I 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.
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.