Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Circuit City - What a Steal!


I’ve been talking about the “Best Buy” incident in my “tidbits”, but it just occurred to me that it really happened at Circuit City in Crestwood (a town in the suburbs of St. Louis).

This story will make me look like a real loser, so please don’t read too much into it. You’d never know it by what I’m about to post, but I really hate thieves and I’m really not the thieving type. With my dad, the ex-cop, we got our butts whooped for even thinking about stealing something and I never did steal as a kid. Nor did I ever even joke about it again.

By now, you’re probably already thinking that I was a real lush as a teenager, but I was really just a stupid ass that thought you could have more fun drunk (little did I know). You may also be realizing that I was very stupid when it came to drinking & driving and that I did it often. I am being completely honest when I say that I NEVER thought anything bad could or would happen to me or any of my friends. I wasn’t educated on the dangers of drinking & driving – yes, we had the usual MADD assembly at school, but when you’re with your friends, you really don’t think about what you’re hearing and you certainly don’t think it’s possible for it to happen to you. Just because they bring a wrecked car to school and show you how the Firefighters use the Jaws of Life, it doesn’t mean you are really aware of what could happen. But, I digress because this post isn’t really even that much about “drunk driving” – I have more posts coming regarding that later.

On to the story…

I was 17 years old and I was with my usual accomplice, Stephanie. We met up with two guys that we knew, we’ll call them “John” and “Joe” to protect their “innocence”. At the time, I was dating a guy a few years older than me – we’ll call him “Steve”. John, Joe, Stephanie and I were all just hanging out at the mall when we decided to go down to my car and “get drunk”. Yes, that’s just how intelligent we were – I actually carried alcohol in my car and our plan was to “get drunk”. Anyway…after drinking, we decided to go see Steve at Circuit City (where he worked) which was just across the street from the mall.

We pulled into CC’s parking lot and parked right next to Steve’s car. Steve, who worked in the Car Stereo section, was with a customer when we got there. So, we browsed around the store until he was done. Eventually, he made the sale and the customer left. All four of us walked back to Steve’s section of the store and we talked. Apparently, he wasn’t too happy that I was with guys (which didn’t make any sense because we were only dating anyway AND I was just friends with these guys, I had no interest in either of them). Anyway, Steve and I argued a little while Stephanie, John and Joe walked around. Steve was so irate and ignorant so, I finally stormed off to find them and leave. I went back to the vending machines area in the back of the store and found Stephanie. We looked through the vending machines and both agreed that some hot chocolate sounded really good. Neither of us had any change on us, so we decided to go out to the car to get some. Well, by this time, we found John and Joe and we all walked out to the car. Since we were parked by Steve’s car, I made a snide comment about breaking into his car and stealing his stereo system since he was being such an arse. I, honestly, didn’t mean it and Stephanie knew I was just being a brat. Moving forward, Steph and I got some change out of my car and ran back into CC to get that hot chocolate while John and Joe stayed out in my car. Unfortunately for me, my life changed forever when we came back out.

As we walked to my car, we didn’t see anything but John and Joe trying to get something into my car. As flighty as I was, I didn’t think anything of it…UNTIL we got to my car. I noticed Steve’s car door was open and that they had an amplifier that they were trying to get in my back seat. John quickly screamed, “open your trunk”. I was so shocked and confused that I just did it without thinking – opened my trunk that is. I immediately started to freak out as I realized what was happening. John and Joe had taken me seriously and they were stealing Steve’s stereo system. I yelled at them to stop and to put it back. I was still a little confused because I was still a little woozy from drinking and there wasn’t anything wrong with Steve’s car (it didn’t look like they had broken in – so maybe I was okay, maybe they weren’t doing anything wrong – I was hoping that was the case, I knew it wasn’t likely, but I was hoping and praying). Then, when I didn’t think things could get any worse, a friend of Steve’s pulled up and parked his car by Steve’s. He saw what John and Joe were doing and asked them what was going on. This is where I get really stupid. I mean, I was freaking out so bad because 1) I was a drunk 17 year old and 2) my dad was going kill me for even being involved in any type of theft. You know that “Fight or Flight” response people have? Yeah, well apparently, mine is all about "flight" because all I could think to do was high tail it out of there. So, while Steve’s friend was asking us what was going on, I quickly grabbed everyone, got in the car and sped off. I drove John and Joe back to their car at the mall and I screamed at them to get that stuff out of my car because I didn’t want anything to do with it (which, yes, I already had a LOT to do with it and I had been really stupid about this whole situation). So, Stephanie and I dropped them off and made them take the equipment, then we just drove around (which was completely normal for us).

As we drove, Stephanie and I both cried wondering what would happen to us. I knew she wouldn’t get in much trouble because she was just 16 and I was the legal age of 17 (meaning I wasn’t a minor). That's when my mom called my cell phone and asked that we come to the house because there were some police there asking for me. In the end, Steve's friend had goten my license plate number and called the police. The four of us met at the police station and had to give our statements - which is where I saw John and Joe carrying the equipment into the building. Apparently, both guys were smart enough to get their “story” straight while Steph and I just cried like little babies. Both guys told the police that I “made them do it”. Flash forward a few months and we’re in court. Obviously, Stephanie was out of it because she was a minor. But, since, I was driving (God, I’ll never forgive myself for being so stupid), Steve was MY boyfriend, AND I was “manipulative and domineering”, I was sentenced to 3 years of probation and 80 hours of community service. God, can you believe it? “Manipulative and domineering”! Their lawyers actually told the judge that and the judge believed it. I really got three years of probation and 80 hours of community service. God, I’ve never been so ashamed in my life. I felt like asking the judge “if I told John and Joe to jump off a bridge and they did it, would I be convicted of murder?” I’m pretty sure I’ve told a few people to “drop dead” in my life – I guess I better watch out if they actually do.

Now, I know it’s my fault, I know I was in the wrong – but I always wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t been drinking that night, what would have happened if I actually thought about the consequences and about what would happen to me. I don’t tend to tell a lot of people this story because I’m so ashamed of it, but I figure it’s part of who I am (even if that person is a complete idiot) and if I can’t even put it on my blog, then what’s the point, right?

On a side note, you have no idea what it’s like to walk into a probation/parole office every month and be the ONLY preppy, 17 year-old, female. My probation officer used to laugh every time she’d come out to call my name because she always said I looked so out of place and that I always looked terrified of the people surrounding me. God, I was terrified and I was so pissed at ME for putting myself in that situation.

I suppose that’s all I have to say about that lovely incident, except the guys had the audacity to hate me after this and they started spreading rumors about me. I later found out that they were both arrested a couple years later for pretty much the same thing (breaking into cars). I, however, learned my lesson and then some – now I watch what I say around people I barely know (God knows who might actually do what I say – even if it is a "joke"), I know my rights, I know what I should have done, and I know what I had to go through, etc. Hindsight is 20/20, right?

I'm so glad I got that out - I hate to even think about it because it makes me feel so horrible.


Jen said...

Aww, that's a really good lesson, even if it was learned the hard way. I swear, everybody has got a story like that, something they did that they are horribly ashamed of. But the fact that you are ashamed and regret it just means that you know right from wrong. Just think of those two morons John and Joe, they obviously DIDN'T know right from wrong, or joking from serious, or anything!

Reba said...

I would have been so scared if I had to go through that. I was kinda a "goodie two shoes" in highschool. I was even too chicken to skip school, so I never really ran into these situations.

Twisted Sister said...

Well, I never ended up in court but I can relate. ;) I think all teen's don't think about alot of the crap they do. I know "I" didn't. I don't think you were a lush. Drinking just seems to be the thing to do or at least when I was younger. Many moons ago........*whistle*

Mikala said...

Yeah, I've definitely learned my fair share of lessons. I'm very hardheaded and I have to learn from my own mistakes - the hard way.

"Drinking" was so cool as a teenager, I guess we didn't know how crazy we really were.