Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Honestly, who steals a shoe?

My apartment building is set up in such a way that there are only two apartments on each floor, and the elevators open directly into a "private" hallway for each apartment (one in front, one in back). This hallway is more or less unsecured, and can be accessed from both the elevator and the stairwell. When we moved in, our landlord assured us that eventually the elevator could only access our floor by swiping a card, and of course that the stairwell door would have locks installed (the building was new when we moved in).

Fast forward 7 months. The fire department demanded that our landlord remove the locks on the stairwell doors (they also serve as the only fire escape), and of course we have not received the card-swipe elevator (although, without a lock on the stairwell door, what's the point?). Anyway, we still keep stuff in the hallway, like a shoe rack (I don't like shoes in my apartment, especially after tramping around the subway), a coat rack, and a storage closet (containing junk like wrapping paper and sports equipment and artificial Christmas trees). Our apartment is short on closet space, so everyone in the building uses their hallway as storage space.

This morning, as I always do, I paused in the hallway to put on my shoes. Normally I wear boots to keep my legs warm and my feet dry, but the weather has been nice lately, and I thought I might opt for my Skechers sneakers. As I pulled on my sneakers, I paused. Something seemed amiss. I stared hard at the shoe rack. Where...where are my boots?

Someone stole two pairs of my boots. Right out of my fucking hallway. MY hallway. Not a communal hallway. I had two pairs of black, size 7.5 Nine West boots that I recently spent FOREVER finding and purchasing (on sale, mind you! I'm not made of money). They were my only warm, suitable-for-wet-weather shoes. Hell, they're my only nice shoes. I'm notorious for picking out less-than-dressy footwear. Who steals shoes???

I only keep the boots in the hallway; they're too big for my makeshift-Ikea closet. They don't ever come inside. My other shoes were intact; Boyfriend's nice leather shoes (which were far more expensive than mine) remained. The coat rack was untouched, as was the storage closet (as far as I can tell. Honestly, if they took something out of there, I might not miss it). They just. took. my fucking. boots.

My landlord thinks it's a particular neighbor, who hasn't paid rent in nine months. I'm not sure if I'm ready to point fingers (I really like the guy), but I would like to ask him and other neighbors if they noticed anything. We have a security camera in the front hallway to the building, so she promised to check the tape and see if somebody either left carrying my boots or if someone entered the building who does not belong. I've also been frantically checking Ebay all day to see if my boots get posted. So far, no dice.

In the grand scheme of things, this is small potatoes. Total, the boots probably cost me $150, which is a lot of money to me; But it's still not much considering how much worse other people get ripped off (Bernie Madoff ponzi scheme, anyone?). But mostly I'm feeling angry and insecure. Why pick on me? Why leave me with chilly and wet feet? Is it someone in my building? Should I distrust my neighbors? If it was someone who doesn't live in my building, will they come back? Will it be worse the next time? Did they try to enter my apartment? Is there something more important missing that I haven't realized yet?

In the meanwhile, I'm putting out an APB for my missing, size 7.5 Nine West babies:

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