I’ve been a lazy blogger recently, so I’m brushing off the brain cobwebs and…gasp….participating in Moma Kat’s Weekly Writer’s workshop.
The prompt: Tell about a time you stole something.
The Shame of it All
Checkout lines can be hell for little kids, at least they were for me. There are bright shiny packages, and neat little tins filled with all sorts of tempting treats, smells of chocolate, and mint. When you are three feet tall it is a towering wall of wonder, that calls seductively, “reach out, explore what I have to offer, come, touch it all, pester your Mom endlessly to buy what your heart desires.”
I was 4 maybe 5 and we were in the dreaded checkout line. I had learned through many failed attempts, that begging and pleading was not the way to get anything out of Mom. During my last attempt I’d tried to get a treat with as much restraint as I could muster, a quiet please. and melting eyes. I was turned down with a curt no, and a “you know better” glare. I also knew that what I wanted was off-limits in every circumstance, but the object of my desire was right at eye level.
Mom was looking away, the checker was concentrating on making change, and no one was waiting behind us. My insides churned with anxiety, I was overwhelmed that I was even considering taking something without permission. My hand snaked out and in a flash was back by my side, the contraband curled tightly in my fist. It suddenly dawned on me that not having pockets could be problematic. Heart pounding, I walked nonchalantly to the car, hoping that Mom would be too occupied with the cart to want to hold my hand. In the back seat, I noiselessly unwrapped my prize and popped it in my mouth.
Success was bitter, the Bubble Yum gum looked so delectable in the basket on the shelf, but in reality it didn’t taste that good and was hard to chew. As I sat there trying hard to not look like I was chewing anything, it slowly dawned on me that not only had I been super sneaky, and was now chewing gum which was forbidden, but that Mom hadn’t paid. I was guilty of stealing, and absolutely miserable. All sorts of ugly scenarios ran through my noggin. I could spit out the gum and hide it somewhere in the car, but Mom kept the car clean, she was bound to find it, and I’d get a spanking…ummmm…no. I could fess up and offer to pay, then get home and get a spanking…hmmmm….no. I could run away, get caught, return home and get a spanking…..nope. I resolved that no one would never, ever know, and swallowed the Bubble Yum.
I’ve never told a soul……until now. I’m still ashamed.