This is what they call a life lesson

It’s not exactly fun when you’re experiencing it, but you’ll be able to look back at it ten years from now and know you learned from it.

I went on a fancy pub crawl last night with a bunch of the other grad students. The last place was a dance club, so I wanted to ditch my coat. Knowing this was potentially a bad idea in a crowded club, I took my driver’s license, student ID, credit card, and phone out of my coat pockets and stashed them in my bra (yes, I can can use my boobs for storage).

Problem: I forgot I also had my keys in my coat pocket. And my coat got stolen. Goodbye, apartment, lab, and car keys.

After being the Classy Hysterically Crying Drunk Girl in The Club, my friends eventually got me into a cab and I crashed at their place. I looked like the ultimate Walk of Shame this morning, with my black cocktail dress, blistering/bleeding heels from dancing in dress shoes, hangover, and male friend’s oversized jacket (since I was cold and obviously no longer had mine). I then sat in front of my house for 45 minutes until the locksmith came. I called the club to see if anyone turned anything in on the off chance someone accidentally took my coat and returned it, but no one answered and I got a defunct voicemail box.

I’m now in my apartment and I have a spare key, so that crisis is temporarily averted. But I’m still car-keyless…and I have to drive to Eugene, OR for a speaking event on Friday. Fuck.

Lesson: Don’t be fucking stupid and make it easy for people to take your shit.

The stupidest part? I know this will be alright, I can replace locks, I can get a new car key, I can buy a new coat (even though I really liked that one)… but I can’t replace my Venusaur keychain. I won that in a Pokemon tournament 13 years ago, and I still loved it. It’s stupid to care about a little piece of beat up nerdy plastic when your keys are gone… but I’m sentimental. It’s depressing losing a symbol of your childhood due to…well, not thinking like an adult.

And to add insult to injury, during the night out I got rejected by a guy I like in a pretty stupendously awkward way, and I’m worried I’ve ruined our friendship. When it rains, it pours.


  1. says

    Some times bad things happen. It’s what you do afterwards that counts.If they guy rejects your friendship because you have feelings for him, then maybe he was never your friend to begin with?

  2. says

    I’m right there with you. When I was 18 and in the Marines someone stole my flak jacket, which had my poetry notebook in it, while I was drunk. While I had somehow stored the important poems elsewhere, there’s sentimental value in those words that can never be recovered.

  3. says

    I don’t think it’s stupid, or even silly, to miss the keychain more than the keys. Keys are just utilitarian bits of metal. Sure, they get us access to things, but they’re just tools that we rarely bother to think about. They keychain, on the other hand, is an object that has meaning (or meanings, for that matter) attached to it. So while it might be of less utility than the keys, it’s of greater importance.Which you probably already knew, really. It’s almost 1am and I had a show tonight. I suspect I’m babbling. That aside, I suggest checking out the work of a guy named John Russon. It is philosophy :p, but he has some interesting things to say about objects and their connection to identity.

  4. says

    i would be equally upset by the loss of my keychains, it’s not silly. and that does suck hard, i’ve been there. at least you’re in your house. don’t suppose your parents have a spare set of your car keys they can fedex?

  5. says

    At least in a few weeks you’ll be at the upcoming conference in Kamloops and I can interview you again for Radio Freethinker! Interviews make all the problems in the world go away :)

  6. Cbc says

    When I lost my car keys, I looked up dealerships that could replace the key based on the VIN. Good luck. Though, short term, Amtrak would be an excellent solution. I always enjoy the trip.

  7. Gilles says

    Bah you can nearly always come back from crippling awkardness; the best thing would be some self-deprecating humor with him (but then I’m belgian, that’s kind of our specialty)

  8. says

    I use amtrak often and it is a relaxing way to travel. I’m sorry all that happened for you. It can be so much more frustrating when you’re looking forward to a night out and so many things go wrong. On a side note… you’re coming to Eugene?! What speaking event?!

  9. Epistaxis says

    Hey, at least the coat has a silver lining, as it were: you were smart enough to take your phone and cards out of the pockets just in case something like this happened, and lo and behold, that good call saved you a much bigger world of hurt than just keys.

  10. says

    I totally get the nostalgia for card games thing. I was on my way to pick a friend up yesterday and had to pass by the shop I used to play CCGs at 15 years ago every Fri/Sat night for several years. Even though my main game I played went out of print 10 years ago, it was still a nice feeling to know that shop was there. But when I drove by, it was gone. The building was gutted.So what did I do? I dusted off my old decks and taught my friend to play.

  11. says

    I once confessed to a friend of mine and got rejected. It was awkward for a while, but now we’re comfortably back in the Friend Zone. You’ll feel better eventually.Can’t say the same about that keychain, though. :(

  12. says

    I totally get what you’re saying about the keychain. I have a little plastic souvenir from touring the Guinness brewery in, omg, 1985. It has been superglued together at least twice and I once spent a good hour crawling up a busy sidewalk on my hands and knees, retracing my path from where it fell off the keyring.And the only reason this kind of thing has never happened to me is that I have no boob storage space, so all the vital bits of my life stay on my person no matter what.

  13. ChrisP says

    Yet another anecdote that may be helpful: my friends/parents/sister basically spent two years convinced that me and my best friend were enamored with one another, and eventually we must have started being convinced ourselves. We ended up dating of sorts for a week, before realizing how awkward the whole situation was. There were a good four months were we barely spoke, but eventually we worked it out.Still quite good friends with her, and hang out with her every time she is in town to visit her brother.Okay, that was somewhat rambling, but the point was that even something as completely awkward as going on your first romantic date ever with your current best friend can be salvaged, provided the friendship has a solid foundation.Oh, on a different note, did Jen say she had keys to your school’s lab among the lost keys? I hope she have informed the professor or whomever. (I would assume she remembered to, but I recall the time I had my wallet stolen at Heathrow, and was so relieved that I still had my passport that I completely forgot about canceling the cards for three days).

  14. says

    Hey, I got a far more embarassing life-lesson story. It too involves being drunk, losing a coat and losing something important. The coat was my favourite leather jacket, pretty irreplaceable for a student with no income. The other loss was my CD walkman containing my favourite CD which had been signed by the singer and guitarist of the band (Greg Dulli and Rick McCollum of The Afghan Whigs). The reason for the loss? Mt friends and I had gotten drunk one Saturday afternoon and decided that it’d be a good idea to see what all the fuss over strip clubs was about.Next morning I awoke to find someone had annexed my jacket, walkman, CD and dignity. That’s karma for you :-)

  15. says

    My advice is to take him out for waffles. Waffles can make anything cool again. Works like a charm for unrequited akward advances. Call the guy up and say “Man last night got weird. You know what will fix it. Waffles. You in or out, Bro.” YMMV, but it’s worked for me.

  16. Poose says

    Jen, you have my sympathy.Been there-done that.I’m crafting a longer response based on my experiences which I will send privately. Till then know I feel your pain, and please stay safe.Poose

  17. Jason says

    Don’t sweat it. This is a little speed-bump. You’re good enough, smart enough, and, gosh-darnit, people like you….and you’re probably too young to understand that. *sigh* ;)

  18. Jackhuskey says

    Hope all the other discomfort from this heals up soon but I gotta say that any man who would reject your advances is a great fool. Your beauty and intellect and sence of humor make you a prize beyond measure.

  19. the_Siliconopolitan says

    Has anyone suggested that this is God punishing/testing you yet?

    and I’m worried I’ve ruined our friendship

    His loss, if he can’t deal with it.And I doubt it can be worse than what I’ve done in the past.

  20. michael d says

    “In to each life some rain must fall but too much is falling in mine.”Sorry things aren’t going your way Jen.

  21. Eric_RoM says

    1) that Nietzsche line is purest bullshit.2) Jen, sorry for the sucky night.3) Nothing makes you feel smarter than a car Hide-A-Key®.

  22. Joe T says

    My recommendation? A good work out. Always makes me feel better about myself. It’s like the healthy equivalent of doing drugs!

  23. says

    Aww – hugs and sympathy, Jen. It sucks to lose something with sentimental value, and replacing keys is a royal pain. I hope you’re at least taking some comfort in having had the foresight to stash your phone and ID cards in an, ahem, safe place. Having to replace all of those too would have made a bad situation even worse.As for your friend, judging by your other recent post, he clearly doesn’t know what he’s missing. But take heart! You should just go to more atheist conferences; I hear those events are just packed with single guys looking for dates. :P

  24. Jeanette says

    Aww!! Well, upon us all a little bit of rain must fall, but I hope everything works out for you as quickly as possible. I’m especially sorry about the pokemon chain thing, I’m very forgetful and have lost numerous sentimental things like that :(

  25. Charon says

    Seconded. I think the west coast (Vancouver B.C. to San Diego) is perfectly set up for high-speed rail, but until that day… there is a train, it does work, and it’s a pretty trip.

  26. J. Mark says

    I love how you just put it all out there…BTW, It’s NOT stupid at all to care about a little piece of beat up nerdy plastic…’s pretty normal…..people attach themselves to objects….Heck, you’re the most popular, nerdy, atheist girl out there, and I think most guys….especially atheist guys, like a really smart girl……I’m just sayin’….

  27. Chris says

    Hugs. Sentimental things are sentimental. There a bunch of sentimental things in my house from my hubby’s baseball glove to various stuffed toys in my kids’s room (even the one who moved out).I had my summer savings taken from me by an airport pickpocket when I was sixteen. This is why I do not carry a purse and have actually sewn pockets into clothes (I also have a tiny bag that attaches). There is a place on Lake City Way at about 110th that replaced our car locks and keys when an idiot jammed the locks to break in and grab change. He got a couple of dollars and did not manage to pry the cheap radio/CD player from the dash, the car ended up with a few hundred dollars worth of damage (both doors with locks and the dashboard). Not sure how bright he was for breaking into a thirteen year old Toyota.

  28. Jwilder204 says

    Jen, every time you blame yourself for “being stupid” and letting a thief take your stuff, some girl somewhere blames herself for “being slutty” and getting raped.You should check your message.

  29. Svlad Cjelli says

    Done so repeatedly. Just don’t be an idiot about it, Jen, and it’ll probably be fine. I know a common impulse, especially with young people, is the old, “Oh, no, things are bad – Quick, make it worse!”

  30. Svlad Cjelli says

    Of course, a trophy is worth more than some random bandaid or screwdriver. Only thing that makes keys different is that they make your trophy collection vulnerable.

  31. Svlad Cjelli says

    The upside of growing up bitter (I got less bitter) is that Thief has trouble working through my Sticky Hold and Iron Barbs. I would never leave my coat unattended. I expect every stranger to pick my pockets.

  32. Amii says

    Crippling awkwardness can lead to a deeper friendship. Generally, guys have to live with rejection a lot more than women, and be very gracious about it. But they do manage nicely to maintain friendships. I agree with Gilles that what’s called for is some humor at your expense to show him that you are not a mental stalker. We all have pretty big egos, and he may be worried that you’re pining for him in some creepy, unhealthy way.

  33. Jim says

    I would be a mess if i lost my Triforce keychain, that sucks so bad. If you can get past the awkwardness then things will be cool at least you had the balls to go and try! never have myself doubt i ever will. Great i ment this to be uplifting and it just came out depressing sorry.

  34. says

    I am strangely sentimental about weird things like that too. I don’t have a good example, but I know what you are talking about. Also, it makes me feel a little better to know that there are other rational, smart and great woman out there who can sometimes get emotionally distraught over a guy.

  35. Argent Reivich says

    and he rejected you while you were wearing the cocktail dress from the previous photo?Fool.

  36. Unbeliever says

    Jen:Everything I try to write starts with “Any guy who…” :)Which would then inevitably continue by noting your hot smart atheist geekness, and adding a forlorn “Where were you when…?”[Which would, of course, be properly answered, “In kindergarten” — resulting in embarrassed shame on my part.]So, you know, never mind. Sorry to hear about your keys, though… :)

  37. says

    I know how you feel. My wallet was recently stolen and, in addition to being concerned about my personal information, I was also upset about a baby picture of my brother and a used Harry Potter gift card that had been in the wallet.

  38. Furquis says

    About that hangover…I used to get them superbad, someone recommended Party Smart pills, I know it sounds ridiculous. It’s not a Get Out Of Jail Free card, but it definitely helps you get on your feet the next day. And that’s a life lesson that took me over a decade to learn…

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