (There was once a patient who was convinced that my teacher was JFK and sang "Happy Birthday Mr. President" to him and started removing her clothes whenever she saw him... and no, my teacher did not look ANYTHING remotely like JFK.) Anyway, he said, "You have to laugh or else you'll cry," and it's something that's stayed with me for a long time. When things are so bad and crazy and weird that you can't imagine them going any worse, you have to laugh or else you'll cry. Today was one of those days, and this week is definitely one of those weeks.

After Monday's excitement (and I use that term LOOSELY) of discovering that my social security number may have been stolen to file a fraudulent tax return, I figured that the rest of the week would be relatively calm. Maybe some work drama, like ridiculous spreadsheets that are so big they require tape and an arts and crafts project:

This is inappropriate spreadsheet design. This is also only a THIRD of the spreadsheet.


Or maybe some health or family issues, nothing crazy. Today, I left on my lunch hour to go to my therapist's office in Center City for the appointment I made after I had my "my body sucks and my health sucks and I hate everything" meltdown on Thursday. I take the bus there because it's cheaper than a cab and just as fast (or slow). I got there, had my appointment, grabbed some tacos at Chipotle for lunch, and ran to catch the bus as it was approaching. The bus was crowded, as it often is in the afternoon, so I was standing in the aisle near the back, trying to jockey for a seat. As I started up the steps to the rear part of the bus, an older guy stood up and blocked my path, and was crowding into me. There wasn't anywhere for me to go on this stupidly crowded bus, so I was trying to maneuver around this crazy person who seemed intent on either groping me, falling over, or both. At the next stop, he bolted off the bus, and I assumed that he was just some crazy guy who was a big weirdo. Another passenger on the bus said to me, "I think that guy was trying to steal your wallet," so I looked into my bag. Lo and behold, no wallet.

Now, my bag is big:


So, I looked around in it for a few minutes and made sure that I wasn't just missing it. Sadly, I was not... it was gone. I immediately called my bank and canceled my credit cards, then got my personal and joint debit cards canceled. Unfortunately, the jerk had already charged $76 on the joint account (after not being successful with the personal account b/c hey, it's the day before payday and that account is LOW right now), but I was transferred to the fraud department and the claim has already been filed to get that $76 back. I should have my new debit cards within 2-3 days, new credit cards in 7-10 days, and the money should be back in our account in 5-7 days.

I feel very lucky that nothing bad happened to my person, and that I wasn't injured or assaulted (any more than almost being groped, anyway), and that my checkbook, car keys, work ID, work phone, and personal phone were all okay. I feel really stupid for not realizing what was happening, and for not saying something to the effect of "What the hell are you doing?" when the interaction seemed so weird. I'm also glad that even though he DID steal money from our account, he only got $76, and it'll come back to us. He charged it at Rite-Aid, so I'm pretending that he really needed food and medications for his children, and not that he bought $76 worth of cigarettes and pseudoephedrine drugs to make meth or something. It makes me feel better if I think about that (probably made-up) scenario, so I'm going with it.

I'm also really lucky that I have so many friends who, upon finding out about this ridiculous turn of events, offered to drive me home, come pick me up from work, lend me money for lunch or money to get home, and offered their general support for how much this week has sucked. I can only imagine that tomorrow will be better because at least my wallet can't be stolen because hey, that already happened. I'll probably take the train to work unless Ken wants to get up and drive me into the city, and then tomorrow night, I'm going to a book signing for Mary Roach's new book Gulp: Adventures of the Alimentary Canal with Pam and Jenn, and Pam made me promise that I'll let her buy me a drink before the signing tomorrow. I think I'll take her up on it, because I could seriously use one, haha.

This weekend, I'm taking the GRE on Saturday (lame) and also getting a new driver's license, because I totally love spending my free Saturdays in the Motor Vehicle Commission waiting for a terrible photo to be taken. Ken will be in NY from Friday night to Saturday night, so I plan to just study, relax, watch movies, and pretend that my life couldn't be made INTO a terrible, Lifetime, movie right now.

At the very least, I have to imagine that I'm due for some good luck and some good news soon, so maybe I'll hear something good from my post-bac program applications. Until then, breathing in, breathing out, and laughing (or else I'll cry).

- A

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