Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The thievery of children. Mostly me.

Oh man my mom will be so ashamed that I've decided to document these stories. Never before have they been published to the world at large.

I have a confession. And here it is. Right now. Here. On this blog. I shall make a pronouncement that you never before thought possible. This is it.

I used to steal stuff when I was a kid.

Was that hyped too much? Meh. Anyway.

So, yeah. From the ages of 5-9 I stole a lot of stuff. And it wasn't a thrill thing. It wasn't one of those, "I'VE NEVER FELT SO ALIVE!!! I MUST STEAL TO CONTINUE THESE ENDORPHINS!!" Come on, I was 5. But I was absolutely old enough that I should have known better. Here's the thing: I didn't care. It's really weird to look back on, because I knew it was wrong but I did it anyway because I felt absolutely no remorse.

That's where my mom doesn't like the story. I think it's because it sounds like the opening lines to a Lifetime special titled, I should have known from the Stealing: How I found out I was raising a psychopath. The child in the special would say things like, "I used to steal from kids all the time. Why? BECAUSE I COULD." Then she shows off her collection of headless Barbies.

You know who stole from kids? Tom Riddle. When he was a little kid at the orphanage.

And we all know how he turned out.

But as far as I can assess from an online test. I'm not a psychopath. Although I do want to go see the movie Seven Psychopaths starring Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken and Woody Harrelson. It looks terrible, but darn it I just can't resist a good Christopher Walken flick.

What was I talking about? Oh. Stealing.

In my wild youth, I stole many items. But four of them come most clearly to mind. Lets list them chronologically.

1.  The small brown plastic dog - Age: 5

In Kindergarten, I used to play with a little farm set with my best friend John-John (yeah we called him that. He might be reading this. What up, John?). To my memory, the dog looked something like this, but even less detailed.

I. Wanted. That. Dog.

I wanted it, so I took it. Except in my tiny little 5-year-old brain I decided that I had to make it the perfect crime, and I wanted to be able to blame it on John-John. Because what if the teacher discovered that the dog was missing? WHAT IF SHE DISCOVERED IT MISSING?! So one morning, before playtime, I got the dog out of the box and put it in my sock. Because otherwise the outline of the dog would show in my pocket, RIGHT?!

And when John-John and I sat down to play with the farm, I made sure that I was the first to say "HEY! Where did the dog go?" I narrowed my eyes, menacingly and hissed at him, "Where did you put it?!" He obviously had no idea and he started to explain himself but I acted all put out and mad at him and I told everyone I knew that he stole it.

I do feel bad about that part. Sorry John-John.

2. The Coin - Age 7

Anyone heard of the American Silver Eagle coin? It was minted in 1986 and it's worth one dollar. But it's really big and I had never seen anything like it when I was seven.

So one day, I was over at my friend Veronica's house (Veronica might also be reading this. Hi Veronica. Sorry about the coin.) She had this coin sitting on her desk. If I recall correctly, I asked her about it and she seemed pretty ambivalent. Or I might just be saying that to make myself feel better. Aaaaand I took the coin. I think I just put it in my pocket.

The story does not end here. Once again, my young brain went into overdrive because I convinced myself that without a brilliant plan, my parents would suspect this new coin in my collection and make me return in. So... I put a ridiculous plan into motion.

I waited until my mom came home (I think it was my mom... I don't remember which family member) and I took the coin out to the front yard and put it in the dirt under the bushes. Then I pretended to dig it up in front of her. I put on this surprised voice and was like, "Oh! A coin! HowEVER did this get here? Well I'll just keep it then..."

I'm pretty sure my Mom didn't even hear me say that. But my tiny conscience was soothed.

I also feel bad about this one. Veronica, (if you're reading this) in my defense I forgot all about this until I found the coin a few years ago. Let me know if you want it. I assume it's somewhere in my parent's house.

3. The shark tooth - Age 8

This one is the closest to actual stealing. Who remembers the Discovery Store? Or is it still open? Or was it just one store in Oakbrook Mall?

Whatever. It was the type of store that would have one of those electricity balls that makes your hair stand on end. And robotic cats. And.. I don't know. Marbles that are exact replicas of the planets in the solar system.

Well they had a little bucket full of shark teeth. Out of all the things in that store I HAD to have that shark tooth. So, like the other stories, I formulated a scheme. You know those theft detectors they have as you exit a store?

Yeah, those. My little 8-year-old mind decided that they must have somehow placed an anti-theft device on the shark tooth (which by the way there's no way they possibly could) and the alarms would go off if I walked through with it in my pocket.

Now, the Discovery Store left their doors open. So while I was inside, I snuck over and placed the shark tooth in the small space between the door frame and the alarm. Then, once we got outside, I pretended to tie my shoe, so my family wouldn't be suspicious, and I picked it up from the outside.

The perfect crime.

4. The grapes from Hobby Lobby - Age 9

I'm becoming self-conscious about my potential childhood psychopathy, so I'll make this last one quick.

I went to Hobby Lobby with my... Dad? I think. And I saw those fake grapes that are always there for some reason. I decided that I needed them.

So the next time we went to Hobby Lobby, I was prepared. I put a Ziploc in my pocket to put the grapes in. So that if my dad or a cashier made me turn out my pockets for some reason it would just look like I had brought a little grape snack to Hobby Lobby. 

Overall, not so proud of my thievery days. But it makes for some pretty good stories.

 I will leave you with this thought. It's about TV, because that's all I think about:

Ladies, go watch The Mindy Project.

Fellas, go watch Bob's Burgers. Ladies, you should watch it too.


  1. I died at the Tom Riddle comparison, Hannah. Hilarious. At least someday people will call you "Lord", amiright?

  2. I can only dream, Kim. I can only dream.