My Life of Crime

Cary Grant & Grace Kelly in "To Catch a Thief"

I am a thief. And not in a very cool, breezy, blond, cat burglar Grace Kelly sort of way. (at least not without the aid of my hairdresser) I am a lousy thief, no good at the craft. My life of crime was short-lived. I have seen the wickedness of my ways and turned to the straight and narrow path. It’s possible I’m being the slightest bit dramatic about this, but as I have a relative who has besmirched the family name with his time in the pokey because of sticky fingers, I’m kinda weird about the subject.

Here’s what happened: We went to RussVegas for my Granddad’s funeral. I was very carefully packed. Inordinately long conversations were held between my sister, Katy Kat, other cousins, Nano and me about who was wearing what. A girl does not disgrace her family at the patriarch’s final send-off. I almost made it out the door without my Spanx, which would have been a tragedy all its own, but thankfully I remembered at the last minute and ran back in the house to get them. What I forgot: dress shoes.

my Chucks

Now I LOVE my Chuck Taylor’s. I’ve had the same pair since high school. They have been super glued back together in their old age several times. I will not part with them. Ever. However, Nano does not consider those proper funeral shoes, nor should anyone not trying desperately to be a hipster. By the time I realized I had no acceptable shoes, there was not time to go back to Little Rock to get any. So I ran to the shoe store of my youth, The Other Foot & More. They. Were. Awesome. I flew in and told them I needed some black boots STAT! They were kind, sympathetic, helpful and had me ready to go in about 7 minutes.

C charm I wear

As I was checking out I noticed some charms for sale on the counter. I wear a charm necklace (started by Nano) most days. I picked out a C charm to add to my purchase. Then I saw another version I liked better. They looked, but had no C in that style. They offered to order it for me, but it made no sense, as I live over an hour away. I told them I’d take the first pick, but another customer, who I thought worked there until that moment, offered to give me the C charm I wanted, which she was wearing, and let them order the new one for her. I couldn’t believe her generosity. At first I said no, but then there was a lot of you-don’t-live-here-I-do and your-granddad-is-dead and so on, so I went with it. I rushed back to the house, yanked the boots out of the bag and got ready for the funeral.

C charm I stole

I didn’t look in the bag again until 3 weeks later. I made Valentine treats for Monkey Boy’s class. (yes, three weeks early. shut up, I have a sickness) I needed somewhere to store them until delivery. I remembered they’d given me a cloth bag. I pulled everything out and there it was: the charm I didn’t buy. I was an unintentional shoplifter. Me, the girl who goes back in to Target to pay for tights that got trapped under the dog food and not rung up. Me, who has guilt complexes about envelopes used at the office for personal reasons and offers to pay for them. Me, a thief.

return envelope for stolen goods

I. was. mortified. I called the store and told them what happened. They were unbelievably nice about it. I mean, I don’t imagine many of their shoplifters rat themselves out. They said they totally understood the mistake and said not to worry about it. I mailed the charm back. But I still feel the tiniest bit stupid about the whole thing. I mean, if I was gonna go thieving, I wish I’d taken something better than a C charm. I hear Jamica is really nice this time of year.


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