My box was snatched

My purpose for the trip was insignificant and really could have been accomplished at any time of the year.

Instead, I decided one chaotic Saturday shortly after the Christmas holidays to engage in some very risky masochism.

I went shopping.

And not just anywhere. I went shopping at the same locale of the infamous (according to me) umbrella stand heist you might recall from my post, I’m all about that baseI’m still withholding the name of the store because I don’t know the statute of limitations on unintentional yet not rectified theft.

I wanted to replace a small decorative box that stored my Tupperware lids because it was falling apart. I meticulously measured the space in my cupboard and came up with a few possible dimensions that could work (you see, the cupboard door hinge sticks out a bit, so the size could vary depending on the height and placement of the box). It was all very complicated. I recorded the measurements with corresponding diagrams on a scrap piece of paper and went on my merry way.

When I entered the store, I was delighted to see they had a wide selection of storage options similar to the size I was looking for. With the trusty mini measuring tape I always keep in my purse (for kinky reasons of course), I measured a few and finally landed on one that was perfect. The box was made of a fabric that was forgiving for over-stuffing (since as everyone knows, if you ever throw away any item of Tupperware, you must sacrifice your first born) (Oh, and that’s what she said). As a bonus, it had a print on it that matched my decor.

Done and done. I was so proud of my find.

On my way to the register to pay and get the hell out of the frenzied mob of shoppers, I spotted pillows.


Thus began my hour-long deliberation.

I like to refresh my decor (she says with an air of pretentiousness) every once in a while, and I find the easiest way is via new accent pillows. But the window curtain in my loft where the couch is has a very bold print, so it’s a real bitch to match pillows to. So figuring out in the store which new pillows not only matched each other, but would also match the curtain, the couch and the existing pillows back at home, took some brain power.

I grabbed a cart to harness the pillows in one place while I stood back a few feet with my hands on my hips and stared at them. On my phone, I pulled up a recent picture taken in my loft and held it straight ahead of me so both the cart and the picture were in my field of vision. I rolled my eyes each time a shopper walked between me and the cart. “HELLO?! I’m staring from afar here!”

After an hour-long debate, retrieving and replacing countless pillows, I narrowed it down to four new pillows (and two were on sale!). I stuffed the chosen ones in the cart, placed the box for my Tupperware lids on top of the pile and placed the reject pillows back on the shelf. Now I could finally leave.

Have I set the scene enough?: I didn’t need to shop that day. It was very busy. I went in for one very specific thing. I found said very specific thing. I got distracted by pillows for an hour. I was just about to leave. I left my cart for a moment to put the reject pillows back on the shelf. And when I returned to the cart…

What the?

The Tupperware box… was gone.


I looked around frantically. Did it fall? Nope. Did I place it on a shelf nearby? Nope. Did I bury it under all the pillows in the cart? Nope. Was I on Candid Camera? Nope. Punked? Nope. Whatever hidden camera show is cool on the YouTube now? Nope.

My mind raced. I was away from the cart for like 10 seconds as I put the reject pillows back.

Someone stole the box right out of my cart!

There were two possible culprits: An employee, or a shopper.

And ok, the third culprit could very well be my brain failing on me. Maybe there was no box… But that’s impossible because I’m never wrong. Moving on.

So I considered the two culprits:

Employee – I mean, yes. Technically, it was an “abandoned” cart. For like 15 seconds. I noticed there were a lot of employees bustling around picking up items left in the wrong section and placing them in their proper spot – because that’s necessary on a busy Saturday (sassy sarcasm!). It was possible one employee got over-anxious by the prospect of a cart with no owner for like 30 seconds and decided to start placing the items back on the shelf.

Shopper – Or, a shopper may have liked the box and snatched it when I left the cart unattended for like 45 seconds. He or she could have been stalking me and the box, carefully waiting for the right moment. “How long can this broad look at pillows for Chrissakes?!”

Having weighed the options, thus began my descent into madness. I decided to investigate the shopper angle first. I raced to the checkout line in case the thief was trying to make a quick getaway. I stared down each person and their loot like they were in a police line up. No luck.

So I stormed the store with solider-like precision, using the cart full of pillows as my tank, examining every shopper and cart as I plowed my way through the chaos. I literally (proper use of the word) hunted a guy like a lion after her gazelle because he was carrying a laundry hamper that I thought would nicely match the box. I got close enough to see if he concealed it inside the hamper. No dice. His girlfriend looked annoyed.

It was looking like the shopper angle was a bust. I decided to move on and explore the employee angle (or just go home like a normal person? No). I went back to the display where I originally found the box to see if one of those over-anxious employees brought it back there (from out of my cart that I left abandoned for like one minute, max!). Nope. So I stopped the next employee I saw.

“Excuse me, something weird just happened, and I’m wondering if you can help me.”

You know when a stranger approaches you and you want to appear calm but are internally thinking of escape routes? I saw that in her eyes.

I explained the situation and asked if she saw the item I was talking about. She hadn’t. She offered to take a look around the store and find me if she found it. We went our separate ways to do a sweep of the store. When I saw her again, she said she had no luck. She probably just went for a smoke break.

“How about you call the store later to see if anyone found it?”

Kind of like the reverse of, “Don’t call us, we’ll call you,” but sends the same message – you’re crazy, and I don’t give a shit.

I said sure. What else was I going to do?

I had to give up the search. Back out came the trusty measuring tape, and I ended up finding a similar though inferior box. During this time, I bumped into a former colleague and we had a chat. It was fun to answer, “What’s new?” with, “Well, someone just stole an item out of my cart!”

You know when a stranger approaches you and you want to appear calm but are internally thinking of escape routes? I saw that in her eyes.

Just kidding. She was very sweet. That didn’t stop me from eying her cart though.

Almost three hours into my excursion, during one of the busiest shopping days of the year, it was finally all over. I clutched the consolation box in my hands as I made my way with the cart full of pillows to the register. I told the cashier what happened as she rang in my purchases.

You know when a stranger approaches you and you want to appear calm but are internally thinking of escape routes? I saw that in her eyes.

I ignored her silent judgement and suspiciously scanned the counter for my discarded treasure. I figured there was a chance that the culprit, suddenly ridden with the guilt of depriving a poor, lonely soul of her accurately-measured, perfectly-sized Tupperware lid storage box, decided to leave it and flee the scene of the crime.

I would have asked them to scan the store security tapes, but I feared that would lead to, “Hey, I recognize you…”




  1. Pat Lawhorn

    Hi Lauren! Love reading your articles – you’re a very talented writer!!

    Patricia (Pat) Lawhorn

    Financial Security Advisor

    Craievich Financial Services Inc.

    434 Christina Street North

    Sarnia, ON, N7T 5W2

    Tel: (519) 337-6553 x25 Fax: (519) 337-6552

    Toll Free: 1-877-869-6116

    Client Service Centre: 1-877-566-5433

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