What It Feels Like To Be Robbed

Last Sunday we were newlyweds, recently returned from a gorgeous honeymoon in Greece. My husband, Alex, who often blogs for MFA (and even recently blogged about first apartment safety!) would end the day by laughing and throwing a pillow at me saying in a deep baritone, “The Honeymoon is OVER!!” We were wrapped in a perfect cocoon of wedding oblivion.

On Monday, we came home to find out apartment had been burgled in broad daylight. We were overcome with shock and loss.  Classic piñata moment. POW.

Since then, it’s been a rough week. Core values like safety and trust feel torn up and scattered down the path this shadowy figure took to our doorstop. We would sit over dinner, quietly, and one of us would throw words up into the air like, “Would you feel better if this had been our fault?” The words would hang there for a minute or two, until we supplemented the statement, saying that we would – feel better – if we could gain control of the situation.

It’s not like they burned our apartment down. They took most of my jewelry, including the ring my Papa gave me for my bat-mitzvah and our digital camera with most of our honeymoon photos. My laptop with all my acquired music from years of long-distance friendships and friends with better music taste than I. Experience after Experience after Experience. Oh, and a few Things to round it off.

We still have a roof and many items to our name, for which we feel thankful, but the Honeymoon is certainly over. This past weekend, we went to various stores starting the arduous process of replacement and were snappy with each other, so angry were we with the event in question. All of sudden we were acting like strangers, unsure what to say to the other, unsure what to think to ourselves.

While waiting for the train on my way to work a week later, I couldn’t help but think about this person. What did they look like? Not so we could catch them, but just out of simple curiosity. Were they watching us? Did they like our apartment? What did they think of us, two people they’d likely never meet. Did they think we seemed nice? Maybe they left the necklace I just purchased on our honeymoon because they thought we had good taste in art.

I mean, can’t you just picture your burgler writing a quick, thoughtful note on a post it. “Your home seems so cozy – here – I’ll leave you this necklace I otherwise would have taken. Peace!”

If one follows the Kübler-Ross stages of loss, call the above my Bargaining phase.

Now, acceptance is inevitable. It’s flickering in-and-out right now, like a bad analog television signal. But I feel that bright, new show coming on screen soon.  If I can tilt my emotions due left, a bit upwards, or that pretzel shape only bunny ears can make.

At our ceremony, the Rabbi who officiated noted that in Judaism, we don’t get married in a vacuum.   Rather, we live in a community, so the community must witness this big life event.

I’ve begun to think that, perhaps, rotten things happen to prove to us that most people are good. Also,  of course, because the world is far from perfect. Since I’ve told friends and colleagues about what happened – all have been incredibly kind-hearted and supportive. Even the stores in my community where I purchased jewelry have been incredibly generous.  In particularly, BHLDN, where I found the earrings I wore to my wedding and Wendy Mink, a shop in NY that I love and have frequently patronized while wondering down Delancy street.

As for Alex and I, well, the Honeymoon may be over. But, that just means every day is real. For better and for worse.  And, that’s OK.

How can you avoid being burgled? I’ll be back with some practical tips about how to avoid getting burgled, replete with advice from the Chicago Police Department (CPD!) shortly.  Stay Tuned.


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Author My First Apartment

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I've lived in apartments in 6 cities (including 2 foreign countries). Does that make me an expert? As of now, my ceiling isn't leaking and I don't have rodents (knock on wood) -- so I'm going to say yes . . . but ask me again tomorrow:) These days, I'm enjoying life Chicago style, but my years in Brooklyn are never far from my mind. P.S. By day I work at Cars.com, but these opinions are totally, 100% my own.

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Comments (2)

  1. Avatar Sarah

    No, Bob, you can not IN ANY WAY know how it feels to be raped unless you HAVE been raped. To even hint otherwise is dismissive and damaging.

  2. Avatar Bob Gross

    I was robbed at my last apartment, which is why I left. The feeling of being violated is enraging. I feel like I can, in some small way, feel like someone who has been raped might feel.