When I take an airplane I always bring something fizzy to drink in my carry-on luggage. As I go through security I ready myself in anticipation. Of course, they find the liquid and they say “sorry lady, you are going to have to drink this before you go through security or leave it behind.” I then tell them “I have diabetes, I need to carry sugar with me at all times and unless you want to see a woman in a diabetic coma, this better not be a problem.”
And they let me through.
I don’t have diabetes. I get off on this stupid little win because it drives me crazy when there are rules that I have to follow that make no sense. 911 had nothing to do with water bottles. Terrorists will not use chia seed Kombucha to hijack a plane. It is a stupid, arbitrary rule therefore I want to break it.
I understand taxes.
I understand health insurance.
I even almost understand vaccinations.
As a contributing member to our society I must eat some shit and do some things I don’t want to do.
Except when I don’t.
I am the woman with $2000 worth of unpaid parking tickets. It became such a problem, my car would get towed on site, whether there was money in the meter or not.
I won that battle by selling my car and buying a new one. Clean slate. Ha-ha.
Screw you city parking!
Did I learn my lesson? Did I consider it a close call and do I always feed my meter now? Fuck no.
Those assholes can’t control me. I just park in privately owned parking lots where they can’t really do anything except send a few threatening collections letters.
I was at a yoga retreat centre a few years ago. It was posh and elitist. I was really disappointed to find this out when I got there as I was expecting karma yogis and salads straight from the garden. Instead my room was being cleaned by illegal immigrants and the gift shop carried cotton V-necks for 95$.
There was a candle in the gift shop that smelled really good. It was like $45. There was no way I was going to pay that for a candle so…I stole it.
I fucking stole a candle from a yoga retreat centre and I was almost 30 years old.
And of course I know that it is only hurting me. And of course I agree that whether I am stealing from “the man” or “the yoga man” it’s my karma I’m messing with. And of course I know that if I continue to tell the universe that I don’t have enough, then I will never have enough…but….a fucking $45 candle. Fuck that.
I got totally paranoid that I had been caught stealing on tape so I would wear a hat and sunglasses and different hairdos when I was walking to and from my yoga classes past the gift shop. I walked into my shared dorm room one day and found a Latino man cleaning under my bed. I was convinced that he was a hired plant from the administration looking for the stolen candle. The stress got to be too much for me so a few days later I snuck the candle back into the gift shop under my coat and I un-stole it, much harder to do than steal in the first place, I must admit.
Nowadays it’s Whole Foods that gets my contempt. A regular human being who had issues with the ethics of big business pretending to be local and rootsy would simply boycott the store but sometimes there are good deals, and the salad bar is epic so I make my point in more insidious ways. I stuff handfuls of bulk organic almonds into my mouth while shopping, I call my cappuccino a drip coffee and if I can get away with it the organic stickers are ripped off before I go through check out.
It’s embarrassing to even write this as I totally get how lame and cheap it sounds. But for me it is more than saving a few dollars. It is a small form of rebellion. It is a tiny fuck you to a store that fucks me.
Which is exactly the problem.
This mind-set I have that I am getting fucked over.
Because I am not.
Because it is just lazy and if I really want to start a rebellion I should do it in a way that is noticeable and brave, like making a Facebook event. Not by eating the heavy things on my take-out salad before I get to the weigh station.
When I was a kid I had a stepbrother and sister. My Dad would take us grocery shopping and while he shopped he told us to go to the bulk food isle and “go nuts.”
I remember being elbow deep in mini Oh Henry bars. My step sister’s hands were full of jelly beans while my step brother had one arm in the corn nuts and managed to stretch his entire body across the bins to get his other hand in the Twix. This was brilliant childcare from my Fathers point of view but one time the manager found us and asked us where our parents were. We were marched up to my Dad, covered in chocolate and shame and as the manager stood there my father looked us straight in the eye and yelled, “how could you kids do such a thing? You know that is stealing!”
He sold us out.
So I learned in that moment that you can do something bad, and get away with it if you are quick on your feet. My father got a free babysitter and we got an afternoon snack to little consequence (just a major sugar high).
When I was even younger my mother took us to the local take-out diner for hotdogs. I stuffed about 7 packaged ketchups in my purse on the way out the door. 6 months later my mom found the 7 ketchups expired in my purse. She told me it was stealing. I told her we lived in a trailer and I thought we could use the extra condiments. She told me we could not return to the diner until I apologized to the owner.
I wanted a hot dog too bad to stop myself one day so we went back to the diner and I slid the crusty old ketchups over the counter. “I stole these,” I said. The 16 year-old girl picked them up with a napkin and threw them in the trash behind her and I ate my hotdog.
It fueled my need to not get caught. It taught me to be smarter.
There is creativity and resourcefulness in sneaking and stealing that I appreciate.
I know that if I were a normal person with my integrity intact I would pay full price and not think twice- but I’m not. I struggle with it. I want what I want and I’m going to try to find a way to get it.
But I recognize that rebelling against the people who take advantage of me by taking advantage of people is becoming way more stressful than badass.
Who am I fighting?
I’m the one who has to wear a fake moustache when I’m shopping at Whole Foods while my car gets towed.
I have to tell you though, I still think about that candle. It smelled like the ocean.