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Natural magnetism

Today I managed to set off the security shoplifting alarms of every store I went into and I really have no explanation for it. My natural magnetism, maybe.

I’m always totally mortified when that happens. I turn around and march back into the store looking stunned with my bags held out in front of me to be searched.

No one ever searches my bags. No one ever seems to think for a moment that I might possibly be stealing something (not that I ever have*). In fact, people seem to go out of their way to give me the benefit of the doubt. They usually supply me with convenient excuses when I’m too stunned to come up with one myself. Then it’s a matter of agreeing with them and walking out the door.

“It’s okay, I probably didn’t demagnetize it.”

“You’ve got some library books, right?”

Still, after the third store I decided to give up on my Christmas shopping for today. I can only take so much excitement.

This has happened a couple times to me in airports as well. One time the metal detector kept beeping and I had no good explanation for it. “Must be the underwire on your bra,” the guards concluded, despite the fact that I wasn’t wearing an underwire bra. “Yes, that’s it,” I said, and they waved me through.

I have come to the conclusion that I’m a very nice, trustworthy looking person. I guess that isn’t a bad thing, but it kind of makes me wonder if I would have gotten the same treatment if I wasn’t white and female.

When I got home I checked my bags for signs of anything that could have set off the alarms and found nothing. I can’t explain it.

* Okay, that’s a lie. Technically I have shoplifted twice in my life.

The first time was when I was three years old. My mom and I went to the store to buy a card for someone in her office. About an hour and a half later I decided to show her my collection of pretty greeting cards. Mom made a B-line back to the store to return them. The lady at the store was really bitchy about it and decided to lecture my mom about how irresponsible she was and how horrible little children are.

The second time was when I was 12ish. We were at Ikea. We were making lots of purchases. I picked up a garlic press on our way through. At the checkout we rang everything through but I completely forgot that I was holding the garlic press until we were in the car. What can I say? I have a habit of being totally oblivious to my surroundings.

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