Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Faith, Reinforced

Sunday was Get The Heck Out of Dodge Day. By 9:30 in the morning, Melissa and I were screaming and laughing our way up I-57 on our way to Chicago. By noon we were sitting in a place called Ada's Famous Cafe & Deli, trying to decide on brunch or lunch before we engulfed ourselves in culture: Agenda for the day: The Art Institute.

After a little snack,

!!! A reuben sandwich at Ada's.

we schlepped to the museum, and spent the next 5 hours admiring art, and impressing everyone within earshot with insightful commentary such as "I don't get it."

By 6:00 we left the Institute with sore feet, sore backs, and a desperate need for hydration coffee and chocolate. We holed up in a window seat of a cafe for an hour or so of people watchin'.

I swear I'm trying to eliminate bathroom stories from my blog, but the topic just keeps coming up. Nothing graphic here, just a sidenote that Gent's was Out of Order, and a new generic "His & Hers" sign was taped over "Ladies." During my visit there, someone repeatedly rattled the door handle, causing me to rush through the handwashing. I opened the door and slid past a guy that seemed to be in a major hurry.

A few minutes later my restroom Evacuator approached me. He had my purse in his hand.

My purse. Credit cards. Money. Camera. All handed back to me on a silver platter by a knight in shining armor in the middle of the big city. What're the odds?

Melissa and I then headed back to the car. We'd parked in an automated garage, that required payment at a vending machine. We got off the elevator, and each stuck in $20 to cover the $24 bill. The machine started kicking out change in $1 bills.

$16 isn't that much money, but it sure looks like a lot when it's flying out of the machine a buck at a time, falling all over the floor. Melissa couldn't get a grip on all that dough, and was ass-end up, laughing and trying to gather it, when a man stepped off the elevator behind her. She had no idea he was there, and jumped when she straightened up. We scurried off into the garage...

...in the wrong direction. And then in the wrong direction again. So, there we were, a couple of blondies lost and wandering around a city garage, carrying fistfuls of dollars.

We found the car, got in to count and find we were $3 short; we'd either been ripped off or we'd left a Hansel & Gretel trail to the car, where we sat and counted the money 3 times.

After that, we wandered off to unchartered territory, parked the car in a neighborhood strange to us, and walked to a cool sushi restaurant we'd spotted.

Melissa later recounted our day to her boyfriend, who *happens* to be a Cook County Sheriff.

His response, which I've been assured was spoken with a tone of laughter and love was: "You two are a criminal's wet dream."

Hey, I resemble that remark! I was completely aware of my surroundings at all times; remember, I wrote this last Fall.

All right, it is not lost on me that we were very lucky. I know that Sunday could have had a lot of different twists to it, leaving me to write a much different blog tonight. There was a lot of potential for a lot more disaster, some of which I out-and-out invited with my own absent-mindedness.

However, if I had the day to do over, I'd do everything the same--except for one thing. I'll bet you're thinking I'd have held on to my purse.

Nope. I'd lose the purse again.

What I'd do over, better, is to thank the man that returned it to me.

I'd thank him with proper enthusiasm; I'd give him a hug, instead of standing there slack-jawed in shock and blurping out a lame, "ohmigawd, thanks!"

I'd thank him for giving me the gift of once again experiencing appreciation and gratitude. Can we stop and feel those things too many times in our life?

I'd thank him for reinforcing my belief that people are inherently good.


  1. Great post and great story.

    I am also kinda shocked at the reuben sandwich - is that a beef patty?
    no corned beef? I'm sure it was delish, but what's with the lemon slices on lettuce? was it a fish reuben?

  2. What's in a reuben sandwich? You've made me hungry. I'm only just come home to realise I have no decent food in the fridge. And so looking at your reuben sandwich..I'm thinking..this would make a GREAT dinner. If only.

    People surprise you every so often. Nice to know your faith in human kind isn't in vain.

  3. Mad Mary: Thanks; actually it was a Carolina Reuben (or some state) made with turkey and cole slaw; I forgot to mention that.

    Edina: Traditionally a reuben sandwich consists of corned beef, sauerkraut, 1000-Island dressing, and swiss cheese, on a dark bread, usually rye.

  4. What a nice story. I was very touched by that man returning your purse. People ARE good.

    Most of 'em. ;0) [heh heh]

  5. I loved this post, it made me want to schedule a fun outing with a friend. Then I read your post about her wallet being stolen. How awful. I bet many people have ordered a reuben since they read you post....I did last night!

  6. I love this! My best friend & I meet in Chicago to get away... and though we both have brown hair, the story resonates! Glad you got your purse back!

    Did you know the Reuben was invented at the Blackstone Hotel in Omaha? (useless fact #234)


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