As an adult, I seem to have a knack for getting in trouble with the law. Not that I do anything particularly bad, but anytime I do disobey the rules, I get busted at an extreme level. The second my car creeps over the speed limit, I become blinded by the flash of a camera or see a police car in my rear view mirror. (This is likely to happen on a long weekend so that I’ll lose half my license.) And whenever I park in the wrong spot, I cop a ticket (always the $180 ones.) We all break the little rules whenever we can and usually it goes unnoticed. But when I do it, I get fined.
I attribute this to a brief, yet intense, stint of shoplifting as a young teenager. My friend Brooke and I would waltz into Kmart in our school uniforms, fill empty McDonald’s cups with make-up and earrings and layer on underpants in the change room, then saunter out casually. But while Brooke relished the adrenaline rush of walking through the store’s security gates with her hidden booty, the whole thing made me ill with anxiety. I imagined the police breaking down my bedroom door and hauling me out from under the doona. (“That’s her, there’s the Lip Gloss Thief of Castle Hill!”) I lay awake at night, dreading the day we would eventually be caught. Fortunately, once we’d accumulated enough Max-Factor to last us until menopause, Brooke and I decided to quit while we were ahead and resumed our life as generally-law-abiding citizens. I’ve totally used up all my ‘get out of gaol free’ cards though.