Back in the day, we thought no one could touch us. We were just kids—what could any one do to us?
And it wasn’t that I didn’t have money. I was a really spoiled kid. I could say, “Hey Dad, I’m going to the mall. He’d say, Here’s some money.” But there was a thrill factor to taking something that wasn’t mine.
It started with a girlfriend. She said, “Haven’t you every taken anything before? Let’s go.”
That first time, I was terrified. The shop was dark though, and teenagers were working. They didn’t notice or probably care.
We took tee shirts, we took jewelry.
Gradually, we grew more intense. We wanted a bigger challenge.
We bought wire cutters – I still remember their green handle – I stuffed them into my big bag and we hit up a new store. My friend distracted the staff while I sliced through the theft-prevention wires on a pair of shoes.
I think the workers were just noticing that something was off when we ran out of the store.
That was the only time, besides the first time, that I was truly shaken.
I know I obviously shouldn’t have done it—and really, I took less than most people I knew.
But I think about what would have happened had I been caught. I was an upper-middle-class white girl. A friend of mine was caught, someone a lot like me; they didn’t even call her parents— just told her not to do it again.
I work in a clinic now, and handle the ordering. Yeah, I notice that there are plenty of expensive items just lying around, just going to waste. I know I could take stuff—but the thrill is gone. My conscience would eat me alive.
I’ve changed a lot since high school, and thankfully nothing has held that back.