The Art Of Losing

A colleague told me on Friday that it had been scientifically proven that it was the happiest day of the year. Ok, it was also his birthday so he may have just made it up, but I’ve heard of these equations, designed to make those of us who aren’t deliriously happy on that day feel inadequate so maybe he was right, although it felt like a fairly ordinary day to me.

After the football however, I suspect many people in England were inclined to agree that it was indeed the happiest day of the year so far, and they couldn’t believe their team’s luck – sorry, talent. Sadly I was not joining in with the celebrations. Oh, I was in the pub and I support England, but during the last half hour of the match (the best bit apparently) I was outside on a friend’s phone trying to get through to Orange customer support to report my phone as stolen.

I have lived in London for nearly 15 years, I’m pretty street-wise and extremely paranoid. If I was having dinner at The Wolesley I would probably wrap the strap of my handbag around my foot in case of a snatch and grab incident. Therefore it might not come as a surprise to discover that I have never been robbed…so I guess you could say I had it coming. I was pick-pocketed by a c*ntful dodger…I patted my phone into my back jeans pocket (I normally walk around with my hand on my arse to keep it in place), then I leaned over the bar to order a drink, and then it was gone. I should have screamed ‘SOMEONE JUST STOLE MY PHONE – DON’T LET ANYONE LEAVE THIS ESTABLISHMENT UNTIL WE HAVE FOUND THE CULPRIT!’ But of course I didn’t, I didn’t want to be ‘that’ girl so I looked around, pulled my friend over to one side to avoid interrupting any conversations/football watching and I quietly said, ‘I think my phone’s been pinched, let’s look through all my bags just to be sure.’

And here we have the age-old conundrum; social embarrassment or death. It seems I choose death (or bad things happening) every time. Several years ago I was on a plane with my sister – we were going to Las Vegas to meet up with our cousin who we rarely see. We were excited. We were given bulkhead seats which made us even more excited. Halfway through the flight two meatheads, Scotch in hand, wandered through the plane. They stopped just in front of our seats, next to the emergency exit door, and decided to hang out there for a bit, just chatting. The Scotch took hold and they got more relaxed, evident by them leaning on said door, and then on the big red handle on said door. What did my sister and I do? Did we call for a flight attendant? Did we say, ‘Excuse me sirs but would you mind not leaning on the handle of that door which leads to certain death?’ No, of course not, we got nervous and fidgety and then started to giggle until we were crying with hysterical laughter at our inability to confront these men who could have easily ended our short lives – but hey, at least we would have died laughing.

So I know this is a recurring theme with me, but I am still angry with myself for my handling of the phone incident. Being the paranoid bitch that I am, I have pictured my reaction to having something stolen a thousand times. I have decided exactly what I would do and how I would respond and it’s never embarrassing to stand up to the criminals but when it came to it I did nothing. I panicked, I was not a hero, I was not brave. I was simply gutted, and angry. I don’t care about the physical phone at all, but I do care about the reams of data and contacts I had in there, which were not backed up. You heard me right, it was not backed up. Guess what? I’ve been meaning to make sure it was backed up for ages, but there is so little to be rebellious about when you’re 35 that I have continually put it off knowing that it is something I should do, and therefore not doing it. A complicated idiotic justification for being an idiot, but there it is, I blame my naturally rebellious desire to not do what I’m meant to do.

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Two days on and I am finally having the calm and zen reaction I hoped I’d have. It certainly beats my immediate reaction which was to sulk for 24 hours (sorry flatmate). Sure, I hate the fact that someone can potentially access all my contacts, passwords and photos but I need to let that go…it’s just a phone, and it’s also not that likely that the desperate person who stole it will be bothered to do that. I have to accept this loss graciously and move on, and enjoy four days of being un-contactable. So, it might not have been the happiest day of my year, but it was a darn sight better than many people in the world, including the thief I’ll wager, and for that I am eternally grateful.


2 thoughts on “The Art Of Losing

  1. Hey janey, sorry to hear about your phone

    A phone is so much more these days. a veritable Hal 9000 in your pocket. a deamon a la “his dark materials trilogy” or an adhoc camera that also happens to be a telephone.
    X N


  2. Sorry to be a pedant Janey but if I remember correctly we were allowed the bulkheads after being given a lecture by a flight attendant who said we were responsible for making sure no-one came near them! I think we were also at a loss for a suitable theme song for the trip. Only on return trip did we remember Viva Las Vegas. xxxxxxxxxx


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