Tuesday, October 2, 2012

31 days of stories - day 2

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.
Until now.
Do you think the statute of limatations is up?


Lisa Lach said...

I also have wonderful memories of Mock's. That was before we lived there but Mimi and I always enjoyed our visits because we could go there to get candy cigarettes and sixlets. Yummy!!!

Shannon said...

We had a little store like that in my town when I was growing up! Great memory :o)

C. Beth said...

I would have felt so guilty too...and I totally get your "paying interest" reasoning. :) I think you are probably safe but just in case, I'm sure there are some good lawyers you can hire. (Just watch some daytime TV and you'll see lots of commercials for them!)