Yesterday, while walking from one class to another, I walked pass a dollar bill on the ground.
A few steps later, the image of the bill on the ground finished processing in my brain.
“Hey wait, that was a dollar!”
So I did a roundabout and came face to face with the crumpled up dollar bill on the ground.
Two seconds went by and I convinced myself that it wasn’t worth picking up.
But, as I began to head toward the classroom again, another part of me thought I was being incredibly stupid.
“What’s this? You’re hesitating about the seconds it’ll take to pick up that dollar? Oh I’m sorry Mr. Millionaire, you’re suddenly too good to bend over for a dollar. I see how it is.”
Besides the conversation I was having with myself, the whole thing was pretty stupid. Had you been at this particular school, on a hot day in Southern California, you would have seen an idiot pacing back and fort between a crumpled up piece of green paper on the ground.
I eventually picked up the dollar, but at this point, after pacing back and forth about three times, I felt incredibly stupid and shady.
And that’s the really interesting part — when I pick up coins off the ground, I would flip it up in the air, catch it and file the event away as a lucky day.
But for whatever reason, when I find amounts higher than $1 — I’d feel like I’m stealing or something. As if the money didn’t belong to me (and it doesn’t). So to alleviate that feeling, I’d generally throw the money into whatever charity box I come across.
Had I just applied Madame X’s Rule #3: Found Money without question, this whole stupid moment wouldn’t have occurred. Tsk tsk.
How much money will it take for you to pick up money found on the street? $0.10? $0.25? $1.00? Or maybe you won’t pick up money on the street?
Ever got burglarized? Or worse, robbed?
Over eight years ago, I was walking home from school, feeling pretty good about myself because I was getting my “exercise” for the year. As I opened the front door to my house and got ready to dash up the stairs, I noticed some broken pieces of glass on the floor from the backyard door. My eyes followed upward, and when I saw the hole in the backyard door’s lites, I immediately realized what had transpired.
Suddenly, I heard a door slammed-closed upstairs.
I stood there and froze.
Four very long seconds passed by and I decided to slowly walk out of my house. I wasn’t sure if the wind had slammed shut a door, or if the burglar was still in the house — whatever the case, I wasn’t about to stick around to find out.
I ran to the neighbor’s house, rang the doorbell, and upon not getting a response — knocked on the door as calmly as I could.
“Uh, can I borrow your phone? My house got broken into and I’m sort of not sure if the burglar is still around…” I told my neighbor as I stared back at my house.
After telling the police operator the situation, I realized that there’s not much else I can do so I stood there and waited.
To the my citiy’s police department’s credit, two police cruiser showed up within minutes. The officers came up to me and quickly asked me for further information, and what follow suit were like scenes from a television crime drama.
The group of four officers drew their firearms, and two of them proceed to head to the back of my house, in case whoever might still be in the house tries to make a run for it. As the remaining two officers cautiously head into my house via the front door, I looked at my watch and my heart skipped a beat.
It was four in the afternoon — my sister’s class ended earlier. She might have been home.
Oh shit, I thought to myself.
Oh shit, I hope she wasn’t home when this happened. Please, please don’t let her be home.
I wanted to tell the officers, but by this time they were already in my house, and they gave me strict instruction to stay put outside.
Floods of unthinkable images rushed through my mind, and I swallowed hard.
To make matters seeminly more dramatic, it started to rain.
So there I was, holding my neighbor’s phone in one hand, standing in the middle of the street as I wonder if my sister was laying hurt (or worse) in her room — and it was raining.
Yeah, I couldn’t believe it either.
Thankfully, the drama ended there.
No one was upstairs. It was just the wind. My sister decided to hang out with her friends after class that day. My house got ransacked. Socks used as gloves scattered throughout the second floor. A few hundred dollars was taken from my drawer. A couple of thousands dollars and numerous jewelry was stolen from my mom’s room.
My sister’s room was untouched — her room was extremely messy, and the thief didn’t bother to search through her room. Heh.
The detectives told us that it looked like a standard smash and grab job, and by the patterns of ransack, they most likely didn’t stick around for a long time — especially since they didn’t bother to go through my sister’s room.
I wouldn’t say this was an everyday experience, but the fact that I almost forgot about the event made me realized that it didn’t have that much lasting impact on me. Had it not rained that day, I probably would have forgotten about this whole ordeal.
I’ve heard from others that have felt more violated after a burglary, and some have also felt like their privacy was invaded — but for whatever reason, I never felt like that. Of course, had this been a robbery, I imagine my feelings would be quite different.
True, for a few moments while I was standing there in the rain, I was quite scared. All the possible worse case scenarios were running through my head, but upon hearing the all-clear from the officers, I breathe a sigh of relief.
It bummed me out that I didn’t deposit my money into the bank earlier, and my mom was that her valuables were stolen — but at the end, my family was safe, and we all knew that’s what’s really important.
Have you ever been burglarized or robbed? How did you feel afterwards? Feel free to share.
- Pen or pencil.
- “Wireless” Notebook.
Any other sites (especially those gadget sites) giving you a huge list of must-buys — costing over thousands of dollars — can kiss my meat-less ass.
What do you get when you have frugal roommates?
- German (well, Italian) chocolates.
- Tales of driving on the autobahn.
- Three back seat drivers that really are better drivers.
Wait. Scratch that.
That’s for the “what do you get when you have German roommates?” question.
When you have frugal roommates:
- You won’t have to worry about lights being left on.
- You’ll know that the bills will be split fairly.
- You’ll get to eat el cheapo meals (together) and it’ll be a-okay.
- You can cook dinner at home together.
- You can all shop at thrift stores together.
- You can share many household appliances without being stingy about it.
- You can buy generic brand products without worries.
- You can carpool together and they’ll chip in on gas without complaint.
- You can say no thanks to certain costly activities and they won’t be jerks about it.
- You say “Water is just fine,” at the restaurants and no one bats an eye.
I was reading some comments for the identity theft story post at the Mint blog, and boy there are some tough situations out there.
We have comments about identity theft from moms and sisters — pretty difficult stuff.
Have you ever been screwed financially by a family member? It doesn’t necessarily have to be an identity theft situation.
I think I’m extremely fortunate that I’ve never been harmed financially by any famiy member (at least, not that I’m aware of). If it ever happens, I will most likely know how to deal with it practically, but emotionally… eh.