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Frances Lynn

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Member Since: Apr, 2006

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Books by Frances Lynn
Shoplifting
By Frances Lynn
Thursday, January 11, 2007

Rated "PG" by the Author.

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           >> View all 14


Everyone shoplifted from Biba as the lighting was so dim.


My favourite outfit of all time was a chocolate brown, crushed velvet trouser suit, which I bought from Biba. Mum and Dad gave me the money for my fifteenth birthday. Normally, Mum went clothes shopping with me, but this time I flatly refused. No way was I going to end up with one of those hideous tweed suits she always insisted on buying for me.

In those days, I had a very naughty friend called Trixy, who was a terrible influence on me, but she was good fun. She always wore the most fashionable clothes, and I sometimes wondered where she got the money from, as her mother wasn't rich. In fact, Trixy once confided that her mother had been on benefits since her father had run off with an eighteen year old girl from our school.

When I asked Trixy to help me pick out a dress for my birthday, she was so excited that she dragged me all the way to Biba, not that I ever needed to be dragged there, as it was my favourite store in the universe. Mind you, at the time I hadn't been further than Belgium.

When we got there, the first thing that Trixi did was to plonk a pink cowboy hat on my head, and wrap a matching pink feather boa round my neck. It fitted me like a python. She then helped herself to an armful of outfits and ignoring the disinterested shop girls, dragged me downstairs to the changing room. It was a big communal room, and the lighting was so dim, you could have been in the black hole of Calcutta for all you knew. Trixi yanked me behind a discreet Japanese screen, and when she took off her big coat, I was surprised to see she was only wearing a bra and pants underneath.

‘Aren’t you freezing?’ I asked, but she ignored me.

She was too busy wrapping all the outfits she had taken from upstairs around her waist, before putting her coat back on. She looked about fourteen months pregnant after she had finished.
‘Here, take this,’ she said, passing me a delicious brown, crushed velvet trouser suit with the tiniest arms I’d ever seen. I excitedly tried it on. Trixi said I had never looked so skinny, and that was a huge compliment coming from her, believe me.

‘I’ll go upstairs and pay for it,’ I said, keeping it on.

‘Are you mad? Aren’t you going to steal it?’ she screeched.

For a moment, I was really tempted. Everyone used to shoplift from Biba in those days. It was the trendy thing to do.

‘If you don't pay for it, think of all the black Biba lipstick you can buy with the money you’d save,’ Trixi said.

For a moment I imagined she had horns sprouting out of her red haired head, but for once in my life I didn’t do what she wanted me to do. It wasn’t so much the moral dilemma. I was terrified at being caught! So, while Trixi was greedily trying to wrap more outfits around her waist, I went upstairs to pay for my trouser suit. I felt very pleased with myself for not shoplifting it, and went outside the store to wait for my partner in crime. A few minutes later, she came out, trying to look nonchalant which was difficult, as she now looked twenty months pregnant. We walked for about a block, and once she realised she wasn’t going to be arrested, she pulled me all the way down the rest of Kensington Church Street, screaming and shrieking.

‘Don’t you feel guilty about stealing?’ I asked, feeling rather smug that I hadn’t succumbed to temptation.

‘Do you?’ Trixi asked.

‘Why should I? I didn’t steal anything,’ I answered indignantly.

Then, I noticed my reflection in a shop window. I was still wearing the pink cowboy hat and matching pink feather boa. I contemplated returning them to Biba, but my contraband accessories looked so good with my new trouser suit that I guiltily decided to keep them. I had shoplifted by accident, but that was the last time I ever did it.

Copyright: Frances Lynn, 2006
 

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Reviewed by Linda Nelson 7/17/2010
I like that, accidently and on purpose at the same time. Great write.
Kudos to you!

Linda
Reviewed by alex dihes (алик дайхес) 5/16/2008
Great!!!! You started successfully!!!!! Don't be bashful -- continue!!!!!!!!
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 2/28/2007
A learning opportunity from which you learned it seems, Frances. Nicely done. Thank you. Love and peace to you,

Regis
Reviewed by Guy Hogan 1/18/2007
Shoplifting must be a rite of passage. In my youth I did it once. My older sister was a married woman in her twenties when she was caught shoplifting. She could have easily paid for the item. But I guess paying for an item is not as thrilling as lifting it. Anyway, I enjoyed the story. It was a good read.
Reviewed by Kimmy Van Kooten 1/12/2007
This is so real to life~ I am sure we can all think back on incidents such as these, I can remember strolling through a department store and when I returned to my car, my two year old somehow snatched a toy when I wasn't looking...but I was like you, I couldn't take it. I returned it to the customer service and the lady just looked at me funny, as if I was suppose to just take it...

I believe in, what goes around, comes around...

Loved the write!

Love and Peace~

Kimmy~
Reviewed by Brett Moore 1/11/2007
A great funny slice of life, Frances. How observant the shop girls at Biba were. I like the honesty of the narrator when she said it wasn't a moral dilemma, she was afraid of being caught. When I was younger, I was in this position alot. You captured a part of my youth and probably many people's youth. Excellent piece.

Brett

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