I had to do the weekly grocery shopping by myself yesterday as my fiance was not feeling in any shape to go with me. The meds he is taking to treat the relapse of his illness cause great fatigue.
Anyway, as I entered the store, I saw one of my senior pals. She looked rather upset. I stopped to ask what was going on, when a cop walked up and said…
…to my friend, “are you the one who called?” then he looked at me. I saw a glimmer of recognition in his eyes, then he said, “oh, you’re my gay friend! Do you know this woman?”
I didn’t quite know what to say other than answer his direct question. “Yes, I’m her friend. I just got here.” Then I turned to my senior pal and asked, “what’s the matter?”
My senior pal friend explained that her wallet was missing from her purse. She was shopping, and when she went to pay for her groceries, she noticed that her wallet was missing. She knew it was in there before she left home, so she thought that someone stole it while she was shopping.
The police officer had been called to take a report of the alleged theft. He was gentle but thorough in asking questions and not making my friend feel worse than she already did by not being attentive to her purse while shopping.
What was amusing to me is that the cop recognized me as “his gay friend,” when we really didn’t know each other that well. He was the one with whom I had a conversation in that same shopping center on January 6 when I enlightened him about gay men, explaining that we’re not all the same and not all of us display certain characteristics that stereotypes project.
The officer asked my friend a lot of questions in a gentle but thorough manner. He occasionally turned to me to include me in the conversation. But he was “all business.” No time for random chit-chat like the last time I spoke with him. (And he didn’t say anything about my being gay or whatever again during this conversation.)
After the officer took my friend’s report, he asked me if I had anything else to add. I didn’t — I arrived at the store after the alleged theft occurred. My friend and I sat on a bench and I calmed her, held her hand, and even let her cry a little bit. She was upset and angry with herself that her wallet was stolen. Fortunately, she only lost was some cash ($40) and a driver’s license; no credit cards. (Thankfully, my friend does not carry a wallet-full of plastic.)
My friend was okay and decided to go home. I finished my shopping and as I was leaving the store, the cop appeared out of nowhere and asked me if I wouldn’t mind going to my friend’s home to see if per chance my friend forgot her wallet at home. He said, “so many older people do that, and think that they had their wallet with them when in fact it was at home all along, such as in a different purse.” He gave me his card and asked me to call him to let him know “one way or the other.”
I drove home first, dropped off our groceries, checked on my fiance, then downloaded and printed out information from our state MVA on the process of replacing a driver’s license. I called my friend and asked if I could come over. She said, “sure.”
I went over and we reviewed the information that I had for her about her license. It was only then that she realized and exclaimed loudly, “I drove home without a license!!!” — in shock because she never would drive without one. I assured her that she is okay, she made it home fine.
I asked her if she might have a different purse or another place where her wallet could be at home. She said, “the nice young officer asked me to check that, and I did as soon as I got home. No, my wallet isn’t here.” I asked her to call the cop to confirm. She did, and the officer thanked her for calling and expressed that he was sorry that she had her wallet stolen.
I arranged to drive my friend to our state’s motor vehicle office later today (Monday) to get her replacement driver’s license.
Such is life of a guy who has an extended network of friends. Doesn’t matter if I am gay or straight. But it was amusing to me that knowing that I am gay is how the cop remembered who I was.
Life is short: always keep your purse/wallet ON you when in public.