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Faith in Humanity: Restored

Last Thursday, I thought that my umbrella had been pick-pocketed from the broken-zippered pocket of my messenger bag while I was riding home on the Metro. It's one of those compact little black umbrellas with a silvery strap like you'd find on a "point and shoot" camera.

The last time I saw my umbrella was in the office, and the strap was peeking out of the zipper. But when I got home, the pocket was empty, so I figured that it had been stolen while I was standing on the platform. I hate losing things, especially when it's my own fault. It's only happened to me a handful of times, but each time has been burned into memory. And it's a completely different thing when it's taken right off my person.

You have to admit, the shiny silver wrist-strap dangling out of the broken zipper would make a tempting target for a thief. It probably looked like a camera (which I've also had stolen from a messenger bag in Santiago, Chile). All things considered, I liked that umbrella. It folded flat and was small enough to slip into my suit jacket. It was my own fault for leaving it accessible in the gaping maw of the open zipper, but this also means that the messenger bag is probably going to get donated. Because, really, what's the point of having a bag that can't carry stuff from point A to point B? If only I'd kept the umbrella on a lanyard.

That said, you can imagine my surprise and delight this morning, when I put everything back into my messenger bag, only to find my umbrella had lodged itself deep inside the flap. That's right, it wasn't stolen after all (but I swear that I emptied that bag out on the floor). The bag's black and the umbrella's black, small, and lightweight...so it really was an easy mistake to make.

But I have to ask: how many times have you been unable to find something and the first thing that comes to mind is "somebody stole it!"? Why do we do that?

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