They call him Tator Salad.

So, how was your weekend? Good? I bet not as good as mine….

We typically use our weekends to complete the normal chores: grocery shopping, cleaning the house, completing mounds of laundry, and lounging about. On Saturday, we headed to Target to try to find a baby gate big enough to contain the small, yet extremely fast, baby. As a family of five, it is no small feat to get us all out of the house and to our destination relatively unscathed.

After a not-so-successful shopping trip (but J did get sneakers, so there’s that), we all loaded back into our vehicle to head to the grocery store. The big kids clamored in and got buckled, Husband took the baby to hook into the car seat, and I took the shopping cart back to the corral.

We took off down the highway when Husband suggested a stop at TJMaxx. Be still my heart. Why yes, dear Husband, I would love to go to TJMaxx. As we pulled into a parking space, I casually said, “Husband, did you grab my purse out of the shopping cart?” 

I will save you the suspense. No, he did not grab my purse. No, it was not at my feet in the truck, and no, it was not in the way back with our goodies from Target. I knew exactly where it was. I left it in the shopping cart and sent it careening into the corral at Target.

Husband got us back to Target as fast as humanly possible but my purse was not there. Oh, and no one turned it into customer service either. I think it fell in between the seat part of the cart and the basket (that little space on the side), which is why I didn’t notice that it was still in there. Or, I haven’t slept in 11 months and was in a fog. Or, I was just trying to get the two older bickering kids out of the public eye as soon as possible. Or, I’m just an idiot. Regardless of the reason, I cannot believe that I left my purse in a shopping cart. From the time I realized my purse was gone to the time we made it back to Target: 15 minutes.

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to my Husband who immediately started calling our bank to get my card turned off. The next half hour I spent contacting our banks and reporting all of my credit cards lost/stolen. Everything was closed and reissued without any unauthorized purchases….whew.

Then the feeling of extreme violation set in. Someone out there had my purse. An old, well-loved Coach bag that Husband bought me many moons ago. Inside, some floss, my wallet, some lip gloss….but it was mine. Someone out there now knew my address; had my insurance cards that have all of our names on them. Someone was sifting through my wallet…my credit cards….my library card…oh, and was enjoying the $70 cash that was in there.

After feeling like a giant dolt, and some hours later, a message came through on Facebook from an unknown person.

“Hi, I found your purse on the side of the road by Target, and there are a bunch of cards in there. I hope this is the right person.”

Holy crap. Someone was actually reaching out that they had my purse. Maybe there are good people in this world that actually want to do the right thing! FAITH IN HUMANITY RESTORED!

I eagerly responded….THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. Can we meet?

This person started in on the story. They have three kids (yep, me too), gas money is tight, they don’t know if they can meet me…..

And then…..”is there a reward.”

Seriously?!?!? Faith in humanity crushed.

What the hell. Really? You want a reward for doing the right thing?

I said, well, I’m assuming that whoever took my purse already took the cash that is in there, and that’s all I have. But Husband suggested I add that he could meet her after “he got off duty” and wasn’t sure if he had the “cruiser or the car” and there may be some cash in there….radio silence for the rest of the night.

I reached out again Sunday morning asking if we could meet. No more talk of a reward on the part of the mystery person. The person kept putting me off with very curt, short answers. I was trying to accept the fact that I would probably never see my purse or it’s contents again.

Then…a miracle happened. We could drive to meet the person close to their location and I would get my purse.

We all quickly jumped into the car and made a beeline for the hand off. We pulled into the parking lot mere seconds after the other car.

A man exited the vehicle and walked over to my rolled down window. Again, I made it known my extreme thanks. And he said….

“Maybe you shouldn’t leave your purse in a shopping cart.”

Did you catch that? Not once did I ever let the person who I was speaking with know where I had left it….that mystery person said they had found it on the side of the road. THESE JACK-HOLES ARE THE ONES WHO STOLE MY PURSE.

They took the cash (obviously) and when trying to buy God knows what online and realizing that none of my cards worked, reached out with the front of being “good” people (and I use that term SO LOOSELY), with the hope of getting more cash out of me.

Too bad, so sad, that didn’t work out for them.

In the 24-ish hours that my purse spent in their possession, they were so kind to leave me with a gift: the stink. We are not smokers. They obviously were.

Removing the stink in the freezer among peas and breastmilk.

Now, at this point, you may be wondering why I didn’t just call the police since I had the name of the person through Facebook Messenger. Well, my dear reader, the person’s name, was Tator Salad. Oh yes…spelled wrong and all.

Thank you Tator Salad for pretending to be a good person and returning my purse. I’m sorry the example that you are setting for your kids. Unlike you, my kids have been taught that if they find something that does not belong to them, to try to find the rightful owner, or to turn it into the police. And thank you, Tator, because I now also know your license plate.




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