3 Things I Learned From a Not-so-lucky St. Patrick’s Day

This St. Patrick’s Day (well, Chicago’s unofficial celebration), my phone was stolen. On the back of my phone, I had a pocket sticker that held my ID, Ventra, and debit card. It was a rough day.

Blacked out drunk, I decided around 1PM that it was time to go home and left the bar without telling my friends. While not the best decision, this is totally normal for me and I had actually told everyone this week that I would be doing that. “Yeah, I’m really nervous about St. Patrick’s Day, but it’s easy to ditch out on day drinking because no one notices when you just leave.”


Okay, biting my tongue now.

I’m waiting on Hubbard Street in downtown Chicago, looking for my Uber. I made it home to Lincoln Park and went straight to bed, waking up 5 hours later without a phone or any idea what had happened.

I checked my email on my laptop, and I was charged at 1:30PM for missing my Uber. At 2PM, Apple emailed me that my iPhone was disabled and I would no longer be able to track it.

It’s gone.

Thankfully, there’s an Apple Store a 15-minute walk away. I saw it closed at 9PM, so I hurried and walked there, forgetting that I was still slightly drunk and hadn’t eaten since 9AM. I was struggling.

The Genius Bar Specialist was trying her best to help me, but I was really screwed. To make a purchase, I needed an ID. I didn’t think to bring my passport with me, but I did have my laptop. I was able to use my Cambodian Visa from January since it had my passport number. Who would have thought?! Then, I needed verification on my phone account, which is still linked with my dad and one of my sisters. My dad doesn’t know how to open a text message on his flip phone, so he was of no help despite trying to walk him through it. My sister finally answered her phone, and we were able to access my AT&T account.

Then, I had to pay for the phone. I had to get the cheapest phone, and even then, they tried charging me $39.99. I literally had $40.62 on my other debit card. They finally showed some mercy (and it was 9:05PM), and only charged me $10 since I begged that I needed to get to work in the morning. Shamrock tattoos still on my face, they realized it was not my lucky day.

I made it home, sick and still trying to figure out what the fuck happened. I must have gotten in a stranger’s car thinking it was my Uber. I took one promising Snapchat inside his car. I didn’t pay him, but he took me safely home.

Yeah, it sucks. I have no idea how he took my phone considering I was on it during the car ride, but he did. I was most likely targeted, and there is likely not much I could have done to retrieve it, even if I wasn’t as drunk. He could have just as easily hurt me, so I am grateful I made it home safe and sound to my bed. My phone and cards are all replaceable. Also, my Ventra was expired and had $5 on it, and I have $100,000 in debt between student loans and medical bills. Want my identity and have collections call you constantly? Go for it.

Also, it would have been kinda funny if I had been kidnapped and the only evidence was my Snap story.

Horrible humor aside, I learned a lot this weekend. I’m really proud of how I handled it, too. As a control freak, I usually don’t handle out-of-control situations well, and it almost always ends in tears and an anxiety attack. No tears involved, and I took responsibility for my actions while also getting on with my life and not letting myself dwell on it (too much). Regardless, I learned:

  1. Do Not Drink So Fucking Much

Sometimes I act like I used to have a high alcohol tolerance, but I never really have. Now, it’s just at an all-time low considering I never drink even a sip. This was the second time I’ve drank this year, and I also got tipsy off of a half cup of kombucha on Tuesday. Still, I drank to try to “catch up” with my friends, while I was actually far past their level before we left the pregame. There is no casual drinking for me — it’s seriously white or blackout. I need to set limits on my drinks and not keep pouring more vodka into my cup. I didn’t even buy drinks at the bar. I’m just that much of a shit show.

  1. Convenience Does Not Outweigh Safety

I’ve always loved having the sticker on the back of my phone to hold my ID and whatever other cards I need. I prefer to not carry my purse, and I always have my phone, so I don’t necessarily need to bring my wallet since I seldom carry cash. However, if I put all my eggs in one basket and that basket is stolen, I’m fucked. As convenient as it is, I’m never buying one of those stickers again. Maybe I need to find a better wallet.

  1. Never Get in a Car with a Stranger

We all joke about how Ubers are basically getting in the car with strangers, but I actually got in a car with a stranger thinking it was an Uber when it wasn’t…!?! I try to always check the license plate number on my Uber, but I’m going to be a million times more careful from now on.

My dad had been calling me all day Saturday and was getting worried that I wasn’t responding, but my mom and sisters assured him I was fine. Once I finally got ahold of him, it turns out he was on his way to Chicago anyway to visit my sisters and me. I worked in the morning, and he came by to take me to lunch and loan me some money until my new debit card came in. I’m seriously so grateful, since even Venmoing me money wouldn’t process until Tuesday.

I’ve never had a successful St. Patrick’s Day, and I think I’m going to retire after this year. I vow to sign up for a race next year so that I’m not tempted to start drinking at 8AM. Maybe in the next year I’ll learn how to drink without blacking out, but for now, I’ll stay sober.

Do you have a worse St. Patrick’s Day story? I’ve definitely heard worse, so I’d love to exchange experiences and make each other feel better about shitty decisions! Misery loves company.

++ Mary K

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