A few weeks before Christmas, I treated myself to a little personal shopping spree at Marshalls. Since my purse was big and heavy, I decided to leave it in the car, and just bring in my wallet and my phone.
Upon entering the store, I grabbed a shopping cart and placed my wallet and my phone on the seat. (My wallet is too big to fit in my coat pocket… I don’t know why everything I have in this story was too big, but that’s just how it was.)
So I had my wallet and phone on the seat, and I was being hyper alert because I felt like my wallet was very exposed and someone could just snatch it right out of there. I kept the cart close as I turned slightly to look at a sweater on display.
Just then, two big teenage boys walked past me, really quickly. I had a brief flash of worry about them somehow snatching my phone and my wallet while I was turned away. I glanced at my valuables, but was startled to see neither my wallet or my phone!
I was immediately struck with panic. I looked at the backs of the tall boys walking briskly away and wondered how this would go down. My head buzzed like a swarm of angry insects. My heart seized in my chest. If I’d been wearing pearls, I would have clutched them. I opened my mouth to call out, but my body was flooding with feelings – burning, tingling, fight/flight/freeze feelings.
My body frozen, I turned my eyes down to the cart once again and realized that the plastic flap that had been pushed up to close the leg holes had fallen down. I shakily reached down and lifted the flap, and there behind it was my wallet and my phone.
I breathed a sigh of relief and fought back a wave of nausea. All of this happened within a 30-second period, but I felt like I’d just done some intense cardio. I calmly pulled the sweater off the rack and placed it over my wallet and phone to protect them from further potential robberies during the rest of my night, and continued casually strolling through the store, not wanting anyone to see me looking flustered.
I was so glad I hadn’t yelled “Those boys took my wallet!”
Lesson learned: I’m too delicate to take these kind of risks, so from now on I need to keep my wallet in my bag. Or get a smaller wallet. Or maybe a chain.