16 September 2007

A lesson learned...

I was about three or four years old when I was first taken advantage of and this is how it happened. (This is not a repressed memory so lift your minds out of the gutter and read on) It was either summer or spring because no snow was to be found for as far as my little eye could see or remember. I had on shorts and a T-shirt. I looked the part of a typical little blond-haired blue-eyed boy. My blond hair was that kind that was almost white and I endured being called tow-head for as long as I can remember. There were relatives visiting us that day, specifically my grandparents and my mother’s younger sister. Now my aunt had been born late in my grandparent’s life so she was only a few years older than my older brother and I. My older brother is three years older then I and because he and my aunt were both older they tended to play a lot together leaving me out of the loop. I was too young to play in their reindeer games. (Nod to Rudolph)

I remember that day was typical in that I was left to entertain myself while my brother and aunt did their best to get rid of me. At some point they decided that they were going to go to the store to buy some candy and soft drinks with the allowance they had saved up. They also knew I would not be able to go with them as the store was to far away. I too got a small allowance of five cents a week which to me seemed like a fortune. I don’t remember if I asked them or they approached me before they left but I knew I wanted to go with them and they were not having any part of that. I pleaded and whined as best a small child can plead and whine, but to no avail. However, they did relent and finally told me that they would bring me back something from the store if I gave them my money.

Now five cents was not a lot but as I said to me it was a fortune and in those days we still had penny candy so I knew I could get five pieces of some mouth watering sugar coated delicacy. Even at that young age I knew full well that they might be lying to me. I knew that they might keep my money and I would never see it or the candy. I eventually succumbed to the overpowering urge of soon having a giant Jaw Buster, a box of Boston Baked Beans or several pieces of bubble gum which my mother would surely take away from me as soon as she knew I had any of it especially the gum, but until that time I would enjoy every sweet morsel. I gave them my five cents and made them promise they would bring my prize. They of course said they would and off they went to the store.

Now you know as well as I do that waiting for a present no mater how big or small can seem like an eternity to a small child. I mean it was like waiting for my birthday to come around or worse yet waiting for Christmas morning to arrive to see what Santa had placed under the tree. Needless to say I was not very patient. At some point I started to believe that my brother and aunt had just taken my money and worse yet they had bought the candy I requested and were eating it themselves. I had to do something quickly if I was to ever see my money and/or my candy.

It was at that moment that I decided I would walk to the store by myself and find the thieves and confront them red-handed, so off I went. Now once again being that young my perception of time let alone distance was not that great. The walk to the store felt like it was taking forever and I knew the longer it took the more time those two had to eat all that was mine. Years later I would go past my old house and realise that the store was not all that far away but at the same time it was still way to far for a child to walk to by them self. Anyway, I continued to walk what seem like forever and finally made it to the store. The two thieves were no where to be seen outside the store so I went inside to look for them. This was a kind of five and dime store which had a little bit of everything; it was the Walgreen's of its day. I could not find the two of them anywhere in the store. I searched the candy aisles where I was easily distracted by the feast that surrounded me and eventually I gave up my quest to find the culprits. At some point I decided that they could no longer be trusted to bring what had been promised and I decide to get it myself.

I started to pick up a few of the tasty item before me and then thought maybe I had should venture over to the toy aisle to see what I could procure. I found a set of army men and even though I had some at home I knew I could never have enough and it would be easier to set up my battlefields with more men to create an even bigger army. My hands were full and I figured I best get going because I knew my parents would start to wonder where I was. I headed for the door and had actually stepped outside when a car pulled into the parking space right in front of the door. That car was our car and inside it was my mother and she was not happy.

My mother got out of the car and asked me what I thought I was doing. So I told her what tragedy my brother and aunt, her sister had done to me. I got the feeling she did not believe me. She marched me inside to the check out counter and told the lady behind the counter that I had something to tell her. The woman asked who had something to tell her and my mother pointed down to me. The woman leaned over the counter and there I was my arms loaded down with my ill gotten gains. They woman was very surprised to say the least and as my mother started to poke and nudge me I told the woman what I had done. It seems that I was so small that no one had paid me any attention and I had almost walked away with my treasure but unfortunate for me I was the one that got caught red handed.

I was taken home after apologising to the lady at the store even though I still thought I had done nothing wrong. I also had to return my precious cargo even though I thought it was unfair because the way I saw it I had paid for those things and it was up to my brother to give my money for said items to the lady behind the counter. Anyway, I came to find out that those who would steal from and take advantage of a sweet naive boy had arrived back at the house just shortly after I left and it was they who made my parents aware of the fact that I was no where to be found. In the end for all of my trouble I was the one that got punished not so much for stealing but for walking all the way to the store on my own. I would have thought that stealing would have been a much bigger crime. The moral of that story is if you want something done, do it yourself.

I wrote this long laborious story based on a recent comment saying that maybe I needed to write something about my childhood or past life experiences. Maybe I’ll do better next time.

1 comment:

Lewis said...

All of that and no candy? Especially the Boston Baked Beans in that little red and black box. It wouldn't surprise me to know that you have hatred deep in your heart and spirit over that deal. My parents sent the store manager after me too when I was trying to take a pack of gum that I wanted. He scared me to death! (With a wink-wink to my parents on the side.)