In the last fourteen months, I have felt that I was lucky in a lot of things. I felt lucky that my son, the Little Man, lasted 32 weeks in my womb, emerging on January 1st, 2007, and that he didn’t come out sooner since my water had broken nearly two weeks earlier. I felt lucky that the hospital closest to our home, where I delivered, had the Level 3 NICU that Little Man required. Many, many other babies had to be transferred to our hospital from great distances. I felt lucky that both my Little Man and I came out of our hospitalizations with flying colors.
But when I think of the word “lucky,” I am always reminded of a catchy jingle from my childhood: “Lucky, Lucky, Dare to Compare THE BEST”
Recently, after over a decade of absence, Lucky grocery stores are back. And for me, so is the jingle.
Growing up, we had at least a half dozen grocery stores within a short distance from our house to choose from. Lucky was the second closest chain store, and the cheapest. I remember fondly solo trips to Lucky’s with my mother. These solo trips were very special, since I am the second of four children.
I always loved going to the grocery store with my mom. Interesting that now that I’m a mom, I don’t enjoy it nearly as much. Schlepping a kid with you and then dealing with loading and unloading them (both the groceries AND the kid) is a total pain. Hopefully I’ll get some help once Little Man is older.
Lucky’s was the scene of my first theft. I was three years old, and on a solo trip to Lucky with my mom. At this point, I was still the baby of the family. We were new in town. I’m not sure what that has to do with the story, but I just mean to say that the store felt new and unfamiliar to me.
The magazine racks were behind the registers, close to the exits. Being three, I thought that since they were PAST the registers, they of course, were free! Makes perfect sense, right? So on our way out of the store, I picked up the Sesame Street magazine I had been coveting. I flipped through the pages, carefully feeling the thinness and texture. I loved this magazine. I’m sure it’s how my husband feels when he gets a new video game. It was thrilling! And I didn’t even know I was stealing.
As my mom opened the car door for me, she noticed that I was holding the magazine. “Where did you get that?” she asked. I couldn’t explain my thought process to her. Somehow I felt like it was like the Library or something.
My mom explained to me that what I had done was wrong, and that I had to go back into the store and return the magazine to the stand. It was my first time experiencing total embarrassment and humiliation. My face was hot. I was nervous inside. I felt SO guilty walking that magazine back into the grocery store. Even though I hadn’t known that was I was doing was wrong — my intention wasn’t to steal — I felt the burning shame inside all the same.
I wish I could say that I was “Lucky” that this happened to me so young and I learned my lesson not to steal — but I didn’t. I shoplifted probably a handful of other times, but never on my own accord. I was always the accomplice or the lookout for a friend. I think that way I didn’t feel *quite* as guilty, but still guilty nonetheless. Funny the tricks we can get our minds to play on ourselves.
Now when I shop at Lucky, or even just drive by, I think of that jingle, “dare to compare the best,” and my first foray into shoplifting. Damn, having a good memory can sometimes be such a biatch.
VDog is a 28 year old stay at home mom to one adorable Little Man, aged 14 months. They live together with the Warrior (aka Dad) and CrackerDog Sasha in Northern California. VDog can be found vlogging, photo blogging, Haiku Fridaying and occasionally writing at vdogandlittleman.blogspot.com.You can find more info about the Blog Exchange and how to participate, as well as the March participants and entries, by clicking here. Laura is at VDog’s place today!