You’ll Never Guess Who Got Their Purse Stolen In New York City (Spoiler: Me. It’s Me.)

You know when you’re having a shitty day and you meet a friend for coffee to bitch about it and then someone steals your purse right out from under your feet?

That’s the kind of day I’m having.

Literally. I know it sounds like a joke, but it’s actually, 100% my life right now.

I was sitting at a cafe on my lunch break, engrossed in a Level Ten Bitch Session. If you’ve ever achieved this high level of Bitch Sesh, you know it’s pretty intense. There’s a frenetic energy to the conversation, you feel on a different level of connection with your friend. It’s pretty great and cathartically satisfying. Typically, these sessions cover timeless woes.

As we sat in the Le Pain Quotidien on 33rd and Park, bitching about men and their unfathomable cluelessness, we reached the unthinkable: a Level Eleven Bitch Session. A Level Eleven Bitch Sesh is when you’re so riveted, a stranger can grab your sizable leather tote and walk out the door with NO ONE noticing. Think that’s absolutely ridiculous? Unbelievable? Yes and yes. I never would have thought Level Eleven was possible until it happened to me on this bitch of a day.

Where was my purse when it was pilfered? LITERALLY RIGHT UNDER MY FEET, lying propped up against the bottom of the stool where I was sitting!

How is it possible someone snatched it without my noticing? I have no idea. The cafe wasn’t very crowded, the seating plan was open and airy, giant floor to ceiling windows should have shed natural light on any thief. And still, somehow, when I got up to go back to work, my purse was no wear to be found.

“This would happen to me. Always to me, always, always, always!”

That’s one of my lines from “Hoppla! We’re Alive!” the play I closed this past weekend with Random Access Theatre. It also perfectly expresses my reaction to finding out my purse was gone. No epic chase of a thief like last time! Just POOF! VANISHED!

Now it’s not uncommon that I carry my laptop and camera in my tote, typically for blogging purposes. I thank my lucky stars I’ve been a bad blogger recently so that this was not the case!! My wallet was in my purse, yes. But it contained maybe $10 cash. My NY State ID could probably be auctioned off to the highest underage bidder, a small price compared to the hours I’d spend at the DMV to replace, but it’s also easily replaced. Really, the most valuable thing in my purse was my Laura Mercier foundation compact, completely worthless unless the thief had my exact skin color, oil-prone complexion, and bottom of the barrel hygiene standards.

To be completely honest, my purse is is not exactly pretty. It wouldn’t be a huge stretch to call it gross. I always imaged doing a cliché “What’s In My Bag!?” blog post as a huge joke.

Now I imagined a thief riffling through the candy wrappers and lose pistachio shells that habitually float at the bottom layer of my bag, the week-old copy of Time Out with chewed up gum deposited between the pages, the ziplock bag containing a tampon and a practical pair of Gap Body underwear, and thinking:


I couldn’t help but laugh. Haha, mother fucker sucker! One person’s (PURSE-on’s?) trash is another person’s purse!

That fantasy must have played out exactly. I got a call about one purse-less hour from a doorman of a residential building 5 blocks away. Some stranger had found my purse chucked between to cars like a piece of trash and brought it to the closest building. The door man called my company from my work ID stashed in my bag. I got my beloved purse, full of my beloved trash, BACK!

Everything was where I left it (even the underwear ziplock! Guess the thief wasn’t a perv!) except my wallet. My wallet was gone for good but don’t worry, I canceled all credit cards within that hour and it turns out I can get and ID simply through the DMV website! Hooray! It’s really the best purse-stolen case scenario a New York Cliché could hope for.

So the moral of the story? ALWAYS PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR PURSE!!!! And if you have a habit of using your bag as a borderline trash receptacle…keep doing what you’re doing!

About New York Cliche

NYC lifestyle blog by Mary Lane. Events, adventures, epic mistakes, dating, life, humor. A 20-something trying to make it (and make out) in the city of dreams.

18 thoughts on “You’ll Never Guess Who Got Their Purse Stolen In New York City (Spoiler: Me. It’s Me.)

  1. Haha love this post – especially the part about it being the worst purse to steal in NY! So sorry about your purse, but glad you got (most of ) it back. I had my wallet stolen from my purse in NY 10 years ago in the Union Square Forever 21 changing rooms (glam), swiped by whoever was in the cubicle next door! Sneaky little suckers.

  2. Glad this situation didn’t turn out any worse for you, and I love your sense of humor! A tip I learned when preparing to go to Italy many years ago is that if you are going to put your purse on the floor, either put your leg or the leg of the chair through the handle so if someone grabs it, it won’t just silently disappear. If you get in a habit of doing this, it can’t hurt.

  3. I’m so sorry that your purse got stolen, but am glad that it was given back, and that you turned it into a very self-deprecating post. Believe me, I have learnt from this 😀

  4. Thank goodness this story has a reasonably happy ending! I mean, credit cards can be cancelled, but pistachio shells are irreplaceable!

    Seriously, though, I’m sorry you went through this stress, and hope the thief has some serious karma coming their way in the near future!

    Thoroughly Modern Emily recently posted…Vintage Garage ChicagoMy Profile

  5. Laughed at this way too much (the humour, not the purse stealing!!) but so glad you got your purse back!! Note to self, don’t buy nice purses!!

    Sarah | xx

  6. Love your comedic spin on this! I too struggle with watching my belongings as London is pickpocket & theft capital! City life = your bag must be on your lap or in between your legs at all times </3

  7. Aaaah I love this post! I’m sorry your purse was stolen but omg the image of someone stealing it, hoping to cash in and ending up with a collection of pistachio shells had me giggling away. I’m glad you got it back though!
    Juliet |

  8. This is the most funniest feedback from a purse stolen victim I’ve ever read. I was really sorry (still am) when I read the title but your humour made me laugh from the start. Glad you got your bag back though, with all the junk (no one trust a girl with a neat condition bag) and underwear ziplock still in it. It’s quite normal for people here to put their bags on the floor next to their leg/chair, but one can never be too careless. Thank you for the reminder! x Ain

  9. Oh wow that’s such an insane story!!! I guess having a “not so flashy” handbag complete with contents worked out in your favor. Really enjoyed reading this story 🙂

  10. This is a really different blog post and I really like it. Why does this whole story sound like a situation I would get in? I would be freaking out over it but hey you got it back. X

  11. Oh, no! I’m sad this happened to you but I guess if it’s going to happen it was kind of the best purse-snatching scenario? I’m pretty lax when it comes to my bag in bars/restaurants and this post was a glaring reminder of keeping a closer eye on it. I love you, New York, but you’re killin me this week!

  12. Oh man, I too have experienced a purse theft, but luckily I too had nothing super valuable. Score for us broke bitches! I found it at the bottom of the mens room garbage. I the quick thinking bartender at the time, knew to check the trash….
    Leah recently posted…What do you see?My Profile

  13. Really glad your purse got stolen for the following reasons:
    1. This post
    2. Your invention of the word “purse-on”
    3. I now know I’m not the only one who gets to level 11

  14. Omg, hysterical and tragic at the same time! And can’t believe they literally stashed your purse between 2 cars, and you actually got it back! The moral of the story is those amazing New Yorkers who returned it to the doorman, who then called your work, who then called you. Good people out number the assholes, for sure;-) xo!
    Jess @UsedYorkCity recently posted…5 Summer Reads Set In NYC!My Profile

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