The only thing I steal is toilet paper.
I got most of my stealing - things besides toilet paper- out of my system between 5-7 years old. My thefts back then included a pack of gum from Kroger and a Hello Kitty diary from a gift shop in Hyde Park Square. I remember coming home with the diary and my mom asking me where I got it.
"At the square," I said.
She looked at me for a long minute. My allowance was a few quarters a week so she wondered how I pulled it off but gave me the benefit of the doubt. I was a GOOD KID who spent most of my free time writing essays on world peace and she let it go.
In college, when I worked at a halfway house in Minnesota, I started stealing toilet paper. Part of my job was doing rounds of the building, checking on the residents in their bedrooms and activity rooms and changing the toilet paper rolls in the bathrooms. And whenever I was getting low on supplies at my apartment, I'd grab a few rolls and stuff them in my backpack. Because it's just irritating to buy toilet paper.
I hate how they're sold in packs of twelve, that giant rectangle, so awkward to carry. And buying individual rolls? Even more annoying. Especially if you're me and you compulsively wrap so much around your hand for a simple wipe that it looks like a baseball mitt. Buying one roll is useless. I barely even knew it was there before I need to buy another.
Last week I went to a cafe that I'd read was "a friendly atmosphere that attracts the cream of Kreuzberg's 20- and 30-somethings. Join them!" Oh, that's so me. See and be seen.
It was alright, a little too cool.
The BATHROOM, however, pleased me very much. The loose rolls that you see on top are the ones that I'd already marked for my backpack.
Shortly after my happy swiping, my housemate gave me a rundown on house rules. I was starting to feel indignant because she told me I need to help in taking out the trash and compost - which I'd already done - and she said she bought the last pack of toilet paper so I need to get the next one.
I wanted to interrupt her, "I just stole a few rolls for the house the other day," but thought maybe we didn't know each other well enough for that to help the conversation. She also said I need to clean either the bathroom or kitchen so two days ago, I got to work on the bathroom.
"I'm going to clean the HELL out of this bathroom," I thought.
"This toilet is going to be so awesome I'd eat my lunch off it."
I hate cleaning toilets. Shitspecks.
But I threw myself into the task and found it strangely fun. Even though I noticed midway through that I'd been singing IT'S A HARD KNOCK LIFE in my head for awhile. You know, identifying with little orphan Annie.
And when I got down to dusting and polishing the cabinet under the sink, I found something: a big twelve-pack of toilet paper. "Oh good," I thought, "I don't need to go back to that cafe for awhile."