Tag Archives: robbery

Am I gender biased by assuming that whoever broke into my house was a guy?

I wrote about how our house got broken into and burglarized a couple of weeks ago. Whatever, by this point it’s old news. My wife and I are fine and, it’s cliché to say, but it was just stuff that got stolen. Everything is just material, it’s all replaceable. Everything except for about a month’s worth of writing. That kind of stung. Ever since then I’ve been struggling to reproduce all that I’ve lost.

But it’s like, I really don’t remember a lot of what I wrote. Or I might have an idea of where I was going, but individual paragraphs? Those subtopics that make up a whole piece? I have no idea. A lot of the stuff that I write, even if I have a plan as to where I’m headed, it just pops into my head as I go along. It’s like this cashew piece that I put up a little while ago. That was a rewrite. After the robbery I tried to make a list of all of the things I had written about. It’s much easier to get going if I at least have a direction.

And so I remembered, oh yeah, I wrote some over-the-top thing about cashews. And so I wrote another over-the-top piece about cashews. But what I wound up writing turned out to be much different than the original. I guess the overall feeling was the same, but those beats, they were all just kind of made up on the spot.

And whereas before I had that huge safety net, like I said, I was about a month ahead of myself, now I’m just trying to commit to building that surplus back up. It’s going to happen, I’ll get back eventually. But right now I’m like, OK, every day, get these things written, let’s do this, I have to do this. That’s a lot of unnecessary pressure. Especially like on days when I have to work, when I only have a fixed amount of time to get my writing done. I don’t have the luxury of staring off into space and daydreaming for an hour or two in hopes of finding something funny or interesting to write about.

That’s right now, I have like twenty minutes before I have to leave. I started thinking about what I’m doing, about that robbery. Specifically, my wife told me how she was telling people at work about the incident. By this point, we’ve both told so many people the details, we’ve covered it individually from countless different perspectives. The story is down. If you come up to me and start asking me about what happened, all of my answers are totally programmed into my head.

And so while my wife was answering some question, explaining how the guys must have jumped the fence, climbed up the gutter and balanced on the air conditioner while breaking in through the bathroom window, some guy interrupted her and said something to the effect of, “Don’t you think you’re being a little gender-biased in assuming that the robbers were male?”

My wife told this to me and I was like, “You’re kidding, right? Someone actually said that to you? Was he making a joke?” He did say it and, as far as my wife could tell, he wasn’t joking around.

Say what you want about gender equality, while I don’t have footage of the robbery, I’m almost positive that it wasn’t a couple of women that burglarized our house. I want to say that I’m one hundred percent positive, but yeah, I guess theoretically it could have been women. Although, come on, just think about it, I can’t exactly explain my certainty, but I am certain. I’m absolutely convinced that it was at least two men who committed the robbery.

Is it wrong of me to think so? Am I being gender biased? I don’t think so. You just don’t see women, or, you don’t see too many reports of women going around engaging in this type of criminal behavior. But that’s beside the point. Is that what gender equality is all about? Is that where we’re supposed to be headed as a species, that when something wrong goes down, we’ll all be able to say to ourselves, “Well, whoever did this, let’s be mindful of the fact that it could have been either a man or a woman.”

It doesn’t matter. I want something to identify with when I imagine these assholes. I don’t want a vague sense that possibly any human being could have been involved. Of course, I don’t want to go so far as to imagine an identity, an ethnicity or anything like that. I’d feel like a jerk, like a racist. But I don’t feel bad at all in my certainty that it was a couple of dudes.

Whatever, it’s over. I just hope that guy was joking around with my wife. Because who interrupts someone talking about how their house got broken into with such a ridiculous question? It just seems a little insensitive, like there might be a better time or place to talk about gender bias.

Someone broke into our house and stole everything

Someone just broke into our house and robbed us blind. I’m only writing about it because whoever burglarized us stole my computer, including all of my blog posts that I had written out for the next month or so. So now I don’t have anything. I’ve been doing this every day for over a year, always with a hefty surplus of essays in my pocket in case I have a day where I can’t think of anything to write about or I don’t have any time to sit down at my computer. I usually back up my work every once in a while, but I guess I grew a little complacent.

This is crazy. I spent the whole morning at work. I came home around six-thirty and everything was fine. My wife was out all day and came back at around eight. It was a really nice night out, so we decided to take the dog for a walk to the park.

We were out a little over an hour. We stopped for ice cream and started making plans for what we’d do for dinner. We made it back to the house and I put my keys in the front door, but it only opened up like an inch before getting caught. On what? It was that chain lock, the kind you find on every hotel room door, a chain that I didn’t even know existed, it came with the house but we’ve never used it, but it’s something that could have only been hooked from the inside.

It didn’t make any sense. It was one of those actions that I do so many times throughout the course of the day, I put my keys in the doorknob and open up. And when it didn’t open my brain just couldn’t provide me with an immediate answer. I was just staring at it for a good ten or fifteen seconds, not really thinking about a break-in, not really thinking anything at all. It was just, “does not compute, does not compute,” in my brain, over and over again until …

And then it was obvious. Someone broke into our house. I said it aloud to my wife, “Someone broke in the house,” and I reached my hand inside that crack, I couldn’t make it to the chain, but I could flip on the lights which, once turned on, they illuminated our living room, totally ransacked.

I immediately thought about my laptop, all of my writing. “It’s not there,” my wife saw our kitchen table, empty. I started thinking about what else might be gone, the XBOX, my guitars. Again, my mind started freezing up, I was paralyzed, and when I finally realized that I wasn’t doing anything, I made it a point to act, to do something, even though I didn’t know what I should have be doing.

Let’s get inside first, I thought. I had never done anything like this before, but I decided that I had to kick the front door open. It shouldn’t be too hard to break the chain, I thought to myself, I’ll just take a step back like they do in the movies and try to put all of my body’s weight into the middle of my right foot as I – KICK. Thud. Nothing. It didn’t work. That was frustrating.

Let’s try this again, I wound up, harder this time and, bingo, the chain came off. I immediately ran upstairs to check if anybody was still inside. I came back down and headed out through the back yard, right past the garage, out into the alleyway that leads to the next street. Nothing. There was nobody around. I started running. I was running down our block, then down the next one.

I’m a good runner so my body automatically shifted into distance mode. I covered all three adjoining streets in every direction, but still nothing. What was I looking for, a bunch of guys running away holding our stuff, right? That’s what I was thinking, I think. We were only gone for like an hour, how far away could they have ran?

But nothing, nobody, nothing. I made it back to the house and got on my bike. But the further I extended my search outward, the more futile I realize my actions were. Maybe these guys were in a car. Maybe there ere a bunch of them and, what was I planning on doing exactly if I did somehow run into anybody?

I made it home, I took a more measured look around the house. They must have jumped the backyard fence, climbed up the gutter, and busted through the bathroom window. The cops came, they filled out a bunch of paperwork. The detectives came, they told us that we can’t clean anything up until someone shows up before Tuesday to dust for prints. All I can do is sit here. That’s it.

Whatever, a couple of laptops, an XBOX, all of my wife’s jewelry, yeah, that sucks, but it’s all just stuff, we’ll replace it eventually. That’s what I’m telling myself anyway as I sit here writing this all out on my old desktop computer that was probably too big and out of the way for the thieves to make off with. It stings though, having had stuff and now not having it. I like to think of myself as this enlightened progressive guy, but stuff like this shows me that I’m just as materialistic as anybody else. But what really hurts is my work, my writing. I was like thirteen thousand words deep into a novel I was trying to write. Like I already said, my blog posts for the next month are gone, and I’m going to have to sit here and wing it every day until I can slowly build back up enough reserve posts. What a setback.

This sucks. I want to find out who did this. I want to kick down their door and steal all of their stuff. Fucking assholes. But what am I going to do? That’s the worst part about all of this, the sitting and stewing, the impotent rage as I wait here totally helpless, I’m not Batman, I’m nobody, and some other nobody just broke into our house and stole all of our shit. Fucking assholes.