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Mind Your Own Business Boomer Grandma

I witnessed a theft at the Family Dollar Store today. I think I was more shocked than anything to see this pre-school age child sneak a giant-sized lollipop into one of the store bags while the store clerk was ringing up her mother's items and the mother was busy chit-chatting on her cell phone. The little girl did it so slyly that it made me believe she has done it before or at least seen someone else do it.

As they were headed out the door, I told the clerk about the theft and the little girl was apprehended and the lollipop taken away. She started to cry. I could only think to myself, "If she were my grandchild, I'd be giving her something to cry about," and I would've done it right inside the store to make a point in front of others.

But then the unthinkable happened. When I walked out of the store, the little girls's mother starting cursing at me and told me I needed to mind my own f------ business! She told me I had no right to stick my nose in a place it didn't belong and since I didn't work there what difference should it make to me.

I just told her if she taught her child right from wrong now, the judicial system won't have to deal with her in a few years. She then told me to kiss her black ---.

I walked to my car trying to make sense of what just happened. Where was this mother's morals and values? Maybe I should've just kept my mouth shut. After all, it was only a lollipop. Or better yet, I could've just paid the clerk for it myself so they wouldn't lose money.

This baby boomer wants to know what would you have done under the same situation?


Anonymous said…
I think you did the correct thing in telling the store clerk. Getting involved is what more Americans need to do. I pray for this mother and child in hope that one day they will learn what proper morals is all about. I applaude you! Blessings, Betty
Anonymous said…
I had a similar situation. I was at Arby's and the clerk put my $20.00 in her pocket and gave me change out of the drawer. I was so shocked at what I just saw happened! I left and then called the 800 number on the door. When I talked to the owner he said he would deal with her and offered me a free meal. I told him I didn't want the free meal. But it was like he really didn't believe me and was just trying to satisfy me. I went in and the same lady waited on me four more times before she was no longer at that Arby's. I too doubted what I did. But I know in my heart that I did what was right. Blessings, Betty
Marianna Henry Heeter said…
I probably would have kept my mouth shut, mostly because it happened at the register, in full view of the cashier. Would the mother have brought the candy back and explained to the kid that stealing was wrong? Probably not, judging by her crass treatment of you.

A preschooler might not have understood, she might have been putting it in the bag to... See More be a "helper". At that age, my now college senior, econ. major, son wanted to be a grocery cashier when he grew up because they make so much money. I guess he didn't realize they didn't get to take all the money home..
I wasn't there though, I might have done the same if I had witnessed the crime, and had seen the people in action. Depends on how suspicious they looked. Sorry she was so mean to you. :( JMHO
Linda S. Summers-Bunch said…
I think you did the right thing. How will they learn if they keep getting by with it!!
Debbie Barth said…
All I can say is I'm glad I wasn't with you. She and I would have been rolling around on the ground in the parking lot.

This is a perfect example of what is "wrong with kids these days"'s really ... "what's wrong with the parents of these kids these days". I would have made my daughter apologize to the store manager and, as a mother, I would have thanked you for, hopefully, teaching her a lesson of right and wrong while it's still a lollipop. You did the right thing Beverly. If you don't do a show surrounding this, lol, I will. :o)
Pat Montgomery said…
I agree that you did the right thing. From the mother's reaction I wonder if the child had learned that behavior from her. I believe that the more we allow that type of behavior without speaking up, the more it is going to happen. And it does affect you--theft adds a great deal to the cost of everything we buy. My husband said he would probably have offered to pay for it, but he is a non-confrontation kind of guy. And what does that teach the little girl. At least she may have second thoughts next time.
Sharon McMillan said…
I think you did the right thing. There's too much blurring between right and wrong today. So many children (and adults) need to understand that our next generation learns from what we do not just what we say.

If we allow slack behavior, our kids will be slack. It's like that discussion we had on the Facebook Boomer Diva Nation page a week ago about the way some base their brand of Christianity on the frequency with which they attend church on Sunday but not "walking the talk" the rest of the week.

It took guts to do what you did but that is what so many communities need - residents with guts to walk the talk.
Leslie Flowers said…
Ahhh Bev, this is about leadership. Leadership you might be scratching your head ... Yes, my dear. Leaders are concerned with doing RIGHT things, not worrying about doing things right.

You stood in the face of adversity for doing a RIGHT thing. A right thing no matter the consequence. Brava! Woman of strength and value! Never second-guess your intuition.

The mother ... let's give her a bit of grace (which she obviously lacked) and say "she is simply unaware of another way to be!"

Years ago when my two were little and were with their grandma in a VERY small town in eastern NC, they got to walk to the dollar store when they visited. My youngest took a candy bar and my eldest didn't see it. They were half way back to grandma's when my eldest saw the candy bar. She walked them both back to the store and the my youngest apologized and returned the candy. They were 6 and 9. It's really about what we teach our kids.
Deirdre Reid said…
I think you did the right thing, although these days you never know if a wacko will retaliate violently. Good for you! I'm glad you didn't let it go by paying for the lollipop. Someone, even a stranger, needs to set an example for the child because obviously the mother is ethically and morally deficient. Hopefully the strange experience will imprint itself in the kid's brain, although imagine how sad it could be when she grows up and realizes her mother is a thief, ugh.
Rhea said…
Most people are afraid to speak up. I think you did the right thing!
Anonymous said…
You definitely did the right thing. I might have made the news because if she had told me to kiss her *** I would have probably read her up one side, across the ceiling and down the other. I would have gotten South Side on her a**
Pam Archer said…
I probably would have asked the child to remove it from the bag until her mom got off the phone and could pay for it, then I would have said something like this to the mom..."I knew you didn't see him/her put that in the bag, and I knew you would want to pay for it first."

Probably would have gotten the same response as you did. At least the child would have realized they had done something wrong and somebody was holding them accountable, even if the parent didn't.

I applaud you for not idly standing by. To have done so would have assisted in the theft.
Anonymous said…
You were absolutely right to do that. The fact that you even waited until they had left the counter shows you weren't trying to embarrass them but just to call attention to it after the fact but before they got out the door.

I can't believe the attitude of the mother either, but then again, that little girl is learning her manners in actions and words, and with her only influence coming from that "uneducated" mama of hers, she will continue the cycle unless she sees another way. I agree, it was only a lollipop, but it was wrong, and that was just the tip of the iceberg as I see it...when she gets older, she might be stealing a lot more and her conscience won't bother her at all unless she learns when she is young.
Nancy said…
Probably the best approach would have been to tell the mother. If this was a young child, she really may not have known the difference between "shopping" and "stealing." Money doesn't make sense to toddlers.

I doubt this young one learned the right thing from this incident. The mother basically condoned the stealing and blowing off anyone who is honest!

How unpleasant for you! This is the type of thing that leaves a bad taste for days.
Eileen Williams said…
This is one of those tricky situations where people can look at it from several angles. (That's borne out by the range of comments you've received on this post.)

I think the child needed to have her theft brought into the open. Stealing a lollypop at five or six can turn into much, much worse as she grows older. But, given her mother's reaction, I fear this child is most likely being taught negative behavior at home. It's a sad commentary on some of the more distressing aspects of what's going on today.

You did the right thing! And your actions are proof positive that your daughter and your grandson have learned values and morals that will hold them in good stead the rest of their lives. Good for YOU!
Taya Hargrove said…
You know, we're living with a generation of people who have absolutely no morals and no regard for right and wrong. I work for the courts and, you were right, the courts are full of young people who should know better, but don't.
boffo9k said…
Every kid goes through this. I can't remember how many comic books I stole until I got caught and the beating I got when Milton the Candy Store man told my mom.

Kids do it until they're caught.

I would have probably confronted the kid myself in a sheepish way. I don't know.

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