Confessions of a Shoplifter

Confessions of a Shoplifter
Susan – January 2015

Friday morning I rushed to the grocery story down the street from our house. Tuesday is grandson Tobias’ birthday, and I wanted his package to get there on time. This grocery has a post office window, so my plan was to buy a card, and put it in the package so it could be mailed all in one trip. The line at the post office window was long, long, long. The card racks were tucked in behind the line. So, I reached around people, and selected a card. I then went to the side, wrote in the card, inserted it in the package, and then got in the long line to mail it. Finally, I got to the front of the line, paid to send the package on its way, and rushed home.

It was some hours later when I told Steve about the card I picked that I suddenly realized that I had neglected one important step in the process. I had not paid for the card before I wrote in it and put it in the package. I was horrified. That whole line of people saw me steal that card, but nobody said a word.

This morning, I made a special stop at the store. I interrupted the line again, found an identical card, and took it to the checkout line on the other side of the store. I laughed as I told the checker why I was buying the card, and then putting it back on the rack. She laughed, and thanked me for my honesty. The man behind me in the line said, “That’s some good karma.” And he laughed too.

Then I went back to the card racks, interrupted the line again, and told everyone why I was putting the card back. They had a good chuckle at my expense as well.

Only when I drove home did I wonder if everyone would have been so jovial had I been a young black man rather than an absentminded white grandmother. That’s white privilege.