The incompetent shoplifter

It’s a testament to the enduring reach of my Catholic upbringing that even when I’m giving money away, I fear getting caught. I sneaked around that grocery store yesterday like an incompetent shoplifter, leaving money instead of stealing inventory. Obviously up to something, I repeatedly threw guilty suspicious casual looks over my shoulder and completely failed to keep my poker face in front of store employees.

No one caught on.

Hiding the money was fun but not just because it felt illegal. I got such a thrill out of sliding a dollar under the lid of a can of baby formula or between the pages of a composition notebook. A sticky note wishing the finder a great day accompanied each bill.

It was easy to imagine a child’s delight at finding a dollar in a box of paints. That would make my Sarah dance all afternoon. But what of the grownup finding a dollar under the outer wrapping of a tissue box? Would she feel happy, pleasantly surprised? Or creeped out, maybe even stalked? Interestingly, imagining either reaction was equally fun.

Probably the best part was telling my daughters what I’d done. They were both so tickled by it, delighted to be in on the secret and fascinated by the question of where all those dollars would end up.


For today’s joy, I’m heading for my daughters’ playroom to paint a picture. I have no talent for painting, as a photo of my work will prove tomorrow. But paint is purdy. I can’t remember the last time I tried to make something just for fun.

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31 Responses to The incompetent shoplifter

  1. The one thing you forgot to mention is the address of this grocery store.

  2. gojulesgo says:

    This is just so delightful I can’t even stand it!! You’re amazing.

  3. Libby Lu says:

    I love this and will have to pass it on.

  4. You are really embracing this project and it’s fun to enjoy the ride with you. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Muff says:

    I am quite certain that you were stealthy…images of Inspector Clouseau and Cato flashing through my mind right now. Were you wearing a rain coat and a hat? (Insert the theme to the Pink Panther in your head at this time).

  6. I love this story, and the joy you are sharing. I wonder if you could set up a separate e-mail or something so people could send a message about how they feel finding your little surprises. Enjoy painting . . . I might do something similar. 😉

    • I’d love to know that. I considered leaving an email address but I didn’t want anyone to feel obligated. I’m sure your painting will be at a whole other level…mine will probably look like a kindergartener’s.

  7. Lesley says:

    What a superb idea! I can’t wait to hear about all the other exciting things you have planned for the rest of this month.

  8. Susan Child says:

    I love painting on walls. Have fun! *:)

  9. Kate Kresse says:

    FABULOUS!!! I am putting a link to this one the joyforwarding site (see this link)
    Great going!

  10. bigsheepcommunications says:

    I hope you’ll post a photo of whatever it is you paint ; )

  11. notquiteold says:

    What a great idea. I wish I could see the people find the money.

  12. I am a horribly selfish giver. I would totally have to hang around to see people’s reactions.

  13. shannonbeck2 says:

    One of my favorite things to do is to pay for the coffee in the car behind me at the espresso drive through. A friend got me on to this – and – it totally makes my day every time. I always speed off like a guilty toddler whose mom is chasing them down. I love feeling sneaky-happy.

    • That’s awesome. I love that idea. It makes me want to find a drive through so I can do the same. The only drive through I regularly use is at the bank.

      Hmmm…I’ll have to look into this. Thanks for the idea!

  14. Pingback: Have playground slides always been this narrow? | If I Were Brave

  15. this is so incredibly awesome!! I love it!

  16. Sharon says:

    This is the way to rack up maximum karma points. Exactly like this.

  17. Pingback: More guerrilla goodness | If I Were Brave

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