As faithful readers of this blog-thing know, my dear dead friend Lana Turner came to me to warn me that something called “Karma” was about to strike. And strike it did!
The morning after Lana’s visitation, I breakfasted, washed, dressed in a new wisp of chiffon and went into my office without a care in the world. I fully intended to write about my lovely evening at Te Casan, a simply marvelous shoe store, for a book signing event.
There I found my new assistant cowering in front of the computer. Her face was as white as a sheet of copy paper.
“What is it now?” I demanded.
“I—I—don’t know how to tell you,” she responded, flinching. “But your Ebay account—somebody hacked it! I knew these weren’t phony emails, so I checked your account, and someone has hacked into it!”
“MOVE!” I said, and pushed her out of the way so that I could sit at the computer. It was but the work of the moment to pull up my email, and see notices that said “Verification of new account with Ebay--credit card on file”. And indeed, they had originated from my (ugh) Ebay account. My heart in my throat, I called the credit card that was attached to the account.
The credit card representative looked into my record, and oui, several small charges had come through Ebay (these are small amounts debited from your card to set up new IDs)! Not only that, the hacker had gone on to max out my credit card in less than 24 hours! And my credit limit is higher than the national debt!
As I sat, gasping with shock, the representative read me the details and I discovered the worst part of it all.
The fiend had used my credit card to buy…vintage.
And not just any vintage! A cheetah coat with collar and cuffs made from otter by Christian Dior from 1967! Two Fortuny gowns! A Jean Louis original evening gown from the 1950s. Mountains of Adrian from his retail line! A dress on sale from Liza Minelli’s collection! A Paul Poiret tea gown! A Claire McCardell “popover” dress in wool! Vintage Oscar de la Renta!
Whoever it was knew my taste, and knew exactly what I had been looking at recently, and where.
(Save for the Liza Minelli dress. Donnez-moi une coupure.)
A wail of anguish broke from my throat, and I fell back in my chair, sobbing. The credit card company had not thought to contact me because I am wont to buy high end vintage for my personal collection on a regular basis. The company could not refund such an enormous loss, only a small part of it. That didn’t matter, it’s only money, but the vintage—
THE VINTAGE THAT I WOULD NEVER OWN!
Suddenly, I heard Lana’s voice in my head: "...as we used to say, what goes around, comes around. And oh, boy, do you have it coming around!"
She was right. Not only was it time to cancel my credit card and change all of my passwords, it was time to start treating the help better. It went against my basic nature, but there it was.
I looked over at my assistant, who had backed up against the wall so hard it looked like she would disappear into the flowered wallpaper. Although it choked me to say it, I said:
“It’s not your fault, my dear, so put it out of your mind. It is my problem and I have to solve it by myself. Please sit down on the divan, you look like you’re going to faint.”
“You’re—you’re not going to scream at me? Throw anything at me? Push me over?” There was disbelief in her tone.
I forced a smile. “No, there won't be any of that any more. I’ve had a warning…somewhat like Marley’s ghost, only shapelier. Why don’t you take the rest of the day off? It will take me forever to straighten out this mess.”
After my assistant had left, I pondered what Lana had told me. It had indeed come to pass…it was the Jean Louis that hurt the most.
And, in all candor, my assistant was wearing a hideous ersatz 1970s chartreuse print dress from Strawberry, and I was deeply grateful that I did not have to look at it for the rest of the day.
But even worse was to come…at “Ebay In Person”.
Elisa & Bucky the Wonderdog