I stole from the dollar store. It's true, I did it. And now, a week or so later, I'm still not even sorry. Oddly, I feel justified...even though I know I owe the Dollar Tree $1.07.
Preface: I'm your typical upstanding citizen. I'm friendly to customer service people, I blatantly pick up litter in front of the people who intentionally dropped it while giving them the I-hate-you face, I return items to the proper shelf when I find them on a store's floor. All around, I'm a decent person.
So, on the day before Halloween, I threw my upstanding citizenship out the Dollar Tree door and into the cool, autumn air when I stole a roll of masking tape. Here's how it all began....
I've been struggling with insomnia as a lovely side effect of my pregnancy for the past 13 weeks. It's not fun at all. I've been unable to nap during the week and randomly wake up at night for hours at a time. There's generally no real catching up on the sleep that I miss out on. On that particular Thursday morning, I woke up at 3:30 a.m. and was up for the rest of the day. By 9:00 a.m., while sitting at my desk waiting for my students to arrive to start the day, I burst into tears of exhaustion while my co-teacher looked on baffled. I just couldn't even process the idea of twenty seven students that day, let alone the next day, the beloved yet dreaded by school teachers everywhere, Halloween.
My day carried on with me mostly in an exhausted stupor. The kids eventually went home, I left as well and headed to the glass store to get new panes for two of the windows in my house. I stumbled through that process and got back in the car to go buy stickers for my Halloween costume for the next day's parade at which point a slew of obscenities flew out of my mouth. I had forgotten the masking tape and mailing labels at work that I needed for my costume. Now, I would not only have to buy stickers, but the masking tape and labels as well. Damnit.
I went to Staples first. Masking tape was only available in a 4-pack for $8!!? No. I'm not paying that much for something sitting in my desk drawer at work. While in Staples, I called Joe who quickly found mailing labels to bring home from his office. Unfortunately, his office does not use masking tape. Odd, no? Staples also did not have the stickers I needed but I wasn't really expecting them to. Right around this point is when I start realizing that I have to eat. I'm starting to feel a bit nauseous. Damn having to eat every three hours.
Next stop, Dollar Tree. As I walk in, I'm stunned by the week-before-Christmas-length line. And the Christmas items on display and the many people who are actually purchasing them. What the hell? I've fast forwarded to December 20th. Maybe the line will be down by the time I have to pay. I find my roll of masking tape but no stickers, which means I still have to drive to the craft store two towns over. Damnit.
Done shopping, I head up to the front of the store only to find that the line is still just as long as when I arrived. I cannot bear the idea of standing in that line. It is so long, I am so tired and I feel like crap. I stall, thinking that if I wander the store for a couple minutes the line will go down. Doesn't work.
And then it hits me.
I have to steal the tape.
I have no other even slightly reasonable options. I need the tape for my costume. I would like to throw up. My eyes are half closed. The line is not even a choice to me right then. I am going to steal the tape.
Right at this moment, my phone rings. I pick up and it's one of my good friends.
"Hey, Jacki! What are you doing?"
I throw the tape in my bag and head out the door.
"Stealing a roll of tape from the dollar store," I whisper into the phone. The sound of her dying laughing on the other end of the line makes me erupt into giggles. And I begin telling her the story of why, even though I have money sitting in my purse, it was completely and totally reasonable that I took the tape.