As some of you may know, I’m totally paranoid. I’m convinced that everyone is out to get me in some way. I think the person asking me for directions is distracting me from their partner who is about to grab me and throw me in their van. I won’t leave my purse in the grocery cart because someone is going to grab it or grab my wallet out of it (it happened to my roommate freshman year so I’m not totally off base). I won’t leave my sleeping baby in her car seat in our own garage while I unload because someone could be sneaking by waiting to grab her. I always think a car driving by our house is casing it and that if the outside lights aren’t on that someone will have figured out which we turn off when we’re home and which we leave on when we’re not. Which leads me to the following incredibly embarrassing, yet wildly entertaining, story.
A few months after Peter and I were engaged, I went to visit him in DC. It was only the second time I had been to see him (this is part of my defense). It was February, in Arizona that means sunny and 70, but in DC it means the same old cold, rainy and 40. I had a carry-on bag, a rolling suitcase and an overcoat that I had decided to put on while boarding so I wouldn’t have one more thing to juggle. While walking down the jetway, I received a call from a friend. After informing her that I needed to get off the phone so that I could say my prayers before boarding the plane so that it wouldn’t crash (don’t laugh, it hasn’t failed), I put my phone away. At the same time, the guy behind me in line made some annoying joke – I was half way through a Hail Mary so I wasn’t really listening, but noted that he was standing way too close to me. After getting to my seat and having stowed my rolling suitcase and my carry-on, I realized I didn’t have my phone. I began to search and pat down all of my pockets. The nice passenger next to me asked if I was ok (looking back, he probably thought I was a terrorist. At least, that’s what I would have thought he was if he was doing what I was doing). I stated that I couldn’t find my cell phone and he began to help me look. A minute later, the flight attendant also inquired about what we were doing and began to help us search – she made a call over the loud-speaker to see if anyone found a phone. Picture the entire plane is helping me find the phone. It was then that I noticed that the guy standing way too close to me on the jet way was sitting across the aisle and was closing THE EXACT SAME PHONE AS THE ONE I WAS LOOKING FOR. Coincidence? I think not! No way could T-Mobile give out more than one flip phone…I was overcome with the thought of getting to the baggage claim at Reagan National, not being able to find Peter, not remembering his address so I could take a cab and thinking “If I’d only confronted the guy about stealing my phone!!”. So, I did what any crazy person would do, I stepped across the aisle, asked the man if that was his phone and stated that I could not find my phone that looked VERY similar to his and that he might have taken it out of my coat pocket while on the jet way (I really, REALLY wish I could say that any part of this story was made up…but it’s not 🙂 ). The worst part? The guy sitting next to me and another passenger helped me accuse the poor guy. They said they also observed him standing too close to me. I asked to see his phone – the first person in the phone book was someone named Adam. I don’t know any Adams – it was then that I realized I had just wrongly accused a guy of stealing my phone. Please note, I was not alone in accusing him. This is not a defense, but merely a hope you won’t think I’m totally mental!
Another passenger got smart and decided to call my phone – three calls later, I heard it. It hit me all at once – the sweet relief that the phone wasn’t missing after all, and the absolute horror that I had to admit that it had been in my coat pocket the entire time. Yup. If I was a quicker person, I would have made up that it fell between the seats or something. Sadly, I’m not that fast on my feet and had to play the dumb blonde card…
The worst part is that the poor guy I accused hustled off the plane so fast that I couldn’t profusely apologize. Also, it was a connecting flight and most of the people on the first flight, were also on my second flight to DC. FIVE people asked me while waiting in line to board the second flight if I had my phone with me – they were then quick to let me know that they did not have it, just in case.
The moral of the story is that if you really think someone stole your phone, be sure to involve the entire plane in accusing them. But first, turn out all pockets of your coat, bag and jeans.