You will NEVER guess what happened! I had to make a quick stop at the grocery store and decided to leave my purse locked in the trunk. I reached into my wallet and grabbed a few bills and folded them up. I stuffed them in the pocket of my jacket while I was heading into the store. The store was crowded with people getting their groceries in preparation for Easter dinner, so I was trying to do a quick in-and-out. Of course, Hubby wanted some buttermilk, so I raced all the way to the back corner of the store — it seemed like a mile — and grabbed a jug of his favorite brand. The last one! Whew.
With only three items in my hand, I raced to the front of the store only to find that ALL of the check-out registers were full. Even the self-serve. I realized I would have to wait, so my eyes turned to the magazine rack where I busied myself catching up with all the latest tabloid fluff. While I was doing this, the lady in front of me turned around and noticed something at my feet. She reached down and picked up a $20 bill. As soon as she did, I realized that the $20 bill had dropped out of my pocket. So, I reached out my hand to thank her and to take the $20 back. That’s when the fun began.
The woman looked me in the eye, held onto the $20 and said, “Finders keepers, losers weepers.” She grabbed her two bags of groceries and started walking toward the exit door while I was still standing there with my buttermilk in hand and my mouth open wide in shock. I threw the jug of buttermilk on the conveyor belt, looked at the cashier and said, “Hold this for me,” and began to chase after the woman.
Ordinarily, I am a very calm, cool and collected individual. I am usually the person who would give someone $20 even if it was the last that I had. But having someone “steal” money — which is what this woman was doing — was more than I could take. I was MAD!!!!
I finally caught up with her in the parking lot. She was attempting to unlock her car door and had set her groceries down so that she could look through her purse. She didn’t see me coming. I was full of adrenaline by this time, and said, “I don’t know who you are or who you think I am, but I don’t appreciate what you just did! I’d like to have my $20 back!!!” I held out my right hand and put my left hand on my hip. The woman, still trying to open her car door, looked at me very sweetly. She smiled a big, toothy smile and said, “Finders keepers, losers weepers. I guess you’ll just have to weep, won’t you?” Then she turned her back on me and focused on unlocking her door.
Ladies, I tell you that my blood was boiling by this point. I did not want to cause a scene, and I certainly did not want to get into a fist fight. I glanced around very quickly to look for a bag boy or a manager. I had not brought my phone with me and was trying to get someone’s attention so that they would call the police. I was also trying to decide if $20 was really worth it, and yes, in this situation I decided it was.
That’s when I saw my opportunity. The woman was so focused on unlocking her door that she did not realize that her groceries bags were still sitting on the ground. So, I reached down, grabbed the plastic bags by the handles and started running. Okay, well, maybe not running — more like a fast walk with a bit of a skip. I started yelling at her as a went. “Finders keepers! Looks like YOU’RE going to be the one weeping!”
My car was three lanes away, so I really had to hustle. She was getting over the shock and started coming after me. My car unlocks with a remote control key which I carry on a bracelet that I wear around my wrist. I had my car unlocked by the time I reached it, threw open the door and jumped inside. I had the ignition turned on and was backing out by the time the woman caught up with me. I drove away and left her standing there in screams of frustration.
You can believe that my knuckles were white as I gripped the steering wheel to make the drive home. I was halfway expecting the city police to come up behind me. I made the 7 mile drive home without incident. I had to sit in the driveway for a few minutes to calm down. I sat and thought about my behavior and have to admit that it was wrong and completely out of character for me. But, I felt such a sense of satisfaction for teaching that woman a lesson she will never forget. Maybe it will prevent her from ever doing it again.
It was at this point that I reached over to take a look inside the woman’s grocery bags. She had two packages of rib eyes steaks, a bottle of red wine, some baking potatoes and a strawberry cheesecake inside. Not bad for a $20 exchange! Those steaks tasted mighty delicious after I marinated them in Dale’s steak sauce and cooked them on our grill.
Now, before you lecture me about my choices that day and send me all kinds of comments and e-mails to tell me how wrong I was, I just want to say one thing in my defense: