False Accusations

stolen picI wandered around a garage sale that held treasures from the life of someone else.  There were many vintage items and I adore vintage.  But we were on the road with limited room in the vehicle, so I settled on one item that I thought would mix well with my goodies at home.  The sticker said $2.00 and I handed the lady a five dollar bill.  She slowly looked behind her one way….then the other way….holding my money but not acknowledging me.  Then she said to another lady that stepped around the corner…. wasn’t this five dollars?  To which she replied, No….I changed it to two.  Her meaning then slapped me in the face.   If you are insinuating that I switched prices, you would be mistaken.  Her eyes got big and she  said…. um….No….  There were no apologies.  I took my change and my cow picture and then saw the look on hubby’s face as he had watched the accusation exchange.  I can’t believe you didn’t just leave without the picture!  I know….I have never been accused of stealing before either.  But I really wanted that picture for $2.00 ….so that’s why I still bought it.stolen pic 2

I fumed over that incident for the next couple of days and shared it with anyone that would listen. How many people are falsely accused and are now living a different life than they should be or a life of incarceration because someone didn’t have all the facts, and would not own up to their mistake?

Then I had a flashback of fifth or sixth grade.  The lady that ran the little store across the street from our little school came across to visit with several of us for a few minutes.  She was wearing her money apron.  I don’t know why we were playing with the quarters, but I was holding two of them.  As she started to go back across the street, instead of her taking them in her hand, I put them back in her pocket.  A day or two later she saw me in front of the school and confronted me in front of my friends.  She told me that I had never returned the quarters and I owed her fifty cents.  She was going to add it to my tab at the store.  I reminded her of my putting them back in her pocket, but she said, No. They weren’t there.  You never did.  I really don’t know why a woman thirty plus years older than me would want to embarrass and accuse me. Nor did I understand why she needed an extra fifty cents! But the next day, I went to her store and approached her.  I told her that she and I both knew that I had returned those coins to her pocket.  I didn’t know why she say otherwise ….but that I would replace the fifty cents from my lunch money, if she insisted.  She took my quarters.  It still baffles me to this day.  My opinion of this woman changed.  Her niceties to me as I continued to grow up in the same town, were never taken to heart.  My word and integrity and character mattered to me and I would keep mine.

In summary….. I am not a thief.  Unless you hesitate in eating your sugar cookie.   Now that’s a different story entirely.

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This entry was posted in accusations, false accusations, growing up, innocent, thieves, vintage and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

21 Responses to False Accusations

  1. Isn’t it amazing Paula how those seemingly ‘small’ incidences have such significance. I was once accused as a child of taking money from my mother’s wallet. I never did but that false accusation burned.

    I love how you bought the painting anyway — but still, what a silly thing for that woman to do and so cowardly not to apologize afterwards.

    Lovely and powerful story Paul. Thanks.

  2. Jodi Bradford says:

    I beg to differ…..I know two little girls who’s hearts you’ve stolen.

    But I can’t imagine anyone else thinking of you any other way than a woman of the utmost integrity. I know that’s how I see you.

    Love you.

  3. Rhonda says:

    And to think….it appears the picture wasn’t even HERS to be so indignant with you about? She sounds a bitter soul to me. Grrrrr, I’m with you…integrity and character are priceless….as for the other…50 cents is just 50 cents (or a dollar to the ‘real’ thief) and she obviously needed it more than being able to trust you were being truthful. You are tops and I’d trust you with MY sugar cookies!

  4. It hurts to be falsely accused. I had that happen to me when I was a child. It’s something you never forget.

  5. I find it incredulous when others try to take advantage of anyone and so often succeed. It often starts with that woman and the 50 cents or the woman at the garage sale — are they individuals who moved on to steal their parents social security checks or a veterans disability and on and on. I see this stuff everyday and can’t help but wonder, how many have they harmed before they were finally caught and charged.
    If I made sugar cookies – I’d bring you a basket of them for standing up for yourself.

  6. For someone ultra-honest, as you are, being falsely accused of something dishonest is the worst insult possible.

  7. So glad you got your cow picture for $2, Paula. I do hope that woman felt bad. When I was small, one of my mom’s friends accused me of stealing sixpence from her mantlepiece. I had hiccups at the time and she explained afterwards that she just wanted to give me a shock so the hiccups would go away. It worked, but I’ve never forgotten the feeling of standing there accused of theft, even if it was only in jest. 😦

  8. Jeannette from the CA coast says:

    Been there myself, accused of something I didn’t do…not a good feeling! Perhaps when you look at your lovely new picture you can send up a prayer for that needy woman:)

  9. reocochran says:

    I was recently scolded (at work) for something I did not say. I have been there 7 years and always had good relationships with coworkers. It stings and I was appalled. Now I realize who my friends really are and who aren’t. 😦

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