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Should I Tell? PDF Print E-mail
Written by Eloise Foster Latoof   
Sunday, 02 November 2008 04:26


There are so many stories out there.   Some we can tell, some are better not told.   Here is one story that should probably not be told--but I am going to tell it anyway.   It bothers me to this day.

When I was a little girl of about 10 years, my judgement must have been poor at times.   My widowed mother re-married when I was eight.   My world was up-ended.  It really was.

My real father died before I was born, and I was the third child.   My mother, educated as a teacher, went back to work.   But, not as a teacher.   She took a government job as a stenographer--typing, taking dictation, and doing whatever stenographers did.

Years passed and she ultimately re-married.   Her new husband was a farmer (or gentleman planter, as his obituary said), and insisted that mama quit her job.   She did.   Mama had developed a frugal mind-set due to necessity, and continued being very careful of every dime spent.  Thus my crime.

There was a carnival in town along with the annual 'fair' where people high-lighted their skills as canners, seamstresses, and so forth.   They competed for small prize money and recognition.

There was a lot of socializing amongst all of the townspeople during these weekends.   Mama entered the competition with her jellies (they had to be clear and colorful), and also entered whatever else in which she excelled.   She even 'placed' on a jar or two on her preserved pears--or something.

I would walk through the areas where pigs and cows were show-cased, enclosed in straw-filled pens.   (The aroma remains with me to this day.)   My stepfather had livestock to be viewed and judged.   He was known to win a few, himself.

But my interest was on the carnival rides and booths where one could pay a dime and try to win a trinket at 'throw-a-dart-at-a-balloon', or 'catch a plastic duck' that had a prize attached.   You get the picture.   It was fun!   It was exciting!   And it cost money.   And I didn't have any money.

I whined and made a nuisance of myself and was handed a few dimes and quarters.   They were quickly spent.   The thrill to a young girl was exhilarating and short-lived.   Mama thought it an extravagance to hand over carefully-saved money for what she thought was foolishness.

So, I stole.  Yes, I did.   My stepfather kept  payroll money in what we  called a 'wardrobe', but was probably just a free-standing highboy.    I carefully scanned the area before I opened a drawer of that piece of furniture and took three fifty-cent pieces.   I quickly spent that money on the carnival rides and duck-dipping, and cotton candy.

And I waited for the discovery of my terrible sin.   I was miserable--as much by my transgression and the discovery of said transgression, as the fear of being found out that I was a bad girl.

I don't know if that $1.50 were ever missed or not.   But I knew I was truly a criminal.   I know it still bothers me.   And I still don't know if I should have told this story.

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Livpink95 - 11-08-2008 12:37

i remember i always used to steal my fathers change that he always left on his dresser, and i had saved it up for a while. it gradually added up to about 50 dollars. i was very little, and i didnt think of that as stealing, but my mom corrected me, so i dont do that anymore. that was a good story:)
Mean Dean - 11-02-2008 14:02

Only a slice.....that's funnier! All she had to do was to bend over like she was tying her shoe, & eat it quickly. So we know that she basically didn't think like a thief - just an out of control watermelon habit.
eloiselatoof@aol.com - 11-02-2008 10:43

it was a slice of watermelon, so a tote purse could possibility have held, but not concealed it. thus, she was "caught".
Mean Dean - 11-02-2008 08:43

OK.....take $1.50, add some interest for the "unknown loan," & then donate the total sum to your favorite charity. Better yet, your parents favorite charity. Then forgetaboutit!! You will have made amends, & put a positive finality on it. Nuff said! And don't tell your daughter, but at age 11, she wasn't much bigger than a watermelon. So how large was her purse?
tell away
angela - 11-02-2008 07:17

i think we all have a story like that. when i was 11, stupid me, tried to put a watermelon in my purse. got caught. never told you that story, did i mama?
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Last Updated on Sunday, 02 November 2008 05:09