Youthful Misadventures

I worry I’ll forget all my hilarious stories one day. I got up to my fair share of shenanigans in my youth, though don’t we all? I think I’m going to start writing some of them down.

“The Great Charm Bracelet Debacle”

When I was around 13 I used to tag along to a friend (J’s) camper on weekends. It would usually just be her dad and us girls, sometimes we’d see EO up there, other times we’d just amuse ourselves all weekend fishing and wandering about the camp.

As the weekends progressed J started getting bored just hanging around the lake. She insisted we go into the tiny little town and get some supplies from the Ben Franklin Craft store. At first I was fine with that, we’d grab some markers and paper and draw to our heart’s content.

One day J decided she wanted a charm so she could start a charm bracelet. We’d already spent all our money on more art supplies so she told me to go steal it. J had no issues with stealing and did so all the time. I however, didn’t approve of stealing. I looked at her like she was crazy. She threatened to never bring me up to the lake again, knowing how much I loved coming up there. I was pissed off. Even then I had no tolerance for being threatened, especially by a peer.

I figured I’d teach her a lesson. I said I’d do it and walked back into the store. I quickly pocketed the tiny charm inconspicuously and put it in my secret pocket, then I very obviously wandered over to the marker section and grabbed a large marker and placed it visibly in my front pocket. I sauntered over by the exit, making sure J could see me, waiting for the manager to pounce on me.

It didn’t take long. I was still a good 15 feet from the door when the little middle-aged lady grabbed me violently by the arm. She started berating me as I quickly handed her the marker. She dragged me (in full view of J) towards the back screaming about thieves and calling the cops. I started to get a bit nervous. I figured I’d just get kicked out of the store, having not actually left the building with any merchandise, not have the police called on me.

She made me sit alone in the back office, waiting for the police who showed up 5 minutes later, toting J with them. I got a talking to, but there were no charges filed against me, as I had not actually left with any merchandise. No one checked my pockets, the charm was still sitting there on my persons. They called J’s dad to come get us, and called my dad as well to let him know I’d been “scared straight” about stealing.

When the police officer left the back office to talk to the store manager I pulled the charm out of my pocket and threw it at J. I told her to never ask me to break the law for her again. She threw the charm in the trash, probably afraid they’d search her before letting us go.

She ended up getting in way more trouble than I ever did over that situation. She was grounded, I was banned from any more weekends with them and she was told she wasn’t allowed to go to the big rock fest we’d been looking forward to for weeks. I told my parents the whole story, they said they hoped J had learned her lesson, but that I shouldn’t go to those extremes in the future. My parents ended up feeling so bad that I was banned from lake weekends that my dad actually brought me to the rock concert himself, a concert I had previously been told I wasn’t allowed to go to.

I did end up losing my friendship with J over this, slowly at first but by the start of high school we were like strangers. She must have learned a valuable lesson from it though, I heard she never tried to strong-arm anyone like that again, nor did she ever steal anything again. Perhaps that made it worthwhile.

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