January 25, 2012

When you get a normal car wash, they quickly run the vacuum across your car interior — maybe.

When you get your car detailed, they do a good job of vacuuming.

When you get the extra-special insanely-expensive detailing package, they actually remove the seats from the car. If you have toddlers, this is what is lurking underneath your back seat.

The cheerios and crackers don’t really decay, oddly enough. The bread? Ewwwww. The detailing was worth every penny.

A prize to the person who most closely guesses how long we can last until we crack and let Burrito and Tamale resume eating in the car.

Thoughtful Thursday: Thief

January 5, 2012

Thoughtful Thursday

Welcome to the January Intelligentsia, the people who have commented on every Thoughtful Thursday post in December.

#27: Elana from Elana’s Musings
#23: A from Are You Kidding Me?
#23: Lost In Translation from We Say IVF, They Say FIV
#19: Strongblonde from Strong Blonde
#11: Tara from Turkey In My Oven
#10: Ana
#9: St. Elsewhere
#8: Lori Lavender Luz fromĀ Write Mind Open Heart
#2: Sara from Aryanhwy

Thoughtful ThursdayLast week during Thoughtful Thursday we talked about the many lies of our nanny. First, you should know that she is now our former nanny — precipitated by the theme of today’s post, theft.

It all started with Mini Eggs. Last year around Easter, I bought a big bag of Cadbury Mini Eggs in Canada, because most foods are slightly better in Canada. When I got home, there were some other perishable sweets I needed to eat first, so I put the bag in the sweets drawer for later. Day by day, the bag got smaller and smaller. Eventually, it was totally empty, and I’d never eaten a single one. DH doesn’t eat Mini Eggs, and Burrito and Tamale never went near the kitchen, so the only remaining culprit was the nanny. I don’t really care if someone eats my food, except when I have specifically imported it from another country. Back then, we were very happy with our nanny in every other way, so I let it go and never mentioned it.

As a nanny, she was really great, up until she wasn’t. Aside from the lying I talked about in the last post, over time she became a crappier and crappier employee (good with the kids, but bad as an employee — late, lazy, didn’t improve in response to feedback), and the lies accumulated, and we got increasingly sick of her shit but felt trapped, not wanting to take a chance on hiring a new nanny who might be a better employee but not as good with the children. The devil I know is better than the devil I don’t know.

Then, last week, we figured out that our nanny had stolen more than Mini Eggs. As in, a lot of money. Equivalent to 1/3 of an IVF — or maybe more here and there from our wallets, but that’s how much we can prove on our credit cards. At that point, we could no longer look the other way, and even though losing our childcare a few weeks before we move far far away really screws things up, we had no choice but to fire her. And then we called the police.

I asked DH about his own history as a thief. After 4 minutes of contemplation, he came up with his grandest larceny: a chocolate bar, at age 8.

I stole something even smaller as a child: at age 7, I would take a single pinto bean from the bulk bin every time I went to the market. I thought they were pretty. I bet the store would have objected much more to a kid’s grubby hands fishing around in the bulk bin than to the loss of a whopping 5 pinto beans over the course of several months. As an adult, I decidedly do not steal. If a store clerk accidentally gives me too much change, I am likely to go back into the store — or drive across town the next day — to return it. I don’t steal, I just don’t. The only thing, aside from pinto beans, I can think of that I ever stole was, uh, my friend’s boyfriend. But that was more than 20 years ago. I don’t know if it makes it better or worse that, looking back, he totally wasn’t worth it. I’d much rather have 5 pinto beans than that loser.

Our friend Mr. OH (mentioned last week as a nonstop fibber) also stole something 20 years ago: half of an IVF, in cash. He felt that he had it coming to him from an employer who was stiffing him, so he skimmed from the cash register over the course of several months. He absolutely thought he was morally justified. I absolutely thought that he was not justified, and told him so, many times. DH agreed with me that it was wrong, and he would break Mr. OH’s balls about it now and then, but he fundamentally doesn’t like to judge anyone, particularly his friends.

After The Nanny Situation, though, DH saw it from a new perspective. Even though it’s not true, our nanny could make the same argument as early 1990s Mr. OH did, that we didn’t pay her enough and she worked so hard and she had it coming to her and we would barely miss it. When DH called Mr. OH to fill him in on The Nanny Situation, it all came together in DH’s mind. Mr. OH commented that 1/3 of an IVF was a lot of money; DH replied without even thinking, “Yeah, but not as much as you stole from your bosses.” DH and I have had fun breaking Mr. OH’s balls about his crime for the past 20 years but now, having been on the other side, it’s not so funny.

What is the biggest thing you ever stole? Do you have categorical rules about stealing, or is it justifiable in certain circumstances?