The case of the missing IPOD

I used to be a major impulse buyer. I am not saying I’m not still prone to going to for one thing, like a new bathing suit since my old one is on the verge of losing its elastic, and then filling up my cart with other things since I am already ordering something anyway, things in various sizes and colors, since I might as well return five things if I am going to return one anyway, and next thing I know I have like $400 dollars worth of merchandise in my cart, including cycling attire for Dan which he won’t even appreciate but I will. So yeah, I admit I do that sometimes, maybe I even did it this week, but for the most part, I have really learned to reign myself in over the past 18 months or so, which was concurrent with the time that I a) no longer had a full-time job b) no longer had paid leave or any portion of paid health benefits c) very nearly ran out of money and d) decided it was time to start saving for a house. So I e) got my act together and realized that by and large even though there are things I want I will not explode if I don’t get them into my possession RIGHT NOW.

That being said, for a few months I had been eyeing the i Trip. This handy device lets you tune into a radio frequency and then plug your i Pod into the cigarette lighter and viola you are listening to your i Pod in the car. It’s like magic. I really wanted one, especially because my car cd player has been malfunctioning for like the last 4 years and I have not been able to bring myself to pay someone to fix it. Even though I wanted the i Trip really bad as early as September-ish I made an executive decision to delay gratification and therefore chose to purchase the i Trip as my birthday present from me to me.

So on the day of my 31st birthday (which was a glorious day including indulgences such as opening a present in bed, going out to breakfast, Dan not only agreeing to but suggesting that we enter Target together, a massage, a swim in the heated outdoor lap pool, and a cake called “Better than Sex” which was only a little disturbing since it was baked by my future mother-in-law but the fact that it was chocolately goodness in its ultimate form more than compensated for any possible akwardness that may have arisen from this cake’s unseemly name), I went to the Apple Store and bought my i Trip.

It was the perfect companion for what would be my nearly 2 hour commute to work the following day. For reasons that pertain largely to my ineptitude and generosity, I had agreed to help out where I was apparently desperately needed in Greeley (see the latter), but then got way lost and my 75 minute trip became much longer (see the former). I arrived at the facility finally. Unsure of where to park, I helped myself to a space in “visitor parking” which I kind of was, what with being per diem and all, knowing the chances of my “visiting” again were quite slim given the distance of this place from my home. The area looked decidedly sketchy so I decided to keep my i Pod in my jacket pocket instead of in my car. We all know what can happen when we accidentally leave prized electronic possessions in the car.

As I got out of the car I was struck by how horrid the long term care facility smelled, noting that not all nursing homes were created equal, and then remembered that that’s just how the air smells in Greeley. Although the odor seems like the smell of an old person who has soiled themselves and been ignored, especially when you are standing by a huge nursing home, its actually the drift of the manure scented air of the rural northern Colorado town that you’re smelling.

Work was fairly busy and went by fast. Around 4:30 I reached for my lavender Patagonia that had been hanging on the coat tree in the therapy office. I slunk into my jacket and felt in my pockets and was immediately alarmed by the emptiness I felt. The i Pod was not there. I checked again, frantically. I looked in my purse and in my lunch bag just in case, as my stomach dropped with the knowledge that someone had stolen my i Pod. I knew it was supposed to be in my jacket pocket because for a brief second during my lunch break, I had given my jacket pocket a quick feel, just to make sure it was still there. I know what I felt and it was my i Pod. I was especially sure of it because I had stupidly left my phone at home, so it could not have been my phone that I felt. My i Pod was there at lunch and now it wasn’t. Why why why did I decide not to wear my coat to the home evaluation that lasted forever? I’m not saying it wasn’t a worthwhile home visit that was worth every last one of the 120 or so minutes I spent there, its just that when you have a 1950’s ranch home that has never been renovated and a rotund, debilitated gentleman who will be going back to said home on 2 liters of oxygen at all times, some issues arise and that means if you are his occupational therapist assessing said home situation for safety, you have to take some extra time to explain some things, like why said gentleman’s 90 lbs wife should NOT EVER walk down the rickety rail-less basement stairs in front of him in order to break his possible fall because actually he would crush her if he were to fall and what they really need are a) railings on the stairs down to the basement or better yet b) a shower on the main level which he can actually access but since b is not possible refer back to a. If you can address this problem and others like it in an hour or less tell me how and I will give you a free i Pod.

Anyway, I felt certain that my i Pod had been ripped from my possesion during that home visit when I was miles from my jacket, which I actually wished I had, because it was colder than I thought it would be. I approached the other therapists who happened to be finishing up their paperwork in the office. There was a neon sign in my brain flashing “SOMEONE HERE STOLE MY IPOD!!!!” I said calmly, “Has anyone seen an i Pod? I can’t find mine.” Someone suggested perhaps I left it in my car. But I knew this was not possible, as I remembered specifically placing it in my jacket pocket and feeling for it at lunch. One of the physical therapists vouched for me, stating how I specifically mentioned to her that I brought the i Pod into work instead of leaving it in my car when we were talking earlier that day about the questionable neighborhood and the parking situation. I got sympathetic glances, surprise and concern that a thief might be in the building, and a couple people peered around on the floor looking for the i Pod but none of this was enough to bring my device back.

I drove home facing the sun as it set quickly behind the purple tinted mountains and felt bad for myself, as much as for having my i Pod stolen as for getting lost again on the way home, not once but twice. Yes I know its a no brainer that when you’re going west you should be facing the mountains but I thought maybe it was just foggier than I thought and was so mad at myself when I finally noticed them. In my rearview mirror. At which point I took the first possible opportunity for a U-Turn. My long drive was now even longer, without even the company of my favorite playlists or the GPS that was ruthlessly stolen from me almost exactly a year ago this day. I couldn’t even call Dan and whine about it because I forgot my phone. I whined to myself for most of the drive home instead. When I told Dan he felt bad for me, but I still didn’t feel better. My mom called me the next morning but I just couldn’t get excited about her meeting with the wedding florist, in part due to the fact that flowers are flowers as far as I am concerned, except pink peonies which I really love and hope to have in my bouquet but beyond that what else is there to talk about, and partly because I was just bummed about the missing i Pod. Why had I even bothered going to work? It would cost me as much as I earned that day just to buy a new one. Or could I live without one? Probably. But why should I be having to debate whether I should live without one or not? The point was, I was violated. It felt icky to know that someone I probably worked with reached into my pocket and took my property. Were they bopping to my “Wake Up” playlist right now? Were they relaxing with my “What the who-ha” (don’t ask) playlist? Did they trade it for crystal meth? I would never know.

The next day I worked at a different building, glad to be going to a place where I was more of a regular, a facility right down the street from me that happens to be an affiliate of the i Pod stealing-manure smelling-70 miles away but 90 if you get lost-Greeley facility. Within a couple of hours one of the managers from said facility called me to say how sorry she was that my i Pod had apparently been stolen on their property. I appreciated her call but still felt disheartened. When my manager arrived at work I asked for five minutes of his time and explained the case of the missing i Pod. He felt bad and said he would email the regional manager to alert him of the problem.

The next day was Saturday, and I was scheduled to work, this time at the hospital. After pressing snooze for the millionth time I donned my scrubs and tried to not feel bad for myself for working on a weekend. It shouldn’t matter considering I end up not working a lot of weekdays but there is always a lingering feeling of “I shouldn’t be working today” when I work on a weekend. Anyway, like usual, the sun was shining and this bolstered my mood somewhat. Headed west, I was thinking about stopping at Vic’s for an Americano and pondered whether there was actually time to get my fix and arrive at work on time (there was) when I spotted something black and shiny out of the corner of my eye. It looked suspiciously like an i Pod. My i Pod to be exact. But how could this be? Did someone perhaps feel badly and return it? But did they really drive all the way from Greeley just to somehow insert the i Pod in my car without breaking any windows or anything? It seemed impossible. Perhaps it was just some random i Pod.. that randomly inserted itself in my car? At the next red light I checked the playlist menu and sure enough, all my playlists were there. So it was definitely my i Pod. I was overwhelmed with shame. Not only had I made news of the stolen i Pod public around work, I had even posted it on Facebook. What kind of tool thinks their i Pod was stolen when it was in their car the whole time??? The same kind of person who is sure their landlord must have come in and stole their broom when actually it was kind of hard to see the broom behind the door and was therefore inexplicably missing for a couple weeks. In other words, me. After I called both of my managers and explained my blunder, the cloud of embarrassment lifted somewhat. I guess the moral of this story is even if you think you know something, like for instance you are 100% sure your i Pod was in your pocket, it is still possible that you don’t know anything at all and you better really check your facts before you go around feeling violated and telling everyone about it.

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