As Carole says, I often have ten balls in the air at once and try very hard not to drop even one. Well, this past week my balls came crashing down!
Tuesday was intended to be one last day at the beach with my girls before school starts. Both girls will be in school this year; Princess P is starting kindergarten and Princess Sweetie Pie in preschool. It’s very exciting and overwhelming all at once. As luck would have it, I had run out of sunscreen. Not an option to go without sunscreen at the beach. One quick stop at the store and we would be on our way to fun in the sun. Upon arrival at the state beach closest to us, I pulled into the parking lot and began digging into the black hole, also known as my purse, for my wallet…Panic! Where is my wallet? I just paid at the store; where is the darn wallet?! I frantically search my mess of a car in every nook and cranny and no wallet! Each minute that passes the knot in my stomach gets tighter…could I be this distracted that I have forgotten my wallet at checkout or in the cart? As I replay the events in my mind, it occurs to me that I better call Target. No luck, they have not had anyone turn in a bright orange wallet.
The next step was checking my bank account and credit card activity, feeling grateful for these amazing apps on our phones that connect us to such invaluable tools and information within seconds. Sure enough, in the short 40 minutes that had passed someone had ordered pizza for delivery and charged over $500 online at Pottery Barn online. They were having a good time with my credit cards while I had to break the news to three little girls that we would be heading back home rather than having our fun in the sun (above photo: the ride home).
The next several hours were spent (wasted) calling numerous financial institutions to cancel cards and notify them of the fraudulent activities and a trip to the local sheriff to file a police report. As I talked to the deputy and recalled the series of events, it became very clear to me the most likely scenario that occurred…I was parked in the very front parking spot in the row during peak hours of the lunch rush. The girls and I were anxious to get to the beach, so in my haste I tossed my open purse on the driver’s seat and leaving the door open went around to the other side of the car to buckle Princess Sweetie Pie into her car seat. In those very short minutes that I was thoroughly distracted by my parental duties, I was a victim of theft resulting in fraud. Thankfully, not too much time passed before I put the red flags out to all my banks and credit cards, but this morning I did start my day with yet another $510 gone from my checking account. Not the best way to start a day.
Always keep your purse zipped or fastened closed to make it more difficult for a quick grab that is easily unnoticed; if it’s easy for you to access, it’s easy for the thief too.
Keep copies or a list of all identification and cards that are kept in your wallet.
Be aware of your surroundings and either keep your purse on you or secure it in your car where it cannot be easily accessed if you are distracted.
You do not need everything but the kitchen sink in your wallet.
A wristlet style wallet or a cross-body purse might be the best, easiest and safest accessory for my currently constant crazy day-to-day life.
Princess Sweetie Pie at the beach on a less stressful day…
Princess P and me on a better day…how I had hoped Tuesday would be!