Argh! The dilemma! I was shopping in Walmart with a rumpled list, a creaky cart, and a wandering husband. The layout of this particular store is different than the one I usually visit, so I was more than a little lost and distracted.
The pet food was near the laundry soap; my husband was looking for hand lotion somewhere near menâ€™s unmentionables, and who would expect the cosmetic aisles to be right next to produce? Maybe the store designer spilled coffee on the blueprints and decided to wing it. Hard to say, harder to navigate.
As I tossed a head of cauliflower into the cart I thought, â€œMaybe I need a new shade of lipglossâ€¦â€ and stepped into cosmetics. There, to my horror, a teenager was just finishing painting her fingernails. We made eye contact while she hurriedly screwed the top back on and replaced the bottle on the shelf. I was flabbergasted. I was offended. I wasâ€¦ unsure of what to do.
She took off like my gaze scalded her, and I was left wondering if I should tell a sales associate or a manager or ??? Given my surprise at witnessing her in action, and the angle of my cart at the time, Iâ€™m not sure I could say with any degree of accuracy which bottle she had stolen from. I know it was a pink color, but little else.
When my husband caught up with meâ€”hand lotion found!â€”I told him of the incident.
â€œWhat would you have done?â€ I asked.
He thought about it for a minute. â€œI guess I would have mentioned it to a store employee. Someone is going to buy a used bottle of nail polish, and thatâ€™s not right.â€
I nodded. It isnâ€™t right. The idea of stealing is so foreign that when it stares me in the faceâ€”literallyâ€”I get flummoxed. My family raised me to respect the property of others and it stuck. I donâ€™t know the teenager’s circumstances, but given she bolted I believe she knew she was doing wrong.
So, for anyone out there who buys a bottle of slightly used pink nail polish, I apologize. I should have acted. If you will forgive me it will be the best part of my day.