The Other Shoe

If you found a yellow purse and are here because you found a stack of Stimeyland business cards and luggage tags in it, please email me!

Guess what happens if you write a post about clouds lifting and the sun shining?

The world fucks you up.

That’s what happened to me today. I was happily running at 9:30 this morning, proud of myself for squeezing in my run on a busy day, first thing in the morning, and under a sky that was threatening rain. “I am awesome!” is what I thought about myself as I rounded my last turn and returned to where I had stashed my car.

Then the world dropped the metaphorical other shoe on me.

My van with a smashed window.


And, yeah. My purse had (emphasis on the past tense there) been in the car.

I, much like my window, was shattered. I never leave my bag in the car when I run. Never. I usually just take my driver’s license and debit card and put it in the waistpack I wear when I run. For some reason today, I took the purse and left it unattended. It was under a blanket, but I guess that didn’t fool anyone.

My wallet was of course in the bag along with my checkbook. My brand new mittens that I’d only worn once were in the bag. My favorite winter hat that I bought in 1994 was in the bag. A toy that belonged to Quinn’s best friend was in the bag, waiting for me to return it to him. My grocery list was in the bag. I’ll never be able to recreate that. As for valuables? Well, there was probably about $40 and some credit cards that I canceled before they were used.

And, you guys. I almost can’t say it because I want to cry every time I think about it.

Algernon was in the bag.

I am brokenhearted. Most of my stuff can be replaced, but Algernon can’t be. I know he was just a stupid little stuffed mouse, but he was so much more than that to me. He was my shield, my ice breaker, my humor, my friend. I feel ridiculous every time I start to cry when I think about him, but I truly loved him.

Not only that, but this is the last photo I have of him.

I’m trying to joke about him, but I will really miss him. Both Jack and Sam cried when I told them Algernon was gone. He was like a tiny, fuzzy, filthy, inanimate member of our family.

I stood by my sad, broken car and called Alex, because he’s my person and he knows what to do in these situations. He offered to call about all my credit cards and I was just about to hang up so I could go about filing a police report (all from my smart phone—we live in a miraculous time), when my phone rang again.

It was Quinn’s school. He’d just thrown up and I had to come get him.

Because of fucking course.

Quinn was actually a really wonderful addition to my day. He saw how sad I was and gave me all kinds of nice hugs. Plus, because he was feeling completely fine by the time I picked him up, he was willing to go back to the scene of the crime and walk around to look for my bag in the hopes that the thief had taken my wallet and ditched the bag.

Quinn kept remarking, “No offense, but I don’t think we’re going to find it. No offense.”

He was right. We didn’t find it, but we did get to play crime scene investigator.

Quinn studying a pile of auto glass on the ground.

He concluded that there was glass on the ground. And some trash.

There are, of course, a couple of upsides to this violation. For example, I am the proud new owner of a big ol’ window breaking rock that is still in my car. I don’t have to worry about how to fill all my free time over the next few days because now I have all kinds of errands to run. Related: I don’t have to worry about how to spend all my free money because I’ll be using it to fix my window, pay for a new license, and replacing all the crap in my bag.

Also, Jack has an ample supply of auto safety glass to explore and crumble up.

Jack holding a piece of auto glass.

He is really, really into it. I might gather up the pieces that are all over the floor of my car and use them as bribes to get him to do his homework: “Do a math problem, get a piece of glass to crumble!”

That’s about it for the positives. There is an extremely long list of negatives. Dealing with this is going to take forever and is going to cost so much money, and all the guy who robbed me got was a couple of twenties and a stuffed mouse. But why would he care? Not his problem, I guess. People are the fucking worst.

Thank you to all of you who sent nice Facebook messages, comments, and texts after you heard about my day. Super thanks to Alex for being so amazing at dealing with all the financial bullshit today. Wish me luck at the window place, the DMV, and the bank tomorrow. It’s going to be a super fun day.

Also, wish Algernon luck. I hope he doesn’t end up in a landfill and that rather someone who will love him finds him. Happy travels, Algernon. I hope you find some good adventures.

51 thoughts on “The Other Shoe

  1. Oh Jean, I’m so, so, so, so, so sorry. I want to find you a stuffed replacement. Not a replacement really. But something, anything, to make it a little bit better.

    Or a hug. Will a hug do?

    This fall has sucked, so, so much.

  2. So the window and replacing stuff does totally suck…but I kind of cried when I read about Algernon. He was the best. I hope he has some amazing adventures…:( I’m going to miss him…which sounds crazy…but is true.

    Sorry your day was such a bummer. ((Hugs))

  3. oh honey. there are no words except people suck and that sucker suck stinky balls. sucker!

    however, i do have several very small stuffed rodents for you. please, have them. we have a Kia gerbil from blogalicious, a knitted white rat from heaven knows where and several other little mouse pals. maybe your boys could have a Mr. Stimeyland beauty contest and judge them to be the next Algernon? We could even have swimsuit and talent competitions.

  4. Pissed, annoyed then…I gasped…my heart sank :( I too am so, so, so, so, so, sorry (don’t want to outdo ^jodifer^) about Algernon.

    (((HUGS))) wait….((((({}))))) <= pulling out the big ones for ya.

  5. Oh Algernon! I am so sad that he is gone. I will miss hearing about his adventures so much.

    Some people really do suck, but there are definitely way more people who love you. Sending more positive thoughts your way.

  6. I’m so sorry. I have long loved your adventures with Algernon…I have a feeling that little critter will turn up yet. Probably carrying your purse with him.

  7. So, so sorry about everything! It happened to me once, fortunately my purse wasn’t in the car. I remember feeling violated and icky about driving my car for a few days.

    Also it is so not silly to cry about Algernon. My 10 yo. lost his “lovey” meerkat a few months ago. Both my husband and I still get emotional about it. My son seems to have finally transferred to using our dog as his security blanket. Unfortunately, a 110 lb. German Sheperd is not nearly as portable as a 6 inch tall meerkat.

    Loads of hugs to you!

  8. As I read this allowed to my husband I had to stop twice to choke back the tears. My sister-in-law got a call at work this morning that the family dog had been stuck and killed. She walked out of the hospital where she works to go home and console her kids to find somebody had smashed her window and stolen her tablet from her van. I know that Algernon was mere fabric and stuffing but he was just as much a party of your family as Tico was to my nieces. Hugs to you and the boys. When the time comes, a new family member will come along to bring as much joy as Algernon has.

  9. Sick about algernon. Honorary member of team MLC.
    At least they didnt get the otter bag, right?
    Cars can be fixed and credit cards replaced. Im glad the evil one didnt hurt you. When i get back from Florida maybe we can do another run. Hang in there.

  10. Hello there this is Keegan on behalf of the Sluis Academy Again. Im sorry to see that happened to you. It just shows that bad things happen to good people. Keep up the good work!

  11. I am so very sorry about your sucktastic day but even more sorry about Algernon. I know how much he was loved not only by you but hell– I loved him! Here’s hoping there is kindness in the world and somewhere your bag with the things you love, especially Algernon, will find their way back to you. xoxoxoxoxoxo

  12. Oh, Jean! Oh, Algernon. I’m so so sorry. People suck. Many hugs to you friend. Why does shit like this gotta happen to great people?

  13. I am so sorry about Algernon. Everything else is awful, but he is the one thing that can’t be replaced. I know you loved him, and so did so many of us. We love you too. Hang in there!

  14. Oh no. I totally sucked in my breath when I read Algernon was gone. Hopefully someone will ditch the purse and perhaps he’ll return to you. Social Media, Craigslist: Get the APB out there!

  15. ALGERNON. Oh please say it isn’t so. I am not ashamed to say that I am actually really non-virtually crying. Like, with tears running down my face and all. And I know people will think that’s weird, crying because someone lost a stuffed toy mouse. BUT ALGERNON. That last paragraph broke my heart.

    I’m so, so sorry.

  16. I’m so sorry!!! I too am so sad about Algernon. I had such plans for him for Christmas…. :(

  17. Oh Jean, I am sooooo sorry. I’m sitting here a blubbering mess over the loss of Algernon.

    Do you know what company made him and maybe we can get another one? I know nothing will replace the original but dammit I feel like I have to try…

    I love you. I’m so sorry.

  18. ((Hugs))
    It is hard to lose a stuffed one that is held dear to something other than natural causes. Natural causes like an irreparable fabric rip, tragic dryer accident or a fall into a latrine are hard enough, but not being able to say goodbye makes it harder still.
    The average life span of a mouse in captivity is 1-2 years. Remember Algernon had much love and many adventures during your time together. Later, when you are ready, I’ll be glad to give you more mousey name ideas. I enjoyed it so when you first got Algernon.
    I will be thinking happy thoughts for your DMV trip and hope the lines are short and your patience long.

  19. Oh crap! Crapitty, crap on a crapping cracker! I’m so sorry. Do you think a heartfelt appeal to your local paper might get Algernon back? A human interest story about how a beloved family mascot was stolen and now everyone is devastated? They could run a couple of pictures of Algernon in heart-breakingly cute poses, and offer a reward for his return, no questions asked.
    I used to be a newspaper editor and we ran similar stories all the time, along with reports of murders, dismemberments and political corruption.
    It really sucks that you lost Algernon. What’s the world coming to? (Pounds cane angrily.)

  20. Nooooooooooo!!! This is the worst! Not Algernon! I remember his very first post. I shall miss him. (But I’m not giving up on him yet. I hope he comes back.)

  21. I’m with Jim. I think Algernon is going to try and make his way back to you like all those dogs that make epic journeys over great distances to reunite with their true owners. Just leave the front door open though so he doesn’t have to break a window to get in. You know, he’s a determined dude and you have enough to deal with!

  22. I have to repeat what everyone else said. And we will all miss Algernon. Not as much as you will, but he was part of the family.

  23. Oh, Jean. That just sucks so much. Why couldn’t they have just taken the money & left the purse? Or ditched it some place close?

    And now you have to run around (on Halloween!) to get everything dealt with. I, too, am wishing you short lines, long patience and smooth sailing.

  24. Wow. That just sucks big time. It’s ok to cry about it. BTW you are awesome for getting up and running.

  25. Oh, Jean. I’m so, so sorry. People suck sometimes. I don’t know how I missed this yesterday. Love you. Thinking of you.

  26. I am really sorry, that REALLY SUCKS, and I hope the JERKBAG who took the purse dropped Algernon and a darling little kid about the age of your kids picked him up and thinks he’s the best find ever.

  27. I was feeling so bad for you, reading along, and then I got to the part about Algernon and I almost cried. I’m SO sorry!

  28. I’m so sorry to hear about this. On a positive note, I bet Algernon is having lots of fun adventures.

    I was about to write a very cheerful comment to your previous post.

    Ask me about having your parents get older. Oh, wait, don’t ask.

  29. I spent nearly 50 years in the business insuring cars and houses and businesses. I know, therefore, that the simple rule is best. Never EVER leave anything in the car you wouldn’t mind being stolen.


    Except maybe the car itself, and then you get a new one.

  30. Local advertising must definitely be worth a shot. Surely someone will find him and make sure he gets home safely. Sending warm thoughts from across the waters xx

  31. Dear Universe,
    Please let Algernon find his way home to Jean. He is a very very important mouse.
    Thank you,

    Oh Jean I’m so sorry this happened. So very sad for you. :-(.

  32. I found your blog a while ago linked on another blog that I faithfully read. I occasionally check in to get your great updates about your terrific family, but not knowing you, I’ve never even considered commenting…I literally gasped aloud when I read the line about Algernon. So sorry that this happened to you. Nothing worse than the feeling of losing something special to you that can’t be replaced.

  33. I will miss Algernon, too. The life of the person who broke into your car has got to be terrible, and maybe finding a loved toy in your purse will make him or her think, even for a second. I hope Algernon is out there doing good work.

  34. I am so sad for you. And Algernon. Mean people suck.

    I’m a little amused about the rock though. I once (well a bunch of times) had my car broken into when it lived on the street in NYC. But after stealing the radio, they left behind an antique screw driver which I still have somewhere.

  35. Oh, honey. I’m heartsick for the loss of your little buddy. I have many fond memories of several adventures together. He was a good travel companion. I hope Jim is right and he finds his way home. Much love. xo

  36. I’ll miss Algernon too. I know he was a stuffed animal, but I was so tickled when I got to meet him in person. I’ll miss him too, and I’m so sorry to hear about the car break in and purse losing. What a pain in the ass.

  37. I am back in bloggy land after a self imposed hiatus and just read this now. I am SO sorry. I am certain Algernon is off having grand adventures. :( Hang in there.

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