The Tell-Tale Diaper Bag

This weekend, the baby and I headed over to the mega-store to buy a crib mattress. I placed Nathan and his car seat on the shopping cart basket which I hate doing because I can never see over the behemoth. I might as well be wearing a blind-fold since I run into everything. So after I loaded the mattress into the cart, I found a neat black weekend diaper bag and I put it in next to my crappy diaper bag which isn’t a diaper bag, but the messenger bag I schelpped around in college. When I reached the cash register, the woman scanned everything on the conveyor belt, including the tag for the mattress. I held up the new diaper bag and said, “And this bag, too.” She didn’t look up and so I figured she knew the price and punched it in. I placed the bag back into the cart. She handed me the receipt. There was no diaper bag on the list.

That was the moment when people with a conscious would say, “Excuse me, ma’am, you forgot to ring up this item.” But that was not me. I have no soul. I walked out of the store, thinking the entire walk to the car that I had gotten away with something evil. Evil and free.

I stole a diaper bag from a store that can afford the hit. It treats its workers terribly and keeps them from a living wage, upward mobility and health care. I’m just sticking it to the man, right? It would be different if I had scanned the receipt in my car or better yet, at home, but I didn’t. I stood there and let it happen. Now, I can’t bring myself to return and say, “I’m sorry I stole this. I took off the tags so there’s no proof I stole this, but here’s my money and my freedom for the next 3-5 years.”

I relayed this to my husband and defended myself by saying, “It’s just like Robin Hood. I’m taking from the rich and giving to the poor. They are the rich and I am the poor!”

“How much did the bag cost?” He asked.

“It cost $24.95.”

“Well, just don’t be surprised if you die and find out you’re $24.95 short of getting into heaven.”

If I made a donation to a charity in that amount relinquished my worldly possessions, moved to India and spent the rest of my days in an orphanage, waiting for someone to adopt a petty criminal, would that exonerate me?

Fancy me mad, this bag is beating in my head like a heart.

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  1. THIS HAPPENED TO ME! Well, my husband noticed, actually. We bought a TV on Sunday, and we had a re-chargable remote control XBox360 something or another, hell, I don’t know. Anyway – the girl who was checking us out was scanning a gift card (because it was open box and we were getting store credit) and apparently, either she or the machine got mixed up and the thing never rang up. $20 battery / remote / thing for FREE.

    We could’ve gone back in to say, “Um, excuse me…” but that would’ve been nice. And I wasn’t feeling nice.

  2. Thanks Emily! I’m glad I’m not the only one. When I swiped my debit card, the machine gave me a prompt: “Did the cashier greet you today?” and I didn’t find my answer: HELL TO THE NO. I wasn’t feeling particularly nice either.

  3. rachel a jew says:

    yeah…a jew would never look back. It’s their fault anyway!

  4. Rural Writer says:

    Dont feel to bad, God likes you better than Target and he doesnt mind you have the extra money.

  5. Rachel, you should have your own advice column.

    Rural Writer, that’s what I was thinking. This is all about redistributing the wealth, which is so much easier when the recipient is me. šŸ™‚

  6. We got a free twin bed last year. There was some kind of mix up with credit cards apparently because 2 weeks after we charged the bed, we got a better credit BACK on our next cc statement. We were fine with it because it was a fiasco getting the bed and the guy was a crook anyway.

  7. rachel a jew says:

    haha! I DID have my own advice column once, remember?!

    But if you know anyone that could hook that up for real, let me know!

  8. Mommy off the Record says:


    Your fellow axis of evil blogger here. I can’t believe we both shoplifted stuff during the same week! Talk about a coincidence! We very bad.



  9. Just be careful with this stuff friends, think of boomerangs… they always come back on one way shape or form, or another. Sipmle advice being shared by one who’s been there. A Mommy who knows. Live well, and prosper!

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