Toothbrushes . . .
Right around the time it was first decided that my marriage was over and I would move out of the family house I went to Dillons (maybe even that night) for some milk and a few other groceries. As I rounded the last corner toward the registers I walked by the dental care section and just grabbed one of the Kroger brand toothbrushes . . . and I stuffed it in my pocket.
I went through the self checkout and paid for all the items I had grabbed except the toothbrush and I left. Yep. I stole. Shoplifted. Thieved. And I have NO idea why. But here is the weirdest part . . . I did it again the next time I went to Dillons. And the next time. And the next time. And the next time . . . over 20 times in all.
Things started to calm down. Life settled in to a rhythm. I stopped stealing toothbrushes. I filed for divorce. I started again. Nine times in a row. I stopped. I lost my job. I started again. 11 times in a row. I calmed down and got focused and felt no need to steal dental hygiene products. I repeated this cycle several times. How many times? I have 43 toothbrushes in a box.
I never used a single toothbrush I stole (I still have them - I just discovered the stash while settling in to my new place). I never understood why I took them. My shrink has no real theories other than that getting caught might have given me some tangible/real punishment to alleviate other confusions or woes that felt like punishment.
I don't really know why I did it. It has been a long time since I took one (between us - and the Wichita Police Department and the security team at Kroger/Dillons) and I'm proud of myself for not taking any during the recent stress of a wrecked car, relationship awkwardness, and moving houses (I don't do well with all the stress . . . that is often self-induced) and I have been to Dillons a million times during these recent transitions.
No, no. I didn't simply move on to another item to steal (oh ye of little faith). I just decided not to steal stuff.
I deserve no credit for this restraint and I have no idea why I tell you this story other then, well, if I state it publicly I go on the record.