I had a rude awakening this morning. I spent the night in Lakeview at the home of the guy I'm dating. Around 6:15 a.m. he dropped me off at my car on his way to work. It was parked right on Sheridan Road, among a slew of other parked cars. The scene looked completely normal. I opened my car door to put a bag in the backseat and I saw that the box holding my brand new GMAT prep course books, which had been unopened the night before, was open.
Considering that it was the crack of dawn and I was groggy, I took a moment to make sure I was thinking straight and that I had not opened up the box the night before and had just forgotten.
I then started to panic when I simultaneously noticed that the items in my trunk were rustled about— the pieces started to come together.
A half second later I looked up and realized the glass of the rear passenger window was completely smashed in and shattered everywhere.
Then the real panic kicked in.
Even though I park on the streets of Chicago every day, this had never happened to me before, and I was alone, in the dark. My car held nothing valuable, and nothing seemed to be missing, even my radio/CD player was still there. However, I was now standing there, by my broken-into car with my wallet, iPhone and laptop. My mind started racing— what if the people who did this were still nearby, waiting for people to enter their cars carrying their purses, etc. I started running and frantically called the guy I'm seeing in a complete panic.
Minutes later, he returned to calm me down and help me out. I pride myself on thinking things through and being calm in times of crisis— needless to say, this wasn't one of those times. This break-in, something that probably happens hundreds of times per day in this city, completely threw me for a loop.
Coincidentally, my dad called at the exact same time all of this was happening. I explained what had happened (obviously, and somewhat uncomfortably having to admit the reason for why my car was parked where it was), and he helped me with the insurance company, etc. My insurance is covering the large majority of the expense, and my car will be fixed by tomorrow morning.
Everything is fine, but I can't help that sickening feeling of violation. Knowing a random person(s) damaged my property, opened my personal package, and rummaged through my glove compartment, console and trunk. It's an awful feeling to be faced with the reality that people live their lives doing things like this. The timing is also ironic, happening at the time of year when we try to come together, be thankful for what we have and respect our neighbors. While living in the great city of Chicago, we usually feel safe in our day-to-day lives, but we are still in a very large, international city, and realistically, there's crime.
I was reminded that not everyone's as well-meaning as we would hope. This holiday season, I'm especially grateful for the many wonderful people in my life who enhance it and fulfill it, well aware that unfortunately, not everyone lives by the same moral code we would hope for in our society.