When I was about ten or eleven years old, I got caught shoplifting. I know, I KNOW, I hear your gasps.
My parents were not the type to buy something for you, "Just Because". Unless it was your birthday or Christmas, you didn't even THINK to ask my dad for an item in a store. You kept your mouth shut.
One day, there I was, browsing the make-up counter at JCPenney, when a shiny, pink lip gloss caught my eye. I had no money. I knew pops wouldn't spring for it. And I really, really NEEDED it. What was a preteen girl to do?
I looked around, I'm sure in a completely obvious fashion, and cupped that lovely tube of beauty in my hand. It fit perfectly and it didn't even look like I had anything in my hand!!
Then I did what any normal girl would do, I waltzed out of the store with my grandma, brother, sister, and parents acting as though I didn't have a care in the world.
Can you say, "STOOOOOOOPID?!!"
You should have seen the look on my grandma's face when a security guard grabbed my arm and then hers. "Ma'am is the child with you?!"
Long story short, I was in BIIIIIG trouble.
I was reminded of this moment in my life yesterday. I took W. to Staples to drop a load of cash on some school supplies. While I was waiting on the checkout line, that was about eleventy-hundred people deep, with a thousand ton shopping basket digging into my already bruising arm, he walked up with a handful of markers.
"Mom, can I get these?"
"No." I answered. I had been adding his supplies in my head and wasn't even sure if I had enough money for them. I certainly wasn't going to add nonessentials to my basket.
"PLEEEEEEASE?!" He begged.
They were the kind of markers that are in a display. The ones that are sold individually. The ones that probably cost about $4.99 EACH. I think he had about eight of them in his greedy little mitts.
"NO! Please put them back where you found them."
My mind flashed back to me at his age.
"Oh, No He'd better NOT!" I thought to myself.
I looked around the store. Half of the people from our town were walking around with their own supply lists . I stood there and imagined what kind of scene that would be! We'd have to move. Change our names........
W. came back and stood on line with me. I stared at him. My eyes bore holes in his flesh. I tried to see if he showed any signs of stress. I looked down at his pockets to see if they were bulging at all.
"Did you put them back?" I asked, almost accusingly.
"Where you found them?"
I was skeptical.
As we were paying, a lady walked through the exit doors. The alarm went off because the cashier forgot to deactivate that little thingy they put on large ticket items.
I started to sweat. My thoughts raced in my head, "That's going to be us isn't it? The whole town will think I'm a bad mother!"
As we went through the exit doors, I winced.
And because I can't let anything go, I turned to W. and said, "You put those markers back, right? They aren't in your pocket or anything, RIGHT?!"
He looked at me like I was the freak that I am and said, "Yea, mom! I wouldn't do that! Besides that alarm would have gone off if I did!"
You keep fearing that alarm, baby....FEAR IT!