Thursday, March 16, 2006

Shocking Confession: I Am a Thief!

About once a week, I have to take a break in the middle of the day to take care of some bidniss. e.g., deposit checks at the bank, drop a package off at FedEx, pick up books at the library, or mail stuff at the Post Office that sort of thing. Yesterday, I had to do all of those things. Pretending that I am the efficient and organized person that I really am not, I listed all the errands on a piece of paper, even numbering them in the order in which they should be accomplished in order to avoid all backtracking. I set off, determined that the errands would take no longer than an hour to complete (including a final stop at The Dog House to satisfy my once-a-year hankering for a hot dog and to reward myself for...I'm not sure what).

I came back home, ate my hot dog, and went back to work. This morning, however, as I was getting dressed, it dawned on me that while at the Post Office I had boosted a padded envelope. Omigod!!!! I’m not organized enough to have my own supply of padded envelopes, so I routinely just grab one while at the P.O., put whatever I’m sending in it, and tell the folks at the counter to charge me for it. But yesterday—perhaps distracted by the cute little girl behind me who was caressing the contents of a box of Post-Its and cooing, “small paper,” “small paper” or perhaps daydreaming a little too fervently of kosher beef—I zoned and forgot to mention the 55-cent padded envelope. I totally got away with my crime! That purloined envelope is now somewhere between Portland and Chicago, and no at the Post Office is the wiser.

Of course, being my mother’s daughter I am going to have to go back to the P.O. (tomorrow or Saturday), stand in a long, slow-moving line of senior citizens, confess to my crime, and hand over the 55 cents. It will be interesting to how they react. They won't call the police or the FBI will they?

The last time I stole something, I did not attempt to make reparations or clear my name. I was about six or seven years old, and I palmed a box of Chiclets while I was shopping with my mom at the Piggly Wiggly. Who knows why I did it? I've never been fond of Chiclets, so if I was going to steal something why didn’t I make it more worth my while? Why didn’t I take M&Ms or a Hershey bar or some giant wax horsey lips? Once we got home I apparently made no real effort to hide my loot. My mom immediately questioned me about where the Chiclets had come from, and I told her that my friend Molly had given them to me. It was just the most transparent lie. I mean, we’d just come from a supermarket, and I probably hadn't seen Molly for days. I’m sure my face just beamed guilt, but maybe because of that, my mom didn’t press the matter. And I’ve never stolen anything again—until yesterday.


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