Blame it on the Lei

Before we get into my embarrassing illegal activities of yesternight, I must tell you that the River Styx is almost pretty when it is bathed in sunlight as it is today:


And all the name suggestions you people left yesterday?  Hilarious!  I’m particularly fond of SaturAcres and Forx, and I’ve been trying to incorporate Forx into something . . . Like Forxfield Acres or Forxwater Hall.  And, yes, I did sneak in an Austen quote.

Anyway . . . let’s talk shoplifting, shall we?  Have any of you ever done it?  Come on, ‘fess up.  Or at least lie and make me feel better, because last night I stold a box of rasins and a bottle of salad dressing from Wal Mart.

But it was an accident!  I swear!  I mean, if I suddenly decided to start shoplifting, why would I steal raisins and salad dressing?  Even Wal Mart has better stuff than that!  You know, like Oreos and control top pantyhose.

Here is the back story:

Last night I went to a church function for the women (Relief Society, heretofore to be referred to simply as RS).  It was a luau-themed celebration of the RS birthday and a visiting teaching (VT) conference.  It was nice, the food was good, and it depressed the hell out of me.  I suppose I could go into all the details and bore the snot out of you, but let me just ntushell it instead: lately, every time I go to church for any reason it just reminds me that my whole life has changed this past year and I am not where I want to be.  I want to go home, but this is home now, and I don’t want it to be home.

The people in our congregation are great, make no mistake about it, but there are so few of them, and they all live so far apart, and they are not the people I left behind.  I miss what I had to leave.  I miss it in so many ways and for so many reasons, and, while there are pluses to being where we are, it’s not the same as being where we were, and nothing drives that home quite like going to church.

Last night was especially . . . poignant? . . . because I couldn’t help remembering the last luau/church function I attended, and I couldn’t help remembering the last VT conference I attended in which we watched the same what-not-to-do YouTube video that we watched last night.

Okey-dokey, that wasn’t much of a nutshell, but whatever . . .

Once it was all over and I’d helped clean up a bit, I headed to my car and immediately called my best friend who gets me and knows everything there is to know about the past 18 years of my life and beyond, and I talked to her as I drove from the church to Wal Mart.  And I continued talking to her as I shopped for some groceries in Wal Mart.  And I practically cried over the apples.  And I wondered why people were looking at me oddly as I wandered aimlessly through Wal Mart (because I didn’t feel like heading back out into the dark, cold rain just yet, and we were still talking) (though I was no longer practically crying).

And?  Finally?  I went to check out.  I was still on the phone, being one of those people who talks on the phone in a public place, thereby annoying everyone around me with my one side of a conversation to which they are not privy and which they would rather not hear anyway.  I continued on thusly, as I was unloading the items from my cart, trying to acknowledge the friendliness of the cashier without breaking the phone conversation, and bending over and grabbing item after item to put on the little black conveyor belt.  It was then I saw it.

Hanging from around my neck, dangling down towards the cart as I leaned ever so slightly in for the next item, was a blue, plastic scrunchy lei.  You know, the kind that look like they are made of layer after layer of brightly dyed garbage bag.  They gave us each one, encouraged us to take several, as we had gone into the church.  I only took one, but forgot to take it off at the end of the activity, and sported it all the way through Wal Mart.


I was mortified, but couldn’t get it off my neck while also loading bagged groceries into my cart, talking on the phone, and swiping my credit card.


After all that I went quickly through the rain to my car and started putting the groceries in the trunk while still talking on the phone.  There, in the bottom of the cart, were the raisins and salad dressing. 

Crap.  Did I forget to put those up to pay for them?  Nah, they probably just fell out of the bag.  The cashier would have noticed if I’d left anything in my cart.  They’re supposed to check for stuff like that, no? 

See, you justify things when it is dark and cold and raining, and you are wearing a pink floral shirt, pink sandals (in your lame attempt to wear luau attire) and a clashing blue, plastic lei.  So I got in my car and zipped home (within the speed limit though, because the police out here have nothing better to do than pull over speeders, which they do frequently, and with glee).

In order to prove to myself that I, indeed, did not just embark upon a life of crime, I fished out the receipt and scanned through it once I was in my kitchen:

impulse purchase
stuff I don’t really need

Crap.  No raisins.  No salad dressing.

I am a thief.  I am a thief who wears a garbage bag lei while perpetrating my crime.  So, not only am I an accidental shoplifter, I am a criminal with an MO.


I blame it on the lei, though.  I really do.  Had I not been distracted by my own fashion fabulousness while unloading the groceries from my cart, I probably wouldn’t have missed the two ill-begotten food items.  As it is, I now need to go back to Wal Mart (which is, like, 10-15 miles away, so thank goodness I’m not condemned to driving a horse and buggy) to explain that I accidentally took a couple items and need to pay for them.  I hope I can get in the door to right my wrong before they recognize me from security footage and haul me off to the pokey.

But the lei is staying home, communing with its cousin Glad ForceFlex.

And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt is cutting his hair and growing a beard for the time being.

16 thoughts on “Blame it on the Lei

  1. I happen to be a pro at this. Don’t ask me how. When you go back, you do NOT say you accidentally took a few things. You say, “Looks like the cashier didn’t charge me for these two items, for some reason, and I would like to pay for them.” You don’t have to mention that the reason you weren’t charged is because they were never put on the conveyor belt. That’s nobody’s business. Trust me on this. You will be a hero for driving all the way back to pay for them.

    I’ll give you this much- you’re putting a whole new spin on being Mormom, that’s for sure. First, the cooters… Now, being lei’d in Walmart, and theft.


  2. I’ve done this *several* times. I like to think that I’ve probably been overcharged other times to make up for it?!? I always feel really bad but not so bad I’ve ever hauled back to the store to pay away my guilt.

    So sorry about the Walmart Lei – that is the worst kind, I believe.


  3. metaphase

    HA! Michelle, that gal always cracks me up.
    I stole a string cheese from Wal-Mart a few months ago. Yes, just one lonely string cheese was wedged behind my diaper bag when I got to the car. I didn’t go back, though. I told the check-out lady to ring me up for an extra one the next time I was in there.

    My husband is notorious for almost stealing things all the time. He put things on our stroller while we’re shopping then forgets and walks out the door. He never gets “caught”, which is a little strange. We get out of the store and then one of us notices and he has to go take it back.


  4. Christina

    Yep, it was definitely the lei. And I can SO imagine doing the exact same thing – only I’d also have make-up streaking down my face. Did you have any mascara streaks? No? Then it wasn’t so bad.
    We brought something back to one of the box hardware stores once because we accidentally got something that the person ahead of us bought/paid for and then the poor “returns” guy didn’t have a clue what to do – he couldn’t give us money back and we didn’t owe anything! Quite a conundrum, I tell ya.


  5. Lol! After reading this and your previous post, maybe you should call your estate “Malefactor Meadows.”

    I’ve always taken unpaid for items back to the store to pay for them. It’s a great lesson for the kids.


  6. Ummmm…I am not so surprised they missed the couple of items in the cart. It is Wal-Mart. I mean I love Wal Mart, but I think you are just lucky you got out of there without them thinking you lifted the lei.

    I am sorry you are not feeling at home- that has to be so hard.


  7. Okay, that is PERHAPS the funniest post I’ve read in quite awhile. I have tears, woman! TEARS! Its totally the lei’s fault. Darn that lei! Let me know if you need a place to hide out. Grab-Your-Lasso is the last place they’ll look for a lei-wearing, raisin and salad dressing-stealin’, cell phone manner breakin’ criminal. I’ve got your back! 🙂
    On a more serious note…I’m proud of you for taking the items back and paying for them. So many people wouldn’t. You’re setting an awesome example for your kids. Just don’t tell them about the lei…it’ll ruin the moment. ;>)


  8. Nancy

    Make sure your township trustees know your yard is flooding this year after not flooding last year – they need to check for blocked culverts, etc. They also need to make sure the state also checks theirs.

    I am hiding my head in shame at having such a felonious daughter – that is, when I can stop laughing enough to move my head.


  9. Ugh, what a night. Sorry RS wasn’t as “uplifting” as maybe it should have been. I haven’t quite found “home” yet, either. And we’ve been here for four years! But, it’s the fifth place we’ve lived (and fourth ward) since we were married only nine years ago. It takes a while to build up those lasting friendships. I have a hard time finding peers…there aren’t a lot of Mormon women who are scientists out there. I talk about stuff I’m interested in, and I get a lot of blank stares. I hope you begin to feel a little more at home soon. Here’s a VT *hug*. (Can I report that to my supervisor? 🙂


  10. My, ever since you moved to the outskirts of Radiator Springs you’ve shown such a wild and crazy side of you I never expected! The story is hilarious, though I’m sorry for the reason behind it – that things have been hard and stressful and sad. I’m sorry I’ve stunk at commenting lately, always have your blog open to comment when I can have both clear thinking and free hands and then the computer will crash and I’ll forget to get your blog opened back up again. More to come…


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