Sunday, August 09, 2009


I ran to the grocery store today while Aliza was napping. Usually when I go to the grocery store I have a list. I have a list and very specific meals in mind and I buy just what I need and then I leave. Well, I'm on summer vacation still so there was no list. Which meant I was dashing through the store, trying to hurry home before Aliza woke up, and grabbing everything I could remember. Including the random things that I knew we needed. Like toothpaste (which I remembered). And butter (also remembered). And Bisquick (also remembered....and as an aside, there is a recipe on the back of the Bisquick box for chicken fingers. If you are so inclined you should try them, Aliza loves them. Come to think of it, so does Russ). And bleach (which I forgot....ah well...).
So I was rushing.
Then I picked a checkout where there was a bagger, but, of course, as soon as I get there, the bagger leaves. The check out girl was nice. And chatty. And I chatted and bagged and looked at the clock wondering if Aliza was awake or not.....
And I rushed out the door.
Once I got to my car I realized something.
The eggs.
The eggs were sitting on the top part of the cart. The part where Aliza normally sits when she comes with me. And on top of the eggs was my purse. Hiding the eggs.
I didn't pay for the eggs.
For half a second, I thought, "I have to get home, Aliza must be awake by now, I didn't tell Russ what to give her for lunch, they are probably both freaking's just eggs, who cares, no one even knows......"
And then I realized- that would be stealing. Eggs or something pricier. Known or not. Still stealing. I've never stolen anything in my whole life and I sure was not about to start now. Not as an (almost) thirty-three year old mother. What kind of example would that be setting for my daughter? OK, OK, she wasn't with me and even if she was, she wouldn't understand but still. Still. When she's older and she asks me "Mom, did you ever steal?" I can tell her this story and end it with a definitive "No, I never did."
So, I parked my carriage and headed back into my local Stop and Shop. Pondering weighty questions, like "Do I go to the same check out and explain the situation? Do I go to a different one? Will the check out girl even care that I came back inside? Who will notice me walking into a store carrying the eggs? Should I have brought my receipt in? If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one to hear it, does it still make a sound? Which came first- the chicken or the egg?"
As I contemplated, I strolled in and saw that the nearest check out- a self-checkout-was completely empty. I brought my eggs over, scanned, bagged, paid and walked out.
No one was the wiser.
But I knew.
I knew that I am not a thief.
And, in this story at least, the eggs came first.


Lara said...

Interesting. I probably would have still left and maybe just paid the next time I went, explaining the situation to a manager or something. But clearly you're more principled than I am. :-P

Well done. Good example for your daughter. :)

Keetha said...

Bless your heart! That's a great story.

Kelli said...

You are so cute.

Last summer, I was home in NJ visiting my Dad and we went to the grocery store to get steaks for dinner. When we were walking through the parking lot, into the store we passed a shopping cart w/ a big 12 pack of paper towels on the bottom rack. Someone had obviously forgot them when they were loading up all their other grocery bags.

I said to my Dad, wow, I could use those paper towels...but I decided to leave them there - figuring whoever forgot them might realize and come back right away. I told my Dad, if they're still there when we finished shopping it's meant to be...
Well, when we got back they were gone - whether the rightful owner came back to claim them or an employee brought them back inside I'll never know. But I felt better not messing with's like that whole pay it forward idea.

Nonna said...

Ahh, guilt.Sometimes it makes us do the right thing.It rules a lot of us.
Good for you,I expect no less.

JaxMom said...

Good for you. The last time that happened to me, purse on something in the basket, not eggs, or maybe it was, I just took them/it back in and left.

It IS a good eggsamble@