A Red Face and then some!

There we are in the photo below, looking respectable and entirely clergy family-ish, right? Okay, so I didn’t realize I had my hand inside the pastor’s shirt, but hey, no big deal. Though we don’t always succeed, Jeff and I try to maintain some level of propriety. But sometimes the ol’ red face is destined to win.

Last Monday, Jeff and I drove to Show Low , where he had some business. I had business, too–shopping. A lovely little royalty check had recently come in, and I needed a couple of items of clothing. While Jeff went off to do his thing, I marched straight for JC Penney’s and the clothing section.

After picking out a pair of trousers, I also saw some dresses that appealed to me. They looked just right for church, and they were my size, too. I picked out two or three of them and went into the dressing room. Alas, the manufacturer had cut those silly dresses much, much too small. Short of a miracle, I wouldn’t be wearing those dresses to church.

My ego had had enough. I packed up my purse and the trousers that still needed to be checked out, hung my jacket over my arm, and gathered the dresses to take back to the return rack. A clerk stepped forward to assist me when I left the dressing room, and we chatted for a moment.

I realized Jeff had probably finished his business already and was waiting at the appointed restaurant. I flew out of the store and trotted across the parking lot toward it. Halfway there, I felt something flutter against my leg. I looked down and saw–gasp!–SALES TAGS! I’d left the store with the trousers lying over my arm along with my jacket.

Had I paid for them? Nope. I’d simply walked out with them. I felt sick, and, to be honest, I even considered just going to my car to avoid the embarrassment of what I knew I needed to do. But could I ever wear the pants later, knowing they were stolen, however accidently? Not a chance. And I needed them.

So back I went, worrying every step of the way that someone would jump out from between two cars and yell, “Thief! I saw what you did!”

Once inside the store, I nearly ran down other customers in my rush to the checkout. Even there, I could have just kept my mouth shut, paid for the pants, and no one would have been the wiser.

They say confession is good for the soul, and maybe it is true. Anyway, I couldn’t help blurting out my tale of accidental larceny to the two women behind the counter. They thought it was  funny to begin with, and when I told them I was a minister’s wife, they thought it was even funnier. They regaled me with similar stories and certainly did their best to make me feel better.

But all the way back across the parking lot, I kept thinking one thing: What if someone had seen me leave the store with those trousers? What if a store security person had apprehended me? What could I possibly have said?

“Yes, I stole them, but I didn’t mean to?” Oh, right. I’d draped my jacket over the pants as if to conceal them. No one would have believed me. I wouldn’t have believed me, either, for that matter. I’d have been charged with shop lifting and probably convicted as well.

I shook my head and groaned every few steps all the way to the restaurant.

“What’s wrong?” Jeff asked when I got there. “Why is your face all red?”

“You’ll never believe what just happened,” I began…..


At Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore near Munising, MI

At Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore near Munising, MI



4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Angela Duenas on February 12, 2015 at 3:31 pm


    This is a great story. I too have do e this…… A few times. I have realized when it is to late too. Once I forgot to pay for sawyers Vaseline at kmart. During my next trip, the cashier thought I was crazy. I paid for a Vaseline and then told her I was leaving it. I had to explain the whole think to her because the look on her face the whole time she kept trying to bag my pain for Vaseline was priceless 🙂 I like this photo very much! I like that you are trying to get some skin action…. Hehehe

    Miss you much Angie

    Sent from my iPad



  2. Always trying!

    Yes, this was both funny and awful at the same time!


  3. Posted by Diana on February 12, 2015 at 4:43 pm

    Love, love, love your posts, Mary! I think that would be a fun game for Sunday afternoon–to tell our most embarassing moments! Just so you don’t feel alone! Made for such a funny visual!!! I’ll be there with bells on and scalloped potatoes!!!


  4. Posted by Mary Johnson on February 12, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    I don’t like that Jim and Betty are going, but I am so glad that we are getting together as a group!

    The scalloped potatoes are more essential than the bells! See you then! Thanks for your comment.


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