How to Look Like a Thief

So, I just embarrassed myself by behaving suspiciously. How can someone as honest as me look like she’s stealing stuff? I wouldn’t dare, I wouldn’t want to – and yet I managed to make it seem that way.

What happened?


In the student house where I live during the week, we’ve got the rule that every week another person is responsible for certain things, one of which being toilet paper. So this evening I came back to this room in this student house and saw that there was barely any toilet paper left from last week. I’ve got class tomorrow, so the fastest I could provide this house would be somewhere in the afternoon.

I decided there needed to be something done. Next door there’s a night shop though, so I put on my jacket, took some money and left. Now I should admit I find it kind of embarrassing to go to a shop for just toilet paper. Luckily there was no one inside when I entered. The shop has two parts: the front part, where the pay desk is, and the second part. I quickly saw there was no toilet paper in the first part, so I walked on to the second. Right when I got there, I though: ‘Djeeze, how easily could you steal something here!’

It didn’t take long to find what I needed, but at that moment I saw someone entering the shop. Dammit. I decided to wait, because seriously – I find it so embarrassing to buy only toilet paper. I waited some more, looked around a bit, slowly approached the first part.

Then the owner of the shop came up to me. I touched a bottle of beer, but it really must have looked as if I was just pretending to look at it. Which was actually true. He asked: “Are you looking for something?”
“Just looking around”, I murmured. That’s not really what people do in a night shop though.
“The beer is all in the front of the shop”, he replied.
“Well, I’m fine I think”, I murmured. I just don’t want to be seen buying toilet paper. I’m sorry.
If I had been smart, I would have looked at the beer, or I would have asked how much the beer I was ‘looking at’ costed. But no.

I could as well have run around like this.

I followed him to the front, where he repeated: “The beer is over there.” It was already embarrassing enough though, I did realise I was behaving weirdly. So to add to the embarrassment I just said: “I’m just gonna take this.”

I paid and smiled and ran off.

Luckily I didn’t have a big bag or anything with me, just a normal jacket without big pockets, and jeans. But if he didn’t think I was attempting to steal something, I would be utterly surprised…

Why can’t I just act like a normal human being?