Few things in life make you feel as delightfully violated, as deliciously desecrated as having your home broken into. It’s like being date raped without the festive flirting and roofies.

Several years ago, my partner and I returned home from Chicago, exhausted from a nine-hour housewarming party the night before. (What can I say, that house requires a nine-hour party. Imagine if Kelly Werstler, Elton John and Dr. Suess had an interior design orgy. And then blew themselves up.)

When we walked into our own, less opulent (by a factor of ten) house, nothing seemed amiss. We stumbled down the hall to the master bedroom and threw our suitcases on the bed.

Suddenly, we noticed that several drawers were open, as well as the closet doors. And some of my watches were flung across a chair. I walked into the master bath. The medicine cabinet was open, and a couple of pill bottles were lying on the vanity.

Did we leave in a hair-on-fire hurry? I didn’t think so.

And then, in positively Columbo-like fashion, it began to dawn on us.

We rushed through the house, looking for signs of forced entry, finally finding the door they had entered through. We were panicked, in denial, horrified, angry – we’d been robbed, ROBBED I tell you!

We flew from room to room, taking inventory. Nothing seemed to be missing except a small amount of cash I had stupidly left in a drawer as a welcome gift to ransackers, and a bottle of expired Vicodin which would probably still do the job if you’re a hillbilly snorting it off the hood of a Chevy pickup. (Their standards tend to be a bit lower.)

For a moment, we were kind of insulted. I mean, what, we’re not good enough to be stolen from? True, neither of us wears jewelry, we have no high-end electronics, and we don’t collect Precious Moments. There’s really not much to take outside of a lot of used furniture, which doesn’t tend to fence well since it can’t be displayed in the lining of a coat or on a tie-dyed folding table on 42nd St.

Then the rage part set in again. How dare these monsters violate our space? How dare they think that they can just come in and browse, like our home is a Supermarket Sweep episode?

But as we replaced things that were askew, and called the police, we began to realize something: there was no broken glass. No ruined door frame. There was no spray paint on the walls or feces on the floor. (Friends of ours had a burglar take a dump on their living room floor, clearly commenting on their taste in decorating.) They had not taken whole chests of drawers and emptied them in the middle of rooms, or pulled food out of the refrigerator and left it rotting on the counter.

They were, more or less, courteous. And I really appreciated that.

Don’t get me wrong, we subsequently fortressed the place like we were about to be invaded by the Huns. Security system revamp. New deadbolts. Security doors. New outdoor motion detector lighting. Bear traps set randomly around the grounds.

But I understand that sometimes, people feel the need to take what isn’t theirs. Let’s face it, the chasm between the haves and the have nots in this world grows ever wider and deeper. Although nothing about stealing is right, I must say, if you have to break into someone’s house, it really helps if you act like a houseguest.

And, as the victim, in the venge-filled moments that follow the discovery of such an act, it really helps if you can find that one little kernel of good fortune – the part that could have been worse.

‘Cause it makes stepping into a bear trap when you’re coming home from work a lot less painful.