I’ve been obsessing over burglary the past few days. My sister forwarded me some information on a community meeting regarding break-ins that have been happening in our area. There have been something like 16 in the last month, and I partially blame that one police officer who I always see parked outside of Starbucks because maybe he should be patrolling the neighborhood rather than reading Martha Stewart Living and drinking his 7th mocha of the day.
I don’t deal well with the thoughts of strangers touching my things or, worse even, taking them. I get really angry and then I get really scared and paranoid. The last time issues like this came up, Janie and I were living in a rental four houses down from my sister. Her neighbor had a break in and once I got word of that, I wouldn’t leave the house because I was sure someone was going to come in and steal something, like my sanity. I decided that if I ever left the house, it would need to look like I hadn’t. I programmed our television to turn on for 30 minutes at a time several times per day. The lights were all on timers. Sometimes I left the radio on so it would sound like talking. I barricaded our back door in our kitchen with the microwave cart and installed some special locks on the laundry room door that the landlord didn’t appreciate.
I have felt very safe since we moved into our condo, but this new crime wave has the old feelings of helplessness bubbling back up. Janie does her best to allay my fears, but mostly I think she hopes I won’t mess with the timer on the new television because the other one won’t stop turning on and off several times a day, no matter what we do to it. I’ve been doing a little research into small fixes to upgrade our safety protection and I’m pretty sure Janie, the cats and I will enjoy some special family time together in our new panic room.