People Are Jerks

I’m a collector. Not of shoes or ornaments or paintings. I’m a collector of memorabilia. I scrapbook…when I have time. I frame school photos. I keep programs from recitals. I collect car magnets.

I love my magnets as they tell a bit about my family. If I knew where to buy the “family” window clings I’d have those on my minivan for sure. My car magnets are special to me, so you can imagine how upset I was when my husband told me that the magnets were missing. I was outraged.

This weekend — Memorial Day Weekend — we are at Penn State for the Happy Volley Tournament. This is our 6th year here. This is our 2nd year staying at the same hotel.

We were all finishing up breakfast at the Hampton Inn in State College, PA, when my husband asked if I had taken the magnets off the minivan. No, I hadn’t taken the magnets off the van, I replied before scooting out of the hotel lobby/breakfast bar to the parking lot. Sure enough, there was our minivan missing 6 of the 9 magnets. I was ticked. Who would do such a thing? Do teens/young adults here have nothing better to do than steal car magnets?!? But of course the culprit could also be a guest at this hotel. Whoever took the car magnets is on my list.

Could have happened anywhere. We stay in lots of hotels for volleyball tournaments, swim meets, and family vacations. In fact, I’m at the tail end of a year where I have been on the road more than I have been at home…at least that’s how it feels. So how is it that I have not had a single magnet swiped at any of the schools or sport facilities I drive to each week at home? Why were the magnets not taken at all other hotels we have stayed in?

The odd part is that the jerks didn’t take all of the magnets. They took the two high school oval-shaped magnets, but left the elementary school paw-shaped magnet. I’m a bit relived as my elementary schooler does not do well with change. They took both swim team magnets and the tie dye volleyball, but left the soccer team magnet. Again, why not take all of them? Or since we are here for a volleyball tournament, why not take only the volleyball magnet.

Not to sound melodramatic but I feel a bit violated. Someone came not in to but near my minivan…AKA my second home…and stole something precious from me. Not cool at all.

You KNOW that I walked the length and breadth of the parking lot looking at the backs, sides, AND fronts of all cars in the hotel parking lot, as well as the restaurant next door. Even the restaurant’s BBQ smoker was metal. I looked in bushes, along the side of the road, and even at light poles, but found not even a single magnet.

Though I felt silly talking to the hotel manager, I had to let him know that our van was “vandalized.” I even asked if someone could review the security footage! I take stealing very seriously…prank or not.

We have one more day of tournaments tomorrow, then it is home. And of course since my week wasn’t busy enough, now I have to replace all the magnets. Ugh. I have an extra swim team magnet stuck on the back door. I’ll be able to get the other swim team magnet on Tuesday when swim team starts. But the two high school magnets will be tough to get. The school store at one of the schools is open 30 minutes a week…this is an exaggeration but not by much. At the other high school, I will have to contact the PTA. Of course since we are at a volleyball tournament, I can buy a volleyball magnet before we leave.

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