Read at your own risk!
By Isabelle Orr, Entertainment Editor
“The three things I won’t have in my house are lying, cheating, and stealing,” my mom would declare, unprompted.
While in theory this sounds like a good (albeit LAME) motto that deserves being silkscreened onto a wall applique for a white woman, the reality is everybody lies (personable notable lie: Telling people I was Jamaican in elementary school for the cred), cheats (personable notable cheating: Every test I’ve ever taken)—but I somehow never stole while living in my parents’ house.
Why? For many reasons, though mostly because I’m a little baby who’s scared of being thrown in the clinker. Though I have watched all the seasons of Orange is the New Black, I know that my big mouth and cavalier attitude will get me as far in prison as I got into the audiobook for the novel Orange is the New Black is based on (the answer: Not far, since I don’t like being reminded that the people in the author’s story aren’t as hot as television actors).
I was once accused of shoplifting from (I now gasp and clutch my vintage estate-sale pearls) Garage. However, as almost anyone who set eyes on my pudgy, preteen frame could see, the only thing I had concealed on me was a wad of mashed-together sticks of 5 Gum in my back pocket that I was saving for later. The incident scarred me so much that I told myself I would never, ever steal. I was also banned from Garage for three months and had to lower myself to shopping at Urban Planet to get shirts that showed my nonexistent cleavage.
I was shocked—betrayed—dismayed—to learn that one of my friends shoplifted on the regular. Talented, rich, and hip, she didn’t need to steal, yet she showed me pilfered jewelry, clothes, and knickknacks. Obviously, shoplifting gave her something she couldn’t get from day-to-day life.
Was I getting enough from my daily life? I love routine and knowing how my day will flow. Things like jobs, friends, and hobbies have to slowly seep into my schedule, lest I panic and go on a mood-bender. Could something as gratifying and adrenaline-inducing help me, a creature of habit?
Last year I visited Value Village with a friend’s ex. He was the epitome of cool—he wore some form of leather at all times, no matter the heat, and photographed after-hours queer sex clubs. In contrast, I was learning how to knit (hard!).
He held up a pair of monogrammed loafers. “These are amazing, but I’m not paying 30 dollars,” he said.
He deftly took off his shoes and slid on the loafers.
My eyes bugged out of my head.
“Value Village is shitty anyways,” he said. “They’re owned by Walmart and they hire workers to sort through their clothes for barely any pay.”
But the security guard! I cried.
“He doesn’t do anything,” my friend said. “Just take something. No one cares. You’ll be doing them a favour.”
It was a classic example of peer pressure, but I am no pillar of righteousness. I grabbed a pair of the least offensive earrings I could find, and when I was sure we were alone in an aisle, I slipped them into my pocket.
“This isn’t Ocean’s Eleven,” he hissed. “We’re in a Value Village.”
Still, my heart beat hard as we walked out the door. Was the guard looking at me? But—no! I had escaped the threat of a lifetime prison sentence.
“You’re such a freak,” my friend said.
I rode the high for the rest of the day. I fully recommend light (read: very light) theft for a buzz, but nothing more. For now, I get my rocks off by skimming organic gummies from the bins at Whole Foods.
On the phone with my mom, I breezily dropped my light theft into conversation.
“Belle!” she shrieked. “I don’t like lying, cheating, or stealing.”
“Chill out, Mom,” I said. “You’re such a freak.”