Each week, I go to the same store, and I steal their merchandise. It's not a lot. It's just a small item. No one even notices. The price of it is a tiny fraction compared to the amount I spend in that store, so really, what's the harm? Right?
The problem is, my 3 year old daughter sees me do it week after week. In fact, she steals it with me. It's almost part of our shopping ritual. We scope out the item, choosing it carefully, then I hand it to her, and she takes care of it.
Once I confessed my crimes to the checker, but instead of charging me for the past stolen merchandise, she laughed, telling me she knew I was a frequent customer of the store, and considering how much I spent there monthly, it probably worked out in the end. I was stunned and filled with a small bit of disappointment. I was hoping for absolution AND penance.
I suppose some guilt is what I deserve, allowing my little monkey to eat one $.19 banana while we do our weekly shopping at Trader Joes. Thankfully the magic of that banana prevents my kid from being the screaming toddler in the store. And one of these days I'll actually remember to pay the checker for it.