it was a carrie bradshaw moment. one of those days when everything just seemed to flow—to fall into place like a set of dominos tipping in perfect succession, one to the next, with seamless precision.
good hair day. great shoe day. bright green dress. and an even brighter mood. my to-do list was chock full but remarkably checked off by the end of the day. and i had just spent a couple of days enjoying quality time with remote coworkers who were in town for some much needed team bonding. the icing: a decadent swirlz cupcake surprise to celebrate a friend’s birthday, and leftovers to take home to my kids.
i left the office with hands full and heart happy. despite my heavy load—laptop in backpack, vince camuto hobo on one arm and giant box of cupcakes in the other, my spirit was light.
the sun was beaming on michigan avenue, casting its light on the already blingy storefront facades. i walked down the street, peering into windows and admiring the architecture, feeling a genuine sense that all was right with the world.
i got to the bus stop and assessed the situation. no sign of #66. the glass bus shelter was packed with people so i found a perch outside and squeezed in between the crowd of commuters.
the cupcakes were getting more cumbersome by the minute, but picturing my boys’ faces when i walked in the door eased the increasing annoyance.
i pulled out my phone to check the time. 5:35. “ok, should be any minute now.”
i slipped the phone awkwardly into the front pocket of my purse, trying to avoid bumping into the crusty contingent of commuters.
after a few minutes, the bus came into view. “thank god.”
as soon as it pulled up, the mass of humanity pushed forward. i’ve perfected the art of squeezing myself onto crowded trains and buses, so i used the jumbo box to block and tackle until i found a spot in the aisle, smashed between some shall we say unsavory neighbors. in defiance of my cardinal CTA rule, skin-on-skin contact was unavoidable.
without a free hand to stabilize myself by holding onto a pole or chair, i “surfed” in the aisle for ten minutes straight, bags strapped to my body, cupcakes in my arms, stilettos in full force. i was quite pleased that i managed to make it this far without biting the dust.
finally a seat opened up. relief. i made my way toward the back of the bus and sat down.
“aahhhhhh.” backpack off. cupcakes on lap. arms stretched. feet rested. now to settle in for some quality time with my phone.
i reached into the front pocket of my purse.
somewhere, sometime, in the 20 minutes i spent waiting for and riding the bus, someone stole my phone. my brand new, 5-inch display, super HD, 13 megapixel camera, 2-week-old phone.
i looked around in a panic. checked. double-checked. triple-checked my purse. scoured all the stone faces searching for any signs of guilt. nothing.
“and all i wanted to do was bring cupcakes home to surprise my boys!?!”
i was devastated. livid. in utter disbelief.
when i finally got home, the icing: …yeah the icing was, well…
sad. damaged. melted. like my faith in humanity at that moment.
“eat up!” said life, mocking my optimism and most likely my admitted food obsession too.
the moral of the story? (sh)it happens.
how’s that for uplifting?
but in all seriousness, as positive as i am about life and people, i was reminded of the sad truth: sometimes there is simply NOTHING you can do to avoid the shaft—the “why do i deserve this?” moments that beat you down. the karmic slap in the face or puddle splash on your white tutu and michael stars tank top.
you just have to get back up. as i tell my kids when they fall down, “brush it off. it’s ok to feel sad or mad, but sometimes bad things happen. you just have to accept it and move on.”
whether skinned knees or stolen phones, pick yourself up. dust yourself off. keep fighting the good fight…and maybe throw in some phone insurance for good measure!
there may not be a silver lining in the moment. but there’s always another day.