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2 posts tagged wallet

Making lemonade out of getting mugged

Three summers ago in Chicago, I was walking home with one of my good friends on a lovely, warm night. I had stopped there on my way to San Francisco to see friends that I normally only got to run into at random conferences throughout the year. One of them was Christine, an editor and writer I’d long admired but had only just started to get to know the year before.

But there we were, walking down a quiet street on our way back to her house after a night of dinner, drinks and laughs. My spidey sense started tingling, and suddenly two men ran up to us and demanded our goods. The mugging itself and its immediate aftermath is a whole ‘nother story that I’ll spare you, but know that we escaped relatively physically unscathed, albeit sans wallets.

Oh, our wallets. Sigh.

When Christine asked me what I wanted for dinner the next night, I answered, “My wallet.” When her partner, Bernie, asked if we needed anything from the store, we said, “Our wallets.” It went on like that right up until they watched me go through the special screening line at the airport, created especially for would-be terrorists and people with (you guessed it) no wallets.

They came to visit me in Brooklyn a few weeks later, on their way to Vermont. Nothing solidifies a lifelong friendship like getting mugged together, and they even brought me a present to commemorate it. The package was wrapped in butcher paper like deli meat (odd for vegetarian friends, but hey, what do I know?), and I saw that the label read “The T-Shirt Deli, Chicago.”

It’s a place where you can go and pick out templates to customize for clothing of all kinds. They’d picked one for me that had a Chicago skyline, and it read, “Someone in Chicago ________ me,” where the customizer could pick the verb to fill in the blank. My friends decided that this would be the best one for mine:



Fast-forward to the holidays this year. Some time has passed and the sting of being mugged has dulled a little; “my wallet” jokes don’t pop up as frequently in our conversations as they once did. When a package from Chicago arrived the other day, I zipped it open quickly, since Christine and Bernie are excellent gift givers. What did I find inside?

A wallet.

From Chicago.

Made of Chicago.



Curiously strong, like Altoids and… Chicagoans. My friends.