Princess Of Thievesbysubmissive kelly©
I have a secret. I am a closet kleptomaniac. I can't be sure when it started, but things got, well, addictive when I was just out of high school and living on my own in a small duplex. I was working two jobs and watched as my peers all went off to college, while I stayed in town and worked in a chicken plant and as a night house parent for a local women's shelter. I had a friend, Sara, who introduced me to tag switching and later to full out thieving. It was, for me, my chance to finally dress and look like other people my age that had parents still paying their rent or car insurance or both.
Sara and I lost contact over the years, but my desire to steal is still very strong. It's also odd that everything I steal now I can afford. Shoplifting isn't about some generic after school special depicting two giggling girls looking for a "thrill", but rather an art form, which I have mastered. I am not looking to be caught or am I interested in the money aspect, such as returning stolen goods for cash.
Here's how it works. Often I find myself waking up and thinking that I don't have enough of something. Perfume, nail polish, lipstick, and clothing; all of these things are my usual brand of thievery. I will plan hours ahead deciding which stores I'll hit and which purse to take. Usually, I bring along an over the shoulder purse, which is big with a lot of pockets, but nothing suspecting. Also, I have found the closer to the body I can keep the things I steal, the safer I feel. I also have a favorite jacket with holes in the pockets. When I pick up candles or jewelry, I can easily slide them into my pockets, but with the holes, my jacket lining becomes a closed off sack for my various items of non-purchase.
With my purse and my jacket, I'll head to drug stores or dollar stores or thrift shops, each depending on a certain mood and want. Yes, I did say dollar stores, as in "Everything Is $1.00" stores. I do not steal [anymore] for need. I steal for pleasure and for getting something I don't have to actually buy. I am finicky, however. It isn't so much about what I steal, as much as it is about how much I steal. This is where a bit of compulsion sets in to my style.
I steal in numbers almost always. Never do I only take one of something. I most often steal in threes. A set of three is much more brave and also it becomes a mini collection at the point it exceeds three. Three is also what I do most everything in. I count in threes. I buy in threes. Three cans of corn, three bags of spaghetti, three turtlenecks. I am not sure why I do this but I sense it goes back to my father who also bought in multiples. He also had six children, so that would make him more able to excuse his overages and greed. I am not sure if it about greed with me. I like to think of it as some unusual personality quirk. I am "interesting" because of these idiosyncratic details. I actually, amidst the warped sense of reasoning and flare for cheap shit, think that my brand of stealing is "cute."
I mean, here is how I feel about it. I am not rationalizing, as that would take too much energy and I am lazy. I don't like to think about what I have just taken. In fact, I usually steal with my mother or friends not ever knowing, yet their presence makes me feel less vulnerable. I feel if my mommy is around me while I am slipping packs of gum into my jacket, then I will be less detectable. Who would ever suspect a grown woman to be stealing ... and with her mother? Not many, I've noticed. I am hurting no one with my little handfuls of lipgloss, am I? I have also artfully distracted any amount of guilt I might have by stealing clearance sale items. It's as if by taking something marked down I am doing the store a favor. They don't have to "move" the merchandise out and I don't feel bad because it was so cheap anyway. Yes. This is my thinking. If something is 75% off, that's my cue to open up my purse and check all the round mirrors in the corners of the store.
About those mirrors, in fact most anti-theft devices which should deter a potential thief, they are unnoticed. I have worked in several chain department stores and those mirrors are the last things a cashier or worker notices. Most of them, like me, only watch them when they are taking from the store's overstock. The round "bubbles" in the ceilings are also just a waste of time. In fact, most stores that have moved into a previously existing store that went out of business never use the old cameras. They also, I might add, never install any themselves. When I worked somewhere with these plastic orbs hovering like great eyes over the shiny floors, I never once saw monitors or some security guard watching to arrest little kids with candy or old ladies wadding up panties in their cracked leather purses. Not once. I have blown the security of stores off to the point that I often feel like I am stealing from a store that has just had an electrical blackout. It is just that bold ... and sad.
Of course, when I get home I am forced to "deal" with my new items. I used to hide them away, saving them for gifts at Christmas or give them to random birthday girls. Now, however, I have came out of the closet of my five fingers discount shopping and told my husband. He is a good man. I don't think it would even occur to a man like him to take anything that he didn't pay for. He usually pats me down after leaving a grocery store these days. He also usually finds three tiny trinkets rolling around in the back of my jacket lining. Thankfully, he doesn't make me return these things like parents usually do to children who need to be taught a lesson. Thankfully, I am at an age where I should know better and even if he were to turn me over to the store manager, it wouldn't be so cute at 27 as it was at 7. His grimaces of fatherly disappointment spawn an entire range of emotions in me from sad to lousy to giggling in fits, which make us both feel a little better about my "habit."
I do not take things from homes or friends, of course. I am not that kind of person. I am a good person with a naughty streak that has always whispered in my ear that I am above rules. I have always thought this to some degree. In college when I'd change papers around to suit my needs and not the professor's requirements, later arguing that it was poorly explained. I also cannot keep a job for longer than six months because eventually, I begin to feel bored and above the rules of work. This freedom, usually discovered after the "probation period" at a job, allows me to come in when I like and leave as I see fit. I am just one of those people who believes nothing bad will happen to me. Of course, when I am fired I never blame myself, only the shoddy quality of the management. This is the point when, just despite the unemployment check, I'll get in the car with my magic jacket and purse and head back for a little revenge. I know I am not harming anyone but it feels damn good. I can walk out of the store and empty my loot onto the front seat once inside me car and boldly smell the candles or feel relief that I won't have to actually buy a present for tonight's wedding shower.
I have just a few rules when dealing with my petty theft. I never steal from someplace where a friend works, unless, well, they are hooking me up. I also never shoplift from small businesses. I understand these people are working hard for their money and every little bit counts. I am such an empathetic person; I'll even spend more than I should at these mom and pop shops. I also refuse to steal things that have tags. In the dressing room I usually find a place to stick the tags, sometimes behind the mirrors, although I have noticed a caulking or glue around a lot of those mirrors recently, which leads me to believe they caught on to that trick. I usually leave the store with three pairs of panties on under my jeans, new stockings folded delicately under my socks and shoes and several odd items such as candy, hair clips, travel size shampoos or greeting cards. The common theme with these things is that they do not have price tags or any magnetic device that might set off embarrassing alarms. I also never, under any circumstances steal things and head to the bathroom. This is one of those places that underage thieves shoving magazines down their pants usually go to remove incriminating evidence. I also don't take money, large ticket items nor CDs or tapes. Anything that might appear a common thing to steal, I stay away from. In keeping with my pattern of "what if I get caught" thinking, I always put things in my purse that should be there anyway. Every woman has lipsticks, usually more than one, so this would be a favored item. Perfume, make-up, anything "girlie" is what I like to stick to.
All in all, I am a good thief. I have little to no remorse for my actions and I have a perfectly constructed world of potential story that I could use on some naive store manager were I to ever be caught. I have noticed that if a day has been particularly stressful, stealing is usually a nice way to relieve my tension. I can walk away with new stuff, and feel simultaneously that I've just officially screwed the system; a system that I, along with thousands of others, believe screws us on a daily basis. I realize the more mature realization would be to note that each time I take from a store, small or repulsively super-sized, I am taking from the pockets of other members of society in the form of inflation and lower wages. Yes, I would agree were I mature, however that requires too much responsibility. I am talented. I never recall acting like a grown-up. Speaking of maturity, I can't wait until I am in my fifties so that I'll be practically invisible to store manager hounds sniffing out potential thieves. In fact, as I cautiously clutch my purse to my waist, these nice young men will more than likely wish me a good day and help me out the door.
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