Who are the People in your Neighborhood? Um, Apparently Newspaper Thieves.

– Posted in: Foot in Mouth, Losin' It, Lying, Manners, Mean People, Stuff I Probably Shouldn't be Thinkin', Worst Mom Moments

Ginger, of Spicey Mom, is back at home after her altercation in a Disneyland bathroom. This time, she’s taking on the neighbors.

I read an article the other day that discussed how more and more people’s newspapers are being stolen for coupons. Just when I thought print was dead, it is revived by mega savers. Never in my wildest dreams would I think someone would stoop to stealing another person’s $1.65 newspaper for coupons. That was until our paper started disappearing.

At first I thought it was because we had just reopened our account after our trip to California. I had completely canceled our delivery and told them we were moving, in fear that somehow, it would get out we were out of town for an extended amount of time. So soon after renewal, our paper would be there one day, then absent the next, then there for two days, well you get the picture. I even had reported at first, what I thought, lousy delivery to the paper. Then it kept happening, so I started to suspect that someone was stealing our paper. And it looked to be just ours, because both my neighbor’s were still there. Annoying to say the least.

By chance one morning, I happened to be rearranging the closet by the front door, when I glanced out the window. And I saw IT happen. A family, that I knew as THE family you shake your head at. THE family, who leave dirty mattresses on their front lawn (okay front weeds). THE family whose kids have been known to ask neighbors for cigarettes or they were going to be in trouble by their mom. THE family that you are sure social services has made at least one trip to. THE family where I actually was not sure how many kids they had, but was sure each one had a different father. THE family where you were sure the parents were on Meth or some kind of drug. Yeah, that promising to not judge went out the window with THAT family. You see THAT family was walking with their kids to school by my house when the male adult in the group pointed to my paper, said something, and then one of the children picked up my paper.

Needless to say, I went tearing out the front door, in my pajamas yelling at the top of my lungs, “So you’re the ones stealing my paper!” The entire family stopped in their tracks. The little boy who was in possession of my paper dropped it quickly. The toothless mother responded, “It’s the first time my son has ever taken it.” This comment, got me even more angry. How dare this women blame her child! (Yes I was judging) I saw with my own eyes the “Father” figure tell the kid to pick up the paper. Her child looked stricken. The male adult continued to walk on. And in my not so great moment in front of these children, who obviously needed some good role models, in front of my children who stood at my door with my husband (in shock and quite confused), I responded, “YOU ARE JUST TRASH! JUST TRASH!” And then grabbed my paper, turned around and stormed back into my house.

Husband was left speechless and I must admit, a little proud of me. I was left sheepish, thinking how I could have handled the situation a little better. How I could have used it as a lesson in using one’s words nicely to get what one wanted. How maybe it might come back to bite me in the ass in the form of T.P., eggs, or something worse. How maybe, that mother, according to those friends with a different perspective on Facebook, might have needed the coupons. How maybe my $1.65 a day paper was not worth it. How instead of judging, I should have helped. There’s a reason my American Indian name, given to me by a friend in high school was, “Speaks With Foot in Mouth.” It will one day be my downfall.

6 Comments… add one

Rebecca Grace September 6, 2011, 12:19 pm

The suckiest part about all of this is that children are involved. You can sometimes hold adults responsible for bad judgement, poor decisions resulting in poverty, but children aren't responsible for being born into those situations. You feel like, hey, maybe they need my newspaper coupons to stretch their food stamps to where they can buy meat for the kids — but then again, maybe anything you give them to help the kids ends up going somewhere else. After all, what kind of parents deliberately teach their kids that if you need/want something that someone else has, you just steal it when they aren't looking?
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Rebecca Grace September 6, 2011, 12:20 pm

Hmmm… Okay, here's what I'd do. I'd look for an opportunity to talk to one of the kids alone, and ask them why they wanted your newspaper. If they say to read it, I'd offer to give it to them when I'm finished reading it. If they say the coupons, I'd say that he can have the coupons if he brings the paper up to my front step every morning (so he feels like he's doing you a favor to earn the coupons. Kids will usually tell you the truth if they are young enough.

Oh, and I'm totally not judging you — I would have freaked out, too, especially if I hadn't had my coffee yet!
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Carpool Goddess September 6, 2011, 2:21 pm

Great post! We all lose it sometimes. Myself included for sure. @Rebecca I love your idea about how to deal with the kids. Brilliant.

ginger September 6, 2011, 9:53 pm

This happened months ago, but very soon after this happened ,The family moved out of the neighborhood. Literally the day after I submitted this post, my friend who lived next to them, spoke to the new tenants and found out that apparently there were locks on the outside of every single door in the house, all food cabinets were locked, and it looked as though there was a punishment room under the stairs. Let's just say, there is a lot I wish I could go back and fix. I have no clue as to any of their names, or where they went. And Rebecca, I love your idea….just wish I would have written this months ago to hear your great suggestion. Makes me hug and kiss my kids and tell them I love them about 50 more times a day.

Kimberly September 7, 2011, 1:04 am

What a sucky situation for everyone. On the one hand, I'm proud of you for standing up for yourself. I probably would have been too much of a wuss to say anything. On the other hand, it sucks that the kids were involved. I hope that wherever they are now, the kids are okay.
My recent post Stream of Consciousness… From the Mind (and Mouth) of a Toddler

Wombat Central September 9, 2011, 5:32 pm

Dear sweet Ginger, I think I love you, because I have a perpetual shoe store in my yapper. Also? My husband always tells me not to yell at the neighborhood hoodlums for fear we'll be egged.
My recent post While I was out Shopping

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