• Fri, May 4 2012

I Regret: Stealing Because I Was Bored

Do you have regrets? Tell TheGloss your regrettable story in 600-800 words and you could win these designer shades to hide your shameful, shameful face.

I have two kinds of regrets. There’s the one that makes me cringe, but I know deep down I’m better for it; or there’s the regret that I’ll always regret. Like ordering a measly salad at an expensive restaurant right after rent was due and then finding out we’re all splitting the bill anyway. Get the filet my friends, always get the filet.

Here’s a cringeworthy one:

It was a sleepy 17-year-old summer and my middle-class Jersey guilt was riding high. My friends and I had discovered After Shock, hookah bars in the city that didn’t card and mediocre orgasms, but we were still feeling unsatisfied and hard drugs seemed scary. So we did what every mall-attending Jersey girl would do in this situation: stole stuff. It started out with simple things like 99 cent bracelets down the shore. Then maybe a Gap t-shirt. I’ll admit my friends were more steadfast than I. Seven jeans, Fossil wallets and god knows what else started popping up in my friends’ bedrooms. They gave them as presents. “I got this for you, specifically.” How sweet, really.

Then one day I decided I wanted a necklace from a rather posh department store. And I didn’t want to pay for it. I deserved it, right? I hadn’t gotten pregnant. I took AP classes. There had to be some sort of balance, right? My friend and I both put necklaces on, walked around the store some more, and bought some underwear. (Good plan, right? Buy something. If you buy something then why would they think you stole something else?) See, this is where I start to cringe. We then proceeded to leave the store.

A large dude came hurrying past us and asked us to follow him. We played dumb. I knew. My heart puked out my mouth and fell outside near some cars. We proceeded down to the basement. A long, curvy, creepy basement you see in movies about kids being abducted from Nicaragua. For a moment I thought maybe he just wanted to have sex with us, and had no other motives like calling my parents or sending me to jail.

He introduced us to Luisa. It was her first day on the job, and she had caught us on tape! Luisa smiled, exposing her missing teeth and rotting gums. The rest is a blur except that I was in shock and couldn’t cry while my friend went hysterical. So I seemed like the bad kid. I was ridiculed for my lack of response. I no longer criticize parents who lose kids and can’t shed a tear. We all react in different ways; mine was to shut down and pretend Luisa was just someone out of a Law & Order episode.

He wanted to send us to jail. But I guess he took pity on my blubbering friend, and since we were under 18, he just called our parents and sent us home. And I had to pay off the bracelet x5 with my entire summer job money.

My mom came to pick me up, obviously pissed. Never cross a Sicilian mother. I was ready to have my rights read right then and there. (Cringe again.) I almost asked Luisa if I could just crash with her for the next year or two.

So yes. I’m embarrassed. My parents were hurt. But truly do I regret it? Had I not done it, would I have kept on this path of petty larceny? What if I had been 18 and stolen a shoe? It’s better it happened when it did, or I may have been in for a lot worse. I can’t even steal a glance now, let alone anything of material value. Not to mention, Luisa looked pretty damn good on her first day of work, and I bet someone at home was really proud of her.

So, in hindsight: Take the filet, leave the necklace.

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  • Olivia

    this really hit close to home. i stole a lot too when i was a teenager. idk what it was, but i think i just felt a bit of a rush when it came to stealing. that and lack of funds for all of the things i wanted. my friend and i did something similar at a department store, except they were bracelets. unfortunately my friend was 18 and they pressed charges. her parents were very strict and from eastern europe, and since she was over 18 they didn’t have to call her parents- only mine. my mom was super pissed but luckily she isn’t the most strict parent in the world so it was better than calling her parents. to be honest, i still sometimes have a thought in my head like “hmm maybe i could just slip this in my bag” but yeah- totally not worth it! especially now that i’m old enough for them to press charges against.

  • MM

    I stole a lot, too, until I was 16 and got a job in the mall right next to the cheap jewelry store that all the high school girls used to steal from. The thrill lost its appeal after saw sobbing 14-year-olds getting busted on a regular basis.

    That said, years later sometimes I still wear one of the shirts I stole. It would have been a good investment had I paid for it!