August 4, 2016

The Lesson I Learned from (Maybe) Getting my Car Stolen.

Sebastien Hamel/Unsplash

I had pulled into the grocery store parking lot and reached over to pull my keys out of the ignition—but they wouldn’t come out.

For the life of me I couldn’t figure out why they wouldn’t come out like they had done for the previous 10 years that I had owned the car. I had put those keys in the engine and turned the engine on just fine, but when I turned the engine off and tried to pull the keys out, they wouldn’t come out.

They were stuck.

I called AAA.

“No, ma’am,” they couldn’t get the keys out for me but they could tow me to a locksmith.

It was a Sunday, no locksmiths were open.

“Well,” I said to myself.

“Why don’t I just not worry about getting the keys out of the ignition?”

“Why don’t I just leave the keys in the ignition?”

Which is exactly what I did for about six weeks.

People were shocked. “What! Weren’t you afraid the car was going to get stolen?”

Obviously, not.

“Besides,” I’d say. “It’s a 1996 Honda Odyssey with over 200,000 miles on it, Who, really, was going to steal it? Somebody walking around the parking lot looking covertly into car windows to see if anyone had left their keys in the ignition.”

If the car was going to get stolen, it would more than likely be by someone who hot wired it—not expecting that the keys were already in the ignition.

Attitude. It’s everything.

I could either think that the car was going to be stolen from every single place I parked; the Trader Joe’s parking lot, the dentist’s office, the law firm where I worked, from my own car port…


I could realize that the likelihood of my car actually being stolen was probably less than 1/10th of 1 percent.

“Are you ever going to get that car fixed?” my husband chided me one day.

“No.” I told him. “I figure those keys got themselves stuck in that ignition and they could just get themselves unstuck.”

Which is exactly what they did.

One day, I turned the engine off and they came out of the ignition right into my hand like they always used to.

It was weird though.

I’d gotten used to having the keys in the ignition all the time—it was easier than always having to fish them out of my purse.

But what was weirder.

Once they came out of their own accord, I couldn’t just put them back in the ignition and leave them there when I parked the car like I had for six weeks.


I was afraid the car would get stolen.



Author: Carmelene Siani

Image: Sebastian Hamel/Unsplash

Apprentice Editor: Clifford Henry; Editor: Caitlin Oriel

Leave a Thoughtful Comment

Read 0 comments and reply

Top Contributors Latest

Carmelene Siani  |  Contribution: 36,435