Losing My Pocketbook
Rita Papazian
Published: May 25

I have this frequent dream about losing my pocketbook. In real life, if I
misplaced my pocketbook, I think someone stole it The other day at a friend’s
house I couldn’t find my purse. I immediately had this flash that I had left it in the
car and one of the workmen doing work on her house, took it out of the car. My
friend’s voice cut through the image with her telling me that “there it is, on the
floor, next to the rocking chair.”

“Oh, of course.”

The panic subsided. I don’t know why such panic sets in. I have never lost
my pocketbook. But, I keep thinking that if I were to lose it, what a mess that
would mean. So the next day I sat down at my desk and recorded all my credit
card numbers, just in case my fear would become a reality some day.

Yet, I doubt that I would lose my purse sometime. But, I have come close.
Ladies can attest to how close we come to losing our purses, especially if they are
a shoulder bag. If you are a woman like me who has carried a shoulder bag along
with a carryall bag and or a briefcase, you know how easy it can be to pick up the
carryall bag and leave a shoulder bag on the floor. Years ago, I remember during
my daily reporting at a town hall, I left one room and went into another only to
realize I was missing my pocketbook. I panicked and ran back to the room I had
just left There it ws still sitting where I had left it. That taught me a lesson to have
only one bag with a strap. I started keeping my shoulder bag inside the carryall
bag when I used one.

I am very, very careful with my pocketbooks, which are always the styles
that I can hang from my shoulder, either one with straps or a big hobo-style bag.
In supermarkets, I notice women are much more cavalier about their
pocketbooks. Often, they keep them in the shopping cart’s child seat. Often, the
purses are open and you can see the woman’s wallet. This lack of concern against
theft amazes me. Often, I want to grab the purse and see if the woman notices, so

I can teach her a lesson. Then, I think: who am I to be the one to teach her.

Recently, I was reading the police reports in a neighboring town’s
newspaper about a woman who reported her wallet stolen from her purse while
she was shopping in a supermarket. The report indicated that the surveillance
camera captured the thief taking her wallet out of her purse that was in the
shopping cart as he walked by the cart.

Having covered police departments during many years as a community
newspaper reporter, I am amazed how cavalier or careless people are about
protecting their homes and possessions. People still have unlocked doors of their
homes and unlocked doors of their cars parked in the driveway, which makes it
easy for thieves .

With the boom in technology, the list of items stolen from cars and homes,
reads like a Best Buy inventory list. Are these items really in these cars? I learned
a lesson last summer at the end of teaching a college course. I had driven to
Massachusetts to visit family and left my cell phone and a carryall bag with my
students’ grade book and final exam papers in the car during the visit. A day into
the visit I noticed both the cell phone and bag missing. I assume that I had
carelessly left the car unlocked when I had thought I had clicked it locked. . I
learned many lessons with that mishap, especially since I still keep a grading book
and do not record grades electronically

Having grown up mostly in the suburbs of metropolitan New York and
having reported on police activities for many years, I am very cautious, maybe too
much so. I constantly look at situations with the possibility of what could happen.
Today, there is so much possibility for theft and for good hauls with all the high-
priced technology products around and the distractions that come with them.

Thieves seem to be more and more brazen as we read police reports
of their smashing windows of cars parked at movie theatres in order to steal
the possessions inside. Again, I am surprised at the amount and value of the
goods taken from cars, or maybe, owners are padding the claim report that list
expensive leather purses with hundreds of dollars inside along with cell phones,

ipods and ipads.

For me, there are advantages to having limited discretionary money. Fewer
purchases mean fewer worries. After I had my Blackberry stolen, I bought a
cheap cell phone. Actually, it came with a rebate, so I hardly paid any money for

Maybe it’s my age. I worry more and “care less” about these expensive
gadgets that only lead to “carelessness.”

© Copyright 2012 Rita Papazian All rights reserved.