Perpetual Plan B

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

One More Confession From My Life Of Crime, Newport Edition

I shoplifted.  Yep, I did it. I confess. 

I was an adult too.  I even made my 12 year old daughter act as lookout.

Now before you decide to "unfriend" me.  Let me explain:

I've mentioned before that one of my most brilliant ideas is the "12 year old trip".  It actually came about because around the time Morgan turned 12, I needed a vacation.  In a big way.  Austin was turning 2 and I had been home with one kid or another (or pregnant and too sick to do anything worthwhile) for 12 years straight. 

I needed a vacation that was REALLY a vacation.  Not a family trip.  Not a vacation that involved sippy cups in any way.   And, especially a vacation where I could call the shots;  eat where I wanted, do what I wanted and, most importantly, RELAX.  You get the idea.  (For the record, I don't think my husband knows the meaning of the word relax.  I've needed a vacation to recover from about every other vacation we've been on together.  I'm not complaining, we've gone on some pretty great trips together.  It's just that none of them involved hanging out and doing nothing for any stretch of time.)

I tried to figure out who might be the perfect candidate for my vacation and it dawned on me that Morgan was at a  pretty good age to travel.  She was old enough to be a fun companion, we liked to do lots of the same things AND was still young enough that I could sway her to like my ideas for what was fun.  And I was excited to get some quality one-on-one time together.

So, I proposed the idea of a 12 year old trip to the family.  Once each of the kids turned 12, I would take them on a trip, just the two of us.  Morgan was thrilled with the idea, Hal was nice enough to play along and Ally wasn't so thrilled, even though I promised her I'd take her on a similar trip in 3 years.  (She ended up going to New York City, lucky girl.)

For our trip, Morgan and I picked Newport, Rhode Island.   Well, to be totally honest, I picked Newport.  She went along with it and seemed pretty happy when I explained about the mansions we'd see, and everything else we would do. 

When Morgan was a baby, Hal and I had driven with some friends of ours, the Trettes, from Boston to Newport.  They showed us the mansions and Hal and I had walked along the cliff walk quite a ways and then back while the Trettes stayed in the car with Morgan.  We didn't get to actually go into any of the mansions, just look at them.  I had been dying to go back ever since then, but didn't think Hal would ever really want to go on a trip and do just that.  So it worked out great.

Morgan and I had a ball, staying in a fun bed and breakfast with the best food, touring the mansions, etc.  We also hung out at the beach one afternoon so she could swim in the ocean, which was a little chilly, but we were able to collect some shells for souvenirs.  We just had an all-around good time. 

The day before we left, Morgan and I checked out the little shopping area down by the wharf.  We bought some fun souvenirs and ended up at a t-shirt shop.  We found Morgan a Newport t-shirt and then we saw a navy blue hoodie that she liked.  I liked it too.  It only came in adult sizes, and the smallest one was a medium.  It was the only one that size.  The rest were large or bigger. We decided to buy it anyway, since it would fit me and she would grow into it in a year or two.

We picked up the hoodie and the only medium left didn't have a string.  I really didn't think it was a big deal because that's when all the news stories were coming out about taking the strings out of your little kids' hoodies so they wouldn't get hung up on them on the playground.  I can't remember Morgan being too upset about the string either, so I'm not sure why I decided that we needed to have a string in our hoodie.  I asked the girl at the counter if we could just take a string out of one of the other hoodies and she told me no.

I don't know why I was so surprised that she said no, but I guess it made me more determined that we needed that string.  I was  paying for a whole hoodie and by darn, that included a string.  She told me it was either buy that one without a string or buy a different size with a string.  No discout for the one without a string either.

Well, I guess I just needed that string more than I needed to be honest, so after talking to Morgan I decided that I was going to get a string for that hoodie, one way or another.  So, you guessed it, with Morgan acting as lookout, I stole a string out of one of the other hoodies. 

Now before you think I go around stealing things on a regular basis, let me assure you  that is not the case.  I'm so nervous about anyone even thinking I might shoplift that if I need to get something out of my purse in a store I will go right up to an employee and say "I need to get something out of my  purse, so I want you to watch me so you know I'm not putting something in it from the store."  Of course now that I think about it, that seems much more suspicious than just unzipping my purse to get my shopping list out of it.

Anyway, I felt so nervous the whole time I was paying for the hoodie and t-shirt.  I can't remember where exactly I stuffed the string, if I put it in a pocket or up my sleeve or just what I did.  I do know I was just sure they had a hidden camera watching and that they were going to follow me out of that store and arrest me with my impressionable 12 year old daughter watching the whole thing.  As soon as we were far enough away from the store, I stuffed that string in the hoodie as fast as I could, to hide the evidence. 

Let me just say if I were going to start committing any sort of crime, it wouldn't be shoplifting.  I don't know how people do it.  I just felt sick the whole time.  I had a boyfriend once, and it was a pretty long term relationship, that I caught shoplifting.  We were in Kmart  for some reason and I turned to say something and thumped him in the chest and my finger hit something hard and it rattled.  It took me a minute to realize that he had shoplifted a cassette tape.  That was pretty much the end of the relationship. 

So back to the hoodie.  Morgan wore it in good health for many years.  She finally gave it up,  probably because she is pretty much fully grown and it's still too big for her.  So now it belongs to me. 

String and all.

(On a much more positive note, I am going back to the scene of the crime in a month or so.  I am so excited!  This time I am going with one friend to visit another friend who lives in Connecticut.  AND we are going back to Newport one of the days.  After our family roadtrip a few weeks ago, I have sorely needed a real vacation.  Looks like I'll be getting one.  Yay, a girl trip!)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Quote From The Fridge

I tore this out of the newspaper a month or so ago and stuck it on the fridge. I keep thinking it's going to get lost in the shuffle (it's only about an inch big), so I thought I'd put it here.

"You are good. But it is not enough just to be good. You must be good for something. You must contribute good to the world. The world must be a better place for your presence. And the good that is in you must be spread to others." Gordon B. Hinckley

It's one more thing to think about as I go through the usual back-to-school assesment of my life and what I want to accomplish while the kids are in school. It seems like I'm always trying to make what I do matter. Deep cleaning the kitchen, clearing out clutter and re-arranging and organizing things are always first on my list each fall. Worthy goals, yes. But nothing that would be reported at my funeral as having long-term meaning to anyone else.

It's also a time I promise myself that I will start reading my scriptures regularly again, exercising and drinking more water. AND it's always a time that I swear that THIS is the year I will get into a real routine so I don't waste so much time trying to decide what to start with each day. I've never, ever considered myself a perfectionist, but I think I spend so much time trying to figure out the perfect routine (for me) that I just have never figured out any routine at all. Also, I guess if I take better care of myself, I will be in better shape to help take care of others.

So, here is the tentative routine, off the top of my head and definitely ready to change as I see fit:

Monday: laundry and deep cleaning day, clutter
Tuesday: floors and bathrooms
Wednesday:  errands and grocery shopping
Thursday:  volunteer at elementary school and  big cooking day
Friday: paperwork and special projects

I also need a basic daily schedule and I need to also schedule in some FREE time, so I don't feel guilty for sitting down and reading a book. Funny I don't feel guilty wasting time on the computer, but I don't feel like I can just sit down and read, which I honestly love more.

Ok, so that's a jumble of thought, but it's nice to get it out of my head and onto (virtual) paper at least. I'm also realizing that I forgot something very important, adding in what the kids will do to help each day. My friend Linda gave me her basic schedule last year and she included that, which was a great idea.

Anyone out there have a great schedule that works for them?