Day 2: The Shoplifting Story.
When I was a girl, there was a store in my teeny tiny town called Mocks.
I don't remember much about it except the wood floors and the candy aisle.
And the musty smell.
And the magazine rack by the door.
I have no idea what was in the back of the store.
I am not even sure I was ever back there.
Starting about age 10, about once a week my mom would let me walk up there to get a dollars worth of candy.
Back in the olden days, you could get a boatload of candy for a dollar.
I had a routine.
I would get a candy bar, which was the big ticket item at .50.
I would take it up to the counter and get change.
Then I would get a box of lemonheads or an airhead for .15.
I would take that to the counter and get change.
Then a box of jawbreakers or boston baked beans for another .15.
Yep, would take it to the counter and get change.
Then a pack of gum for .10.
....and get change.
That would leave me with a dime.
That last dime was always my favorite.
There were rows and rows of penny candy and I would spend inordinate amounts of time deciding which pieces to choose.
I usually came away with grape and strawberry tootsies, a butterscotch, a bit o' honey and some sort of sucker.
I would walk out with my little brown paper bag as happy as a bird with a french fry.
One day, just like any other, I walked in with my dollar and proceeded to go through my candy buying process.
As I was picking out those last 10 precious pieces, I slipped one of those coconut things in my bag. Do you know what I mean? They look like this:
I had always wanted to try one, but was afraid I wouldn't like it.
I was coconut, after all.
And heaven forbid, I waste a precious penny on it.
So what did I do?
I stole it.
I took my other 10 pieces up to the counter, with sweaty hands and a racing heart, sure I was going to get caught.
And probably go to jail.
I didn't get caught.
I walked home with a heavy heart.
Guilt coursing through my veins.
I tried the stolen candy.
And hated it.
I am not sure if I really didn't like it, or the guilt made it taste bad.
To this day, when I see them, I still feel guilty.
All week I fretted over that penny theft.
The next week, I took my dollar and went through the candy buying process.
When I got down to my last dime, I only picked 5 pieces and told Mr. Mock to keep the change.
I figured the least I could do was pay interest for my theft.
I remember him smiling a little, and saying thanks.
Do you think maybe he knew afterall?
I have to admit, the candy never seemed to taste quite as good as it did before.
It was just a penny.
But it was more than that too.
It was the very first time I was consciously dishonest.
It didn't sit well.
I have never told this story to anyone.
Do you think the statute of limatations is up?