This is something that really makes me go “hmmm.” I was raised to never take what isn’t mine. That if I couldn’t afford it, then I couldn’t have it; stealing something was not an option. And I never did. Not once did I have an urge to steal a candy, a toy, anything at all really.
Then one day I was at a flea market with my childhood best friend Penny. We were best friends since grade four, then her parents moved her to the suburbs and we barely saw one another. Finally, we made a date, where we would meet half way at a mall that hosted a flea market on Sunday’s. I was so excited, I hadn’t seen her in what felt like FOREVER. We were both thirteen, and in grade seven. I had started smoking, hanging out with the toughest girl in my school, was in all kinds of trouble all the time, and was basically a bad ass. When Penny arrived at our meeting spot, she wasn’t alone. She had brought, without discussion, her new friend. I was heartbroken, and pissed off. So what did I do? I decided to out cool Penny’s new bestie, I made the choice to show them that girls who live in the city are so not afraid of anything, and I lied. I told them that I now steal. That I was so good at stealing that I’ve never been caught.
The never having been caught thing was totally true, I hadn’t been caught because I had never stolen a thing in my life. Penny, knowing me, we had been best friends for four years, called my bluff. How did she call my bluff? She dared me to steal a purse from one of the flea market vendors. What could I do?? I was in a teenage dilemma? To steal, or not to steal that was the question.
Which makes me wonder, today when the three people who were stealing product from the Sephora that Brianna was working out of, did they steal because they were dared by a friend? Or did they steal because nobody ever taught them not to steal? Is it a poor parenting issue? Or, worse, are they the fallout of the entitlement sickness that plagues our society? Blame that I place squarely on the shoulders of social media, thinking that because somebody young like them has it on Instagram, means that they should have it too. Even if it means they have to steal it to be able to “afford” it? Brianna and Dominique have spent years in retail, and they have theft stories that would make your toes curl…one girl took thousands of dollars of merchandise from a clothing store Dominique worked at. Brianna talks of empty make up boxes lined up in row with all the other merchandise as if they were still full. The other day I bought a lip gloss, I didn’t check the box because I assumed that the Sephora cashier had done that. When I got it home I opened it to put it in my purse, the lid was in the box, but not the actual gloss stick. It was gone.
Who does this? And why?
I surely don’t have the answer, because like I said I was raised properly and with the fear of God put into me by my mother. But when push came to shove, when it came to my pride being bruised if I were to back down from the challenge to take the purse or not take the purse. Even with my good upbringing. Even though I had the money in my wallet to afford it. Even with all these positives, much to my shame, I chose to steal the purse; and I felt sick about it for an extremely long time. Even writing it to you tonight, I still wish I’d never taken it. And as far as I know I have three young women who have never stolen a thing, that I know of…