The Loh Life is writer/performer Sandra Tsing Loh's weekly take on life, family, and pop culture in early 21st century Southern California.
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Gentlemen Robbers: Zen Burglary-- part 2

Sandra Tsing Loh appreciates the professionalism of her gentlemen robbers.

So JUST after New Year's our home was burgled, and everyone has been gratifyingly outraged. Exclaimed my friend Diane: "It's not just losing your things, it's the VIOLATION!"

All true-- And yet, I have to say I've EMERGED from the incident feeling very Zen. In this era of Occupy Wall Street and the 99% versus the 1%, whose stuff should be whose anyway?

On the one hand, as someone who has been robbed many times-- I think the first time was in college 30 years ago, probably a Walkman-

Well, I appreciated that our burglars took JUST WHAT THEY NEEDED. . . to get that evening's drug money. Three old cheapo laptops, two 10 year old IPODS, one of which is broken, and a jar of pennies. They took only the power cords required to run the electronic units in question, and left all the other cords plugged in where they were, neatly coiled--

There was no wild ransacking or underwear DRAWER spilling or REDRUM slashed across the bathroom mirror as in a Stephen King movie. As a weathered Angeleno, I appreciated the professionalism. Gentlemen robbers!

Of course, it is quite annoying to have your laptop CONTENT stolen, including not just your Quicken RECORDS but EIGHT YEARS OF WRITING--!

Although.....full disclosure here-- A few months ago, I tripped while carrying my lunch and spilled, I kid you not, an ENTIRE BOWL OF SOUP all over my laptop-- It was one of the most SPECTACULARLY idiotic things I've done-- I watched myself DO it as if in slow MOTION, in a kind of awed disbelief--

The laptop sparked, died, unplug, replug, jiggle plug, totally dead. Weepily I GRIEVED for all of my LOST brilliant work. Fast forward three weeks, the technicians miraculously bring it all BACK-- I have a joyous reunion with all of my old DRAFTS and realize. . . they weren't as great as I thought. They were better in my memory. A kind of Buddhist lesson here. silver lining after a burglary is going through your house and rediscovering treasured items they DIDN'T take. "I hope I still have my fork and spoon earrings-yes! Here they are, still on my nightstand!"

It's like getting things re-gifted! But then you start to wonder, "Well, why DIDN'T they take my fork and spoon earrings? Did they consider my whimsical metal jewelry VALUELESS? Oh no, how insulting, they thought a really really heavy pickle jar of PENNIES was worth more!"
In short, overall, I feel oddly lighter.

Think the incredible lightness of BEING a person who perhaps has too much junk in the first place. I don't WISH to be robbed again, but if there IS a next time I hope they steal our old Christmas tree.