Thursday, December 9

Not in Kansas Anymore

I've just completed my first day of "grownuppedness" in Missouri. Sure, the job search was heart-wrenching, but the actual completion of a full-days-work really sets in stone that I'm here for the long haul. At least a 6 month haul. That's a lot to people like me--my most long-lived job happened between the ages of 14 and 16, and I had barely grazed the wonders of $6.00 per hour when I quit. What can I say? Dairy Queen, I am not.

I have a confession: When I was 18-19, I stole some money, and got caught. Anyone ambitious enough to stalk me could find out that I, in fact, stole a total of ~$2000.00 from a past employer. It is my least proud moment, and those of you who have been reading for a while know that I do have more than my fair share of unproud momentii. I'm telling you in order to get it off of my proverbial chest. My real chest is in no mood for lightening--it's been at the same state of self-shame as it has been since the fateful day on which I was arrested.

That's right, arrested. Full-blown, escorted-from-the-building-in-handcuffs arrested. My insides squirm thinking of the complete shit that descision has brought to my life.

The shit of it is (being a begger doesn't leave me much room for pointing blamey-fingers, but I will anyway) that "They" (my employer) waited until I was over the legal age of prosecution and had taken enough money to qualify as a felony before they confronted me. Yes, I put up a fairly good "I have no idea what you're talking about" battle, but in the end, it didn't matter very much. I was caught, and I knew it.

I believe the only thing that kept me afloat in the sea of justice is my innocent appearance. Even with bleach-blond hair, I looked like I was 12, and that's the major reason that I don't resent my young appearance. I never will. They charged me on two misdemeanor counts of theft, when they could have tried me on a felony, and won. I owe much of the good parts of my life to that decision, and I'm grateful forever.

Don't assume that I have been spared the consequence of paying for my mistakes. As Bruce would be happy to explain in detail, I'm a virtual wreck when applying for new jobs. I can't stand the idea that they might look into my past and find out this thing which marrs me for life as someone unemployable. It's almost too much.

My stomach is churning today because, even though I've gotten the same job I had in Wisconsin, they require more of a background check. For now, I'm working because I've sent in the application to be employed in Missouri as a pharmacy technician, but I'm scared beyond my comprehension that that application will come back Denied. Pharmacy Technician is the only job I've ever had where I felt as though I was doing something important. Making a difference. This application, the one which requires a questionaire and a Notary Public Signing and two (count 'em, two!) sets of fingerprints? It's a bit much to be weighing on my mind.

I haven't done anything illegal since my trial. Of course I'm excluding the few excursions into the land of pot, but hey, I was a college student. I need some reassurance, please. Does anyone have anything similar to share, or some stories to tell me to make me feel better? I'd appreciate it, whole-heartedly.


MPH said...

I've been reading the thoughts of a criminal mastermind! Fuckin' A.

B said...

I got arrested for stealing a wet floor sign when I was 18. From a Wendy's. No charges pressed. Rest assured, there are much more embarrassing things to get busted for. I think this also confirms that you're marrying a bumbling idiot. ;D

We do things in the past that we aren't always proud of but we do try to make up for them, usually. You definitely have been and you aren't that same person you were when you did that. It can be overcome. I may be the picture of optimism, but I honestly believe this to be true. I also honestly believe looking cute and young helps in most situations. ;)

SJ said...

I hit a house with a car when I was 15. Just couldn't drive that fucking Buick for the life of me. Then I told the police I was my sister. The ticket had her name on it and everything. Had to explain it all to the judge IN COURT. I'm still haunted by that, sorry to let on.

This is a far cry from the fingerprint route you took, but I wanted to let you know that we all have shit we want to just erase from our memories--and the databanks of local and federal authorities.

Hang in there. They tend to just ask about felonies, no? You're good to go if so. Don't be the Tell-Tale Heart on yourself. If they don't ask about misdemeanors, don't tell. Breathe deep.

blues mama said...

Sunny, I have done so many awful things in my life that I just wish I could go back and undo - from saying mean things about someone to sleeping with one of my friends' boyfriend to stealing a crystal toothpick holder from a house I was at for a party to something I was so ashamed of I have only told it to one person - my husband. Awful, awful things.

I don't believe I am the same person anymore. I still sometimes see things and envy the person who has them (this is what I figure all the bad things I've done have as a common theme, I think it's a childhood poverty thing) but I have enough happiness in my life that I have the strength to resist the urge to take something that doesn't belong to me, no matter how tempting it might be.

So first off, if you haven't forgiven yourself, please do. Don't think you're the only person who has done something illegal or immoral. As far as I can tell, everyone has. Some just won't admit it, and many weren't unlucky - or lucky - enough to get caught.

And second - relax. If they are going to find out this bit of your history, they will. You have no control over it. So tell yourself it's out of your hands and try to let it go. I know this sounds like it's easy to say but hard to do, but really, all you have to do is make the decision to let it go. Any time you start worrying about it, just repeat to yourself that it's out of your hands. And then think about something lovely, like, oh, maybe B. :-)

Ask yourself this. Would you do the same thing today? I'm guessing the answer is absolutely not. So take some comfort from the fact that, while you made a bad decision back then, it was (in the long run) just part of the creation of the person you are today. You know, the one who has confessed her most sinful secrets to her soulmate and found out that - surprise! - he loves you anyway. So right off, you can tell that your love is founded on something strong, and really, if you have that, everything else will eventually just fall into place.

sunny said...

No, SJ, you're right--they charged me with 2 misdemeanors instead. But still, I'm not sure what they look for. This job had particularly scary instructions.

Blues- you're right, I really can't do anything more but wait. I know I'm a good person, and that I'd never do anything like that ever again, and that's what really matters. It's taken me forever to be able to talk about it--I'm glad you're able to talk to your hubby about things, like I can talk to B. It makes life so much better, doesn't it?

blues mama said...

So much incredibly better. :-)