Thursday, April 12, 2012

Belinda Starts Shoplifting and Tries to Become Mexican

Well, it's probably not any more ridiculous than Gulliver trying to become a horse. But America's '80s pop sweetheart ... a petty thief?
I learned from three girlfriends of mine, all of whom happened to be Chicano. Like me, they were poor. I went through a phase where I thought their accents and the music they liked were cool. I went so far as to eat menudo, a traditional Mexican soup, on Saturdays they way they did.
Oh brother.
One of them was an especially tough girl who made no secret of the fact that she stole clothes and accessories. She said it was easy, and lo and behold, I tried it at the Thousand Oaks mall and it was. I made a rule: Never steal from people, just stores. Somehow I convinced myself that was okay because I couldn't afford the stuff I took.
Makes sense to me.
I gave myself free rein at numerous stores, including Judy's, the mall's most stylish young woman's store. It didn't seem bad even when I was caught taking tikis from a gift shop at Disneyland, but only because the park's security let me off with a warning. I wasn't as lucky at Thrifty Drugs. There, security caught me outside the store with a purse full of merchandise from the cosmetics counter.

They held me in the manager's office, said the police were on their way, and called my parents. I didn't fear the cops as much as I did my dad. I pissed my pants and then pretended to pass out. The store felt bad and let me off with a stern warning. My dad wasn't as forgiving. As soon as we got home, his belt came off and he let me have it.

He said it was time I learned a lesson and grew up. Well, I learned a lesson, but growing up was going to take more time - not just years, but decades.
Decades! Yes! Yes!

Also, you know some bad shit must have gone down at Thrifty's in its day.

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