My life as a scofflaw began in Catholic elementary school, where I may have permanently purloined a copy of the children's classic Misty of Chincoteague by Maguerite Henry. I say "may have" to protect the guilty.

Most of us have at one time or another "borrowed" something with no intention whatsoever of returning it. But does that make you a wanton criminal, capable of heinous acts of thievery? Maybe.

But most likely you and I, don't think of these acts as any thing other than taking things meant to be taken, or things with value so minor they don't matter, but we'd both be wrong.

Cheat Sheet published a list of things that most of us have taken without attributing thievery to the act. They also suss out the value of these items we're willy-nilly filching, just to give us an idea of the magnitude of our lawlessness!

I'm only going to list 5 of the 10 Little Things You've Probably Stolen in an effort to mitigate our collective shame:

  1. Pens: If you consider every pen you've taken from multiple businesses over your lifetime, at 25 cents each, (we're assuming your doctor or dentist buys them in bulk) you've probably crossed the petty theft threshold. Not to mention the nice ones you swipe from your co-workers, (Ben buys really nice gel pens!)
  2. Hotel Amenities: I honestly have never stolen a towel or robe from a swanky hotel, but believe me when I admit, I've thought about it. However, when it comes to soaps, shampoo & conditioner, shower caps, sewing kits, coffee & creamer packets and laundry or dry cleaning bags, I could make a killing, (if there were a black market for these items)!
  3. Books and Magazines: I refer you back to Misty of Chincoteague (as a reference point only, of course). Maybe you found a great recipe for Chicken Alfredo Lasagna in that Family Circle you were perusing while you waited to have your tonsils probed at the doctor's office. And somehow the magazine ended up in your purse. Hmm?
  4. Restaurant Straws, Napkins and Condiments: I have a compartment in my vehicle where we actually store extra napkins, but I don't like to think of them as stolen. Quite often we'll ask for extras at the restaurant, and then, I'll take them with me when we leave. I never take straws, sugar, sweetener or creamers- -but jam and jelly packets? I find them irresistible! That's right, I'm a restaurant preserves pirate! One restaurant chain estimated their losses at $900,000 dollars in a year!
  5. Plastic Grocery Bags:  When I saw this item on the list, the significance of my larceny took me aback. I quite often take extras when I'm bagging my own groceries. They make great packing material, terrific doggy doo picker-uppers, cat litter disposal containers, general storage receptacles and more. Some stores have eliminated their use or are charging for them.

It has become evident to me that I need to mend my crooked ways! How about you? If you need more ammunition to convince yourself, check out the complete list at Cheat Sheet.

Source: Cheat Sheet

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