I go to a meeting every Saturday. Going to the meeting and coming home I drive on 7th St. 7th street goes right by a Big Lots store. This particular Saturday I went past the store on my way home and at the last second I turned in and did some shopping. When I came out I looked for my car. I couldn’t find it. It was not unusual for me to forget where I parked. Once at a big downtown Bank with seven levels of parking I forgot where I parked. I had to ask the parking lot attendant to drive in big circles at the top floor and drive down all the circles until I found my car five levels down.
Big Lots has a huge parking lot. I divided the lot into sections and systematically searched for my car. It just wasn’t to be found. At the west end of the lot there was a pay phone. This was long before cell phones. I used this phone to call the the police.They soon came and I reported the theft. My car was an old beat up tan Volvo.
The police told me it was probably a kid wanting to joy ride. He said that old cars like mine were easy to steal. The Cop sarcastically said thieves were so good at hot wiring that having the key would slow them down. . After I had given the police all my information I took the bus home.
The next Saturday I rode my bike to the meeting and shared about my stolen car. I asked “Why on earth would someone want to steal my car.” It had very little value. The interior was in rags. Loose wires were hanging down from under the dash.
However, the ladies didn’t seem to mind. I drove my great friend Jennifer Wells for months in it while she worked her way through a divorce. She was fine with it and we enjoyed our time together despite the unpleasantness of our task.
I told people that I loved riding my bike but it wasn’t as much fun riding it when I had to ride it as it was when I wanted to ride it. Every one was sympathetic and offered to give me a ride anytime I needed it.
On the way home from my meeting I rode. my bike back down 7th Street. When I got to Big Lots I went back into the Big parking lot to once again see if My car was there. I was extra careful so I wouldn’t miss it.I started at the east end worked my way west. I got clear to west end of the parking lot. As I was leaving the lot I glanced up and saw my car parked on the next street. Then I remembered I had gone left on the street just beyond the big parking lot and parked and walked from there into the store.
I used the same phone I had used for the first call I made to the police. As I was waiting for the police to pick up I glanced up and saw my car. When I made the first call I was so distraught I hadn’t seen my car. If during that first call to the police if I was in a trusting place rather than a self condemnation place I would have seen my car on the next street.
The next week at my meeting I shared how my car was misplaced rather than stolen. The people at the meeting broke into raucous laughter, all 40 of them.
There was a young man who was about 12 was a friend of a couple at the meeting that loved to throw parties and dinners for about 10 of us. When the boy Carlos heard about me misplacing my car he cracked up. After that the next 20 times I saw Carlos he would ask me if I remembered where I had parked. Carlos and I had so much fun going back and forth teasing each other I was almost glad it had happened.