When I was about six, I took a small purse from a local variety store. I also confess: when I was about 35, I stole a skipping rope from Ikea. I don’t know why I did it. I had the opportunity and I thought my daughter would play with it. I ran to the car, hiding it in my other packages and drove away like a thief with a prize. It was exciting, actually. I didn’t need or want this thing, but I got away with an illegal act and it was fun. At least until I got home.
By then, the thrill had been replaced by a litany that played over and over in my head; “What did you do that for, you idiot?!” I mailed the skipping rope back to the store with a note to say that I had taken it by mistake; that I’d forgotten to pay for it. I never heard from Ikea- but I didn’t want their thanks. The sense of relief was all that I needed!