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Madame, Please Remove Your Hand From My Bag

Today I was personally violated.

My five year old wasn’t feeling too hot today, so she stayed home from school to hang out with me.  After a bowl of Fruit Loops, countless Barbie Doll changes, two yogurts, countless cartoon episodes, and cottage cheese, it was becoming obvious that she was feeling better.  I wanted her to rest, but we did have to do one errand…buy her some new shoes and a couple outfits for Spring.

Since most clothing stores are overpriced, I chose H&M.  I found a ton of things for the girls, and then headed over to the shoe area.  We picked out a few different pairs, and then proceeded to try them on.  During this process I noticed how crowded the area had gotten, and even recall saying to myself, “Really, there’s an entire store, and all of us have to be in this spot?”  It was like when you have to go to the bathroom, but all your children want to come with you into a 2’ X 3’ space.  I didn’t think much of it, other than the fact that the women were pushy shoppers. 

Thinking nothing was wrong, I entered the line to checkout.  After waiting in line for 15 minutes, I was finally being waited on.  I unloaded all of my stuff on to the counter, and then opened my purse to get out my wallet.  Yeah, you guessed it…there wasn’t a wallet in my purse.  I had been pick-pocketed.  I dropped to the floor, and dumped out my purse and shopping bag.  I just couldn’t believe it.  I tried to keep it together, but it was tough.  I ran out of the store, and back tracked to the last place I knew I used my wallet…no luck.  I went back to H&M…I scoured the store, asked the clerks if they found anything…nada.  The manager told me that if he found anything, he’d hold it in the safe.  He then told me to report it to the shopping centre information desk. 

By this time, I was crying and my little girl was really confused.  I spoke with the man at the info desk – he took my name, gave me a number to call to cancel my bank cards, and told me that pick-pocketing is very common in H&M, C&A, and Zara.  He then asked a security guard to walk me to the parking office.  I had no money to my name, and couldn’t pay for my parking.  The nice people at the parking office gave me a drink of water, and asked my little girl if she wanted a hot chocolate. 

I could care less about the money that was stolen.  I’m just so seriously annoyed with the fact that I now have to drop everything and put my life back together, when it wasn’t falling apart to begin with.  I have two words for the women who did this…KARMA SUCKS.

You always hear about pick-pockets, and how to be aware of your surroundings.  Maybe I made myself vulnerable or let my guard down, but it wasn’t like I was at a super touristy place.  And, it wasn’t like I would have assumed the other “moms” buying clothes for their little girls were going to slip their hand into my bag. 

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first crime I’ve heard of this week.  I received an email from a friend that told a true story of a robbery plot.  Beware of strangers speaking to you in Carrefour parking lots, and don’t get out of your car to help them.  Apparently, they work in pairs and the other jerk opens your door and steals your wallet.

I guess I learned to be more aware of my personal space today.  Hopefully everything will be replaced without too much issue…I’ll need to replace a few things, but truly nothing that meant anything was stolen.  I mean, it could have been worse…they could have stolen my iPhone!  

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