August 23, 2015

This must be what Cinderella felt like the day after the ball. She must have woken up at dawn, looked outside of her shabby cubby hole and up at the castle she’d just left, wide awake and still dreaming of the night before.

I’m still on cloud nine from last night. My parents met Adam’s parents for the first time, and it was a smash hit. Everyone I love was there, and everyone had such a good time, I could feel the magic. Walt Disney was onto something when he created his magic wonderland, and whatever he was onto is what I’m feeling right now. I feel like I’m in a fairy tale of some sort, only without wicked stepsisters and stepmothers.

But like fairy tales, the night was not without its evil. Even Cinderella had to rush home at midnight, and end the magic.

Someone stole Adam’s mom’s purse while we were having a wonderful dinner in downtown LA. Someone lifted it right from the back of her chair while our food was being served, while the air was joyous and fun, while there was a smile on every face, and in the middle of a night that really couldn’t have been better.

The manager took us to his back room to show us the tape, and we saw everything. There was a couple sitting behind us who only sat there for one reason: theft. The purse was lifted right off Adam’s mom’s chair as the server brought our food, and the people who took it left the restaurant shortly after to spend $400 at Target, and $5 at Starbucks for a quick coffee.

Let me tell you, we were not happy. I was furious when I saw the camera footage, as though someone was beating up my very own child right in front of my face. I’ve never felt that kind of anger before, like the kind parents must feel towards people who’ve abducted their children.

But after the anger subsided, it just became sadness. Here we were, all together for the first time, celebrating this wonderful evening, and someone came along and decided money over decency, money over kindness, money over everything. It reminded me of when my social security number was used to buy retail products with 4 different credit cards. Are we so incredibly void on the inside, that we have to steal people’s things to fill it with towels and wall decals from Target?

But if we’re still talking fairy tale for this night, here’s where prince charming comes in.

Every single person was prince charming last night. The family banded together and formed a united front after we realized what happened to Adam’s mom. We all brainstormed what might have happened after we found out that the purse was missing, and Adam even ran back to our place towards the end of dinner to see if it had been left there. We were all equally upset about it. We even had a girl from another table stop by and try and help us track Adam’s mom’s phone via Find my iPhone. Adam’s dad helped her get everything cancelled, and a few people from our table asked the manager to see the camera footage once we noticed there were cameras in the restaurant.

But even in the middle of all this madness, the night was still perfect because we made it perfect. There was still so much love in the room, even when evil showed up for a drink. We all became closer because of the ordeal, like a family. It was a feeling of straight up cohesiveness, if that’s a thing. We were bound together like glue, impenetrable. It made me want to shout in the face of people who do bad shit and say thank you for trying, but you can’t take anything from us. Adam’s mom even said something to that effect when the night was over. She said you couldn’t take away the magic from the evening, and that’s what was important.

Shit can get really real when you least expect it, but this doesn’t sour the occasion. Life doesn’t become this horrible thing just because one small part of it didn’t turn out the way you wanted. And yeah, it makes you want to punch someone in the face sometimes, but after that feeling’s gone, you realize it’s more about what you make of it, and I never saw that more clearly than I do today.

Despite everything, I still woke up today with a huge smile on my face. I was surrounded by people I loved all night last night, and 30 greeted me in a way that was loving, and surprising. And this morning, a gray sky said hello, as well as my open, waiting laptop. The balloons from last night still sat silently in the middle of the room, along with the flowers my mom brought, cut, and put in a vase, and the empty wine glasses on the table and counter, lip-stick-stained with a good time.

Now that I think about it, I don’t even think Cinderella’s night could have topped this.

Monique Muro

Monique is an exceedingly happy human from LA. She runs the blog A Novel Quest, and writes. A lot.

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  • Melissa Field

    I’m always down for a good Disney magic reference! I was so feeling the magic you were writing about, it was really cool. And it’s true, even when life is good, life still happens, and I like that you explored all of what it made you feel without losing yourself in the negativity of the initial moment.

    • Monique Muro

      Thanks Melissa! Yeah it was tough not to go ape shit once the purse got stolen, haha but it was really interesting to go through all of those emotions and come out the other end of it with some hindsight. It made me want to pray more for the world more too. I get so frustrated when people steal things for material gain!