Before Christmas, I made a new wreath for my front door. I used burlap and a wreath frame and some sparkly spirally things that I have used in past in my holiday porch planters. It was a good effort, intended to match the burlap Christmas trees I made from tomato cages. I liked the wreath. The burlap trees – notsomuch.
Around New Years, I opened the front door to retrieve the mail, and my wreath was gone! The weeks preceding that were, admittedly quite windy, so the wreath could have blown off the door a while earlier and I didn’t notice. Alas.
Friday, I had an manicure appointment. As I walked over, what to my wondering eyes should appear? My wreath, on the house next to my manicurist. This is a solid 5 or 6 blocks from my house. The wind would have had to take it around 3 corners for the wreath to have found itself at it’s new home. And I feel like the sticky-outie sparkly spirally things would be quite a bit worse for wear if it made that journey solely on wind power. Maybe it blew off and the finder’s-keepers rule applies. Maybe the Don’t-take-stuff-that-isn’t-yours rule applies. I don’t know.
Many jobs ago, a friend of mine was let go. I went to her desk to help box up her things, and something that I knew should be here was gone. I sent a wide-broadcast email asking for whomever borrowed it to return it so that I could return it to my friend. It never found it’s way back and I was pissed off about it. So when my absolute favourite umbrella didn’t make it home one night (because the weather was nice by the end of the workday), and it was also gone the next morning, the whitehotfury was born. I send a scathing email to the whole company about how there were thieves in our midst, so be vigilant about your stuff. I still pine for that umbrella.There was no mistaking that the dirty thief who took those things didn’t look at them and think “Here’s a magnetic poetry set at someone’s desk – that looks abandoned” Or “This umbrella is tucked neatly under someone’s desk, that totally means it’s for anyone, right?” If I left my umbrella on the bus and someone takes it, that’s different. Or when I leave a guidebook that I’m done using in the hotel lobby – that’s obviously up for grabs. These were deliberate pinched, and I’m still madmadmad about it.
There have been things that have disappeared from peoples porches and front lawns in my neighbourhood. Things deliberately taken by someone who did not misinterpret the ownership of said items. They done took something that did not belong to them.
So back to the wreath. I could have marched right up onto the porch where my former-wreath now hangs, and banged on their door and accused them of stealing my highly-identifiable homemade wreath. I could have just taken back what was mine to begin with. But in the end, I resolved my feelings about the wreath thusly: The wreath probably did blow off my door. It may have made it all the way to the sidewalk even, where someone thought it was going out to the trash, and they gave it a good home. I’m happy with that misadventure. It even looks pretty nice where it lives now.
I could have invoked the WhiteHotFury. Or I could give new owners of the wreath the benefit of the doubt. Even if I’m wrong, I’ll never know. And I think that’s a good decision for all of us.