Life in 409

This blog is about my quest to declutter my apartment. It focuses on clutter, decluttering, and the endless quest to separate the junk from the important stuff - at home and in life.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

On the Street Where You Live

I guess I'm not much of a blogger, for reals. There's lots I've been meaning to write about, but I never actually put pen to paper (or hands to keyboard) and do it. Today, though, I need to vent about something.

My husband has been wanting a GPS for quite some time. I was very resistant because I don't like the whole idea of them. I think they contribute to the dumbing-down of society. I think people should learn to read maps and know how to get around. But after getting lost and engaging in yet another argument (and another and another), I finally decided to buy him one for Chanukah.

I gave it to him on Friday the 3rd. I even used it the other day and I admit, playing around with the different voices and options is even kinda fun.

Then today he calls me and says the super rang his bell to tell him someone broke our window. Or more accurately, smashed it with a rock. And bam, no more GPS.

It just makes me so angry. The unit itself wasn't high-end, it was less than $120 with the tax. The broken minivan window will set us back a few hundred dollars (we have a $500 comprehensive deductible and we don't have full glass protection). The aggravation of filing a police report, finding a glazier, cleaning the mess - priceless. Did I mention it makes me so damn angry?

I try to teach my kids right from wrong. I try to embrace my husband's philosophy that "anything that can be replaced with money isn't really that important." But I already spent a buttload of money this season -- including "Winter Wishes" gifts for underprivileged children, which my husband dropped off by using the GPS to find the facility, by the way -- and now I have to shell out more because some piece of sh*t decided to rob me?

In desperation, I called my credit card company, which has a Purchase Assurance plan, that reimburses for stolen items if it is less than 90 days from the purchase date. Oh joy!!!! Hurrah!!! What? Not so fast. It does not cover items stolen "from the inside or outside of a vehicle." GREAT. (I am going to try to file a claim anyway - it couldn't hurt.)

So now the husband, who is home in 409 with not one, not two, but THREE sick children (youngest has a random fever, middle has a tummy ache, cough and sniffles, oldest puked this morning) is dealing with the NYPD, the insurance company, and who knows what else, and I am here at work trying to channel my anger into this post.

This isn't the first time I've been robbed in the neighborhood. Our old car, a 1996 Oldsmobile, was broken into several times in the late 90s. The thieves would steal the computer chip that controlled the car... apparently they could sell it for a quick $100 but it cost us $400+ to replace each time. It was stolen at least 3 or 4 times between 1997 and 1999. Finally they took the whole car (not off our block though; it was parked on a busy street in another neighborhood) off our hands. It was found a week later, not by the NYPD, but by someone who had noticed it parked on a dead end street for several days. He had found a receipt with our names, and called us to let us know. The thing was stripped and a total loss. On our current van, we've had the driver's side mirror stolen a few times, as well as the radio antenna.

Besides than the car, there's been other incidents. A few years ago, I had cash stolen from inside my apartment. I am 99.9 percent sure it was my young neighbor, but I couldn't prove it -- and his mom said he didn't do it -- but that's a story for another day. Oh, and just the other day, we had a package delivered and left in front of our door - my husband left it out in the hall while he brought the kids in, and when he went out to get it a little later, it was gone.

So tell me - what am I supposed to do with this helpless, angry feeling? How am I supposed to teach my kids any values? And on the flip, how can I teach them not to get hung up on material things, when I am so hung up on this right now?

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