Friday, November 16, 2007

I carry...

This blog suggestion came from the wonderful people over at Sunday Scribblings. I am not sure they realized what a cathartic exercise this would be for so many of their readers. Or at least for me, I can only speak for myself. Damn. I love speaking for everyone.

Anyway. As I have thought this week about the theme, 'I Carry', my mind has wandered with so many possibilities. All pieces of my life that are blazing hot topics for me right now: the weight I carry, the traits, physical and emotions, that I carry from my Grandfather, my children who are more often in my arms than not, the responsibility of being the oldest child, and the list goes on and on.

At some point during the week, I found myself at the store. Which store it was isn't important, but it is one with a standard big-box cosmetics section. Standing in the cosmetics aisle time came to a stand still, and a memory started to spin in my head. It suddenly became clear what it is I carry. Guilt. Specific guilt for various pin points in my life. The smell of Bonnie Bell cherry lip gloss and eye make-up remover induced stabbing pricks of memory, and said guilt.

I carry the guilt for carrying cosmetics out of a store without paying for them.

There, I said it.

No, I did not steal Lipsmackers or Maybelline this week! It was actually nine years ago. That time frame is crucial because it means I can blog about it with no criminal consequences attached to it! That state in which this horrid event occurred has a seven year statute. That says something about me too, that I would look that up before blogging about it. Hum...that's another thought for another day...

I had recently moved from the warm comfort of my parents' home and pocketbook, to make my way as a student at a large, state-funded University. My parents combined income exceeded financial aid guidelines and my parents' combined parenting theory demanded that I provide for myself, minus the money they paid directly to the school for tuition.

There is a reason that I sharing all of this with you. It is not in any attempt for pity. My parents provided me both the opportunity for me to go to school, an opportunity that unfortunately not everyone has. More importantly, and as per their desire, having to work as well as attend school helped me set priorities (boys were still #1), forced me to create my own signature work style and ethic, and value the money that I earned.

So it is interesting that I would have felt spurred on to carry, in my purse, anything out of a store without paying. Not because I am angelic and that behavior is beneath me, but because I could afford to buy the things I needed, and a few things I desired.

I could not tell you what I took. It was probably foundation and mascara, which tend to be the more pricey things where make-up is concerned.

I can tell you that I took the said items out of their packaging, hid the evidence throughout the store, put the things into my purse, and then proceeded to the cash register where I purchased several things.

Yes. I bought a variety of other necessities. I stood at the cash register, smiled and made small talk, paid for my legal purchases, and walked out of the store. Have cash, but will carry anyway.

This is not the only contradiction in my behavior. The very notion that I would steal make-up is quite ironic...I rarely wear make-up. At that time in my life I was in good physical shape, had always had clear skin, and could get by with jeans, a tee, and lip gloss. Who knows if I even wore the make-up!

Those details are unimportant in the end though. What is important is that the memory of having stole items from a store has been something I have carried since then. Each time I enter the store and legitimately walk out with cosmetics I am drawn back to that one instance in my life.

One instance that weighs in my mind and on my soul. Even now, as I struggle to define myself religiously, I still believe firmly that there are wrong and right behaviors. We do things at times that are directly contrary to who we know we are. Carrying make-up out of a store, with no payment, and with no, at the time, guilt, is not who I am.

From that instance on there have been so many things that have carved and molded me into the person I am. That's not to say that I haven't done other things I am not embarrassed, ashamed, or feel guilty of. Life experience dictates that we have some of those, as well as some that if we could we'd list on our resumes or on a t-shirt with pride.

So, though I have carried this for years. It is time to drop it.

Now playing: Petra Haden - Don't Stop Believin'
via FoxyTunes


EBV said...

tremendous post. really. amazing how much luggage we traipse around with unbeknownst to ourselves. I wonder if life seems so heavy sometimes because we don't take the time to look around and drop the guilt. thanks for reminding me of that.

Have a lovely Thanksgiving, Shelly! High five the boys for me.

PS--Willard's gonna start school soon, isn't he? If that doesn't deserve a "holy hell" I don't know what does. ;P

tickledpink.nicole said...

We all have things we should have long forgiven ourselves for. Hope this post sets you FREE.

Diana said...

Interesting stuff. Hopefully writing this helped with the dropping!

You can come visit anytime! Have you been to New York? I'd assume that you have, but maybe not...

It's just me... said...

ebv - we do carry around a lot. wish we could unload our cart as easily as we load it up! and yes, willard is going to start harvard in six months. did you see the video on our family site? that deserves a 'holy hell'.

nicole - welcome! thanks for the comment. honestly, blogging is a great form of public therapy and saying something (or writing it) has been very healing.

diana- i will come to ny when your financial aid pays for it :) i have not ever been there - probably because if i went i would never leave.

grace said...

I admire the courage it took a lot of courage to drop this. Honest and sincere post!