030218_0028_0155.wbcI was at the mall today (more about that later). Shortly after I went into one highish end (for our mall) women’s clothing stores, the alarm went off and the next thing I knew, a salesclerk was yelling at an older lady who apparently had put on a jacket and then walked out of the store.

The lady claimed she had a migraine, was distracted, and hadn’t realized she still had the jacket on. The saleslady obviously didn’t believe it. In the end, she let the lady leave, but not before she made some scathing remarks. She was still talking about it to one of the other clerks when I left.

I know shop-lifting is a major problem in our culture, but my sympathy on this day was with the older lady. Anyone who’s gone through menopause or been busy with a number of things know how easy it is to get distracted and absent-minded.

I once walked out of a Walmart store into the mall holding a small item I was buying, thinking absently that I’d pay at the far door (door to the mall). When it suddenly dawned on me there was was no checkout, and I had in effect shoplifted the item, I hurriedly returned to the Walmart store, wondering if someone had seen me on a video camera and had called the police. Fortunately, no one appeared to apprehend me, and I paid and left the store.

Sometimes absent-minded really is absent-minded.

November 4, 2008

About the author 

N. J. Lindquist

N. J. Lindquist is the award-winning author of books, articles, short stories, and blog posts. She also edits and publishes the "Hot Apple Cider" anthologies. A former high school teacher, N. J. co-founded The Word Guild and teaches workshops for writers as well as speaking on various topics including creativity and leadership.

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