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.”
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.