Friday, September 4, 2009


Dear Readers,

I stole an eyeliner today.

My son and I went to Wal-Mart while Molly was on one in a series of playdates and sleepovers. Jake was totally helpful, and he unloaded the entire cart while I speed-read “Us Weekly” in line. By the way, Tori and Dean may be “living a lie!” Anyway, I told Jake to just leave the 44lb bag of dog food there, for the lady to scan from afar. Since Jake only weighs 55 lbs, I thought it might kill him.

When we went to the car, I realized there was a wayward eyeliner under the dog food. Crap. I hoped that I had paid for it and that it had just slipped out of the bag. I scanned my receipt. Other than realizing I had paid $7.58 for an 8 pack of dog treats and $11.94 for a 4 pack of rawhide bones (!), I came up empty.

Now this has happened to me in the past. Once I just took the item back into the store and paid for it. Another time I had babies with me and I left the item in the cart and pushed the cart back into the store, abandoning the item so I didn’t have to wait in line again. Another time, I made a big teachable moment out of it, dragged everyone back into the store with me, and paid.

This time, I had neither the gumption nor the desire to truck back into Wal-Mart on the Friday before school starts. Also, after yesterday’s menstrual mental breakdown , I did not want to push it. Could my fragile psyche handle a repeat public performance? Could Jake handle my crying in front of him yet again?

Side note: as I wept in the car yesterday in front of the kids, I got to share with them about periods and how their own late, great Grandma Molly had also wigged out and wept in the car in front of us when we were little. My mom’s most memorable quote to us on one occasion as we sat wide-eyed in the back seat: “I’m sorry I’m so darn (sniff) emotional kids. I think if I still (sniff) had a uterus, I’d be pre-menstruuuuuual right now.” Yikes.

So, although I had several honorable options, I did not take them. I drove away. And now every time I apply my Maybelline, I’ll feel like I’m wearing a big “Slate Gray” letter for the entire world to see.

What have I learned from my experience besides that Wal-Mart charges far too much for pet items? Well, that I don’t do well with doing wrong. I feel the same way right now as I do after I’ve given in to gossip. Not good. And I obviously feel the need to confess or I wouldn't be writing this.

I'm thinking I'm going to put the eyeliner wrapper in my purse so I can pay the next time I’m in the store. Ahh, absolution.



purejoy said...

way to be transparent. now if we could just get our government to follow suit! i think it's a lovely idea to bring in the wrapper.

Shawn said...

Oh, I have done this very thing----when something has been under my cart and the cashier didn't notice---I have schlepped it back in and paid many a time----so annoying!

I may have kept one thing one time, though, as I just got SICK of doing it!

Lynn Kellan said...

I know what you mean. One quiet morning when you return to Walmart, bring that empty wrapper and you can pay for it. No more guilt.

In the meantime, we absolve you of your crime.

Anonymous said...

I love this...

It's true: that crying thing is unrelated to the uterus. It isnt a Pavlov's dog sort of reaction to the impending pain of cramps. My doctor was very clear about that before my hysterectomy. And I was sorely disappointed that he was right on that account. Some time later when I had to have an ovary removed, I held out hope that it would cut the monthly emotional issues in half. No luck. I still fall into the small group of women that get an 'up-grade' from PMS to PMDD. That's 'dysphoric disorder'.

I can still remember the scene that caused me to fully confess to my doctor. I was in a store. The cashier casually asked, "How are your today?" I started bawling right there at the front of the line with my 3 little girls piled in the cart among the diapers.... big hick-up, can't catch your breath, crocodile tears, can't see to write the check crying. (Yes, this was back in the day of writing checks!) It was cathartic to tell the doctor my whole list of stories. But, even better, the telling opened the door for him to assure me that I wasn't crazy, explain the underlying physical condition, and help me take care of myself.

Sorry this turned into a public service announcement. I am so thankful to know how to take care of myself... to know how to minimize those apparent 'mental' breakdowns. That I feel the need to pay it forward. To keep it to myself would feel more 'wrong' than accidentally stealing an eyeliner.

Rebecca said...

Oh the day I'll have to explain the cranky-mommy-because-of-period thing to my sons! That will be WEIRD.

anymommy said...

Your really good if you take it back now. I once walked out the door of a supermarket with a full basket of stolen groceries. Just forgot to pay. I went back.

Kate Coveny Hood said...

I have so many fears about an "Edith Bunker Cling Peaches" situation (oh dear - am I dating myself - or outing my mother on the obscene amount of TV watching she allowed...?)

But the truth is, on so many occasions, I've arrived home to find odd purchases in my bags that aren't on the receipts... My kids are a bit handsy at check out - they looooove their tic tacs, you know...)

Once we managed to move through check out without paying for a case of soda - but I'm slmost positive that my husband went back and paid.

But for all of those times that I found a stray bottle of Fabreez in my bags? Oh well - I'll just take it as a little thank you from the Universe - for waiting patiently behind the people with 50 coupons and three items in their basket...

bernthis said...

I once had that happen. The only reason I didn't return it is b/c I tought they would accuse me of stealing it and the only I came back was because I had a change of heart. I really am a NYer aren't I?

for a different kind of girl said...

I have a little problem when it comes to fingernail polish that ends up being free. I have employed all those ideas you ran through. Some days Mother Nature tossed a rainstorm into the mix, too, making the desire to run back inside nerve wracking (the rain did hide the tears, though, so that's the upside!).

Debbie said...

Stores are so weird now. I'd almost be afraid of 'fessing up after the fact. And this happened to me once at Kroger. Like you, I felt terrible.

EatPlayLove said...

You know it's always good to check your receipt, who knows maybe once you were charged twice for an eyeliner and never noticed and the universe is just paying you back.