Just how many times will it take before I come to realize–and bask in the realization–that I need to be less materialistic and I need to be more careful with how I handle money? Right–handle! Literally and figuratively.
I remember losing my cellphone on that fateful night in the office. That was the 4th of February. And it all seemed to come back again earlier this afternoon when I got hit by the fact that I lost my wallet.
I was on my way out of the mall, ready to pick up my daughter in school, when I remembered what a friend told me about the nice blouses on sale at Celine. Sure enough, I found one that I liked easily. My head was throbbing with pain, and all I could think of was to pay for it and leave the place the soonest possible. I sure got to the counter after a minute or so of struggling with women blocking my path. The store seemed to have cramped in an instant. The huge woman, about 35-40 yrs old, with white and brown hair was in front of me and wouldn’t budge. She seemed to be sending me a message that I could not decipher until I was right in front of the counter and a sales person told me in a loud voice that my bag was open. Well, it’s either that woman was trying to tell the person behind me to get on with it fast, or she was trying to tell me that something was happening to my bag, but she has been invisibly gagged.
All I could think of was to trace the path where I had been before coming to the store. Somehow, my headache was gone in an instant and I was able to nearly focus again. I went back to Brownie where I last took out my wallet, for fear of leaving it on the counter because of too much headache. Yet, I seemed to remember putting it back right after I bought two Sambos for my girls.
Certain that I’ve really lost it, I dropped by the customer service area to report what happened and have the mall guards alerted. In a few minutes, a civilian guard came to escort me to Celine to get some more information before going to their mall’s office. The store OIC was helpful enough in testifying and describing the suspects. I recounted everything that I could remember, including Celine’s personnel’s testimony to the mall officer. They were kind enough to have someone accompany me to the nearest police station to report the incident, and even shoulder the transportation expense.
As I went from one place to another, I kept asking God why He allowed it to happen. And I kept listing off the lessons I learned… what I should’ve done, what I should do next time, why God could have allowed it, and so on.
I was thankful that my husband seems to be taking this lightly, while I felt so guilty for being careless. After all, it is our money. Family money that I was charged to take care of.
1) Don’t bring a lot of cash–as much as possible, deposit your shopping money right away in your debit card.
2) Don’t go shopping when you have a headache.
3) Be wary of places full of people–it doesn’t matter if you came there first when there were still just a handful of you in the shop. Leave at once when it becomes very crowded and simply request for the item you wanted reserved, then come back once the area has cleared. (Some stores would be happy to reserve an item for you for a couple of hours.)
4) Always put your bag right in front of you, hug it! It’s better to be paranoid than be trusting. Try to make sure also that its locks are secured.
5) Plan exactly how you’re going to spend your money and where. Bring a list of items that you need to buy so you don’t get easily lured by shops with ‘sale’ signs that could be thriving with thieves.
6) Pray, even if the activity you’re about to perform is so mundane or trivial.
I wish I had just given all my money to my niece who needed it, instead of sharing just a part of it with her the previous day. I wish I had gone to church and tithed even if there was no church service, as I have originally planned. I wish I had deposited the money as soon as I got to the mall, just as I used to do, then use my Cash Card instead to pay for the goods. I wish, I wish, I wish!
I hope the people who were in it won’t be able to sleep well. I wish I could bless them sincerely, being my enemies now.
Now, a new thought just entered my mind… and I think I know now what this is all about!