Being unconventional has its rewards
October 31, 2007
"You don't deserve it if what you've been writing about is true," my dad says, his voice heavy with sadness and frustration. He's referring to my little series of recent columns about 'pronoia,' the antedote to paranoia conceived by writer/astrologer Rob Breszny. It's all about realizing that the universe is a friendly place that's conspiring to give each of us countless blessings and even 'rowdy bliss.'
"I know, it's been a real test," I reply. "But I've been thinking. It was still working. Let's face it. It just doesn't pay to rob an old hippie chick because we've got nothing..."
We both laugh. It's true. Although I almost ALMOST REALLY ALMOST lose my mind last Tuesday after work when I discover that SOMEONE HAD BEEN IN MY HOUSE, by the time my dad and I talk I'm almost ALMOST jovial about it. Sort of. It pays—so to speak (but quite literally)—to have nothing. Nothing stereotypically obvious, that is.
Some fool trudges through my house and trashes the place and runs away with a handful of rolled up quarters. Chump change. It is kind of funny.
It pays—literally—to be a little unconventional when it comes to being a target. Cops say those types always go right to the 'master bedroom' because that's where everyone hides things that have value. For the most part, it's probably true, too. Even if you're just hiding stuff from your kids or casual visitors to the house, the master bedroom in most cases is sacred space—reserved for the king and queen or king or Queen of the castle. Jewelry boxes are made for bedroom dressers—you don't normally see one out in someone's kitchen or living room or even garage for that matter. And important papers, 'emergency money,' and the like are also usually in the hands of the mom and dad or husband and wife and stashed in their sacred, secret place where kids and visitors are off limits.
Well, folks, I'm here to tell you that there's something really cool—'pronoiac' even—for bucking that trend. Though the thief acted in a stereotypical way, this is yet another instance where I'm pleased to say I do not fill a stereotype.
Oh, don't get me wrong, I have precious things. That ticket stub from the first movie so-and-so took me to means a lot. So does that old photo of my mom and dad. The little crystal shot glass Carol gave me—it used to be her mom's—is precious, as is the solid piece of armor—yet another memento—that obviously scared the poor poor creature out of my house. While it's not literally a suit of armor, let me just say it's almost as good as having a cop right there, holding his hand out and shouting 'halt.' It worked like the charm that it is. The thief quit when he came across it.
If this doesn't make too much sense I ask for your indulgence. My head is still reeling from the thought that SOMEONE WAS IN MY HOUSE. I can barely stand to touch the room that this person completely trashed in their frantic search for some rolled up quarters. But it was my penchant for keeping mementos around and visible that stopped the person from ransacking my entire house—which was the case for another family in my area who was hit the same day.
And what about the things I possess that have 'monetary value?' Still mine all mine. Guess why? I'm not your typical victim.
Should I say all this? Maybe not. Whatever. I am not anyone's victim and I refuse the system of fear. No one can take the things that really mean something to me because they are guarded, protected, invisible in plain sight. As with many aspects of my life, most people are too impatient to seek that which matters most. If it's not right out there where it should be on the sleeve, (dresser, drawer, freezer, safe, etc.) it doesn't exist. Isn't that beautiful?
In this case it certainly is. I reiterate that the universe was and is taking care of me. My pets are okay (though I feel so sorry for them, they must have been so scared). I'm okay. My major living space—including my own sleeping spot—was and is untouched by unwelcome hands. I close the door on the trashed hull of a room and it never happened. Poof.
You might say it's magic. In fact, the culprit was in such a hurry to get the hell outta there, there's even a pathetic little trail of change—breadcrumbs, literally—to the door through which they made their hasty exit. It's almost humorous and actually gives me a slight grin. Chump change.
I haven't touched it either, to remind me how valuable the things no one sees truly are.
For those of you who've read these ramblings, I say it's time to buck the trend. Don't be a typical home invasion victim. Don't let some uncreative, dimwitted and truly pitiful thief (though I'm having a hard time feeling sorry for him) take stuff that's valuable to you by putting it right where they expect it to be. And don't for a minute think that they won't tear things up no matter how creative you might think you are. Shelves are pried, floorboards lifted, mattresses shuffled, drawers unhinged and tossed.
Be extremely unconventional. Radical, even. Not paranoid, but pronoiac.
Email Catherine at