just a little bit sketchy

A tale revisited.

I’m not one of those sketchy kind of people.  You know the kind.  The type of woman who cause others to shrink away from.  The kind who who will force mothers to hide their children from.  I am straight-laced.  Law-abiding.  I color in the lines and please-n-thank-you myself through life.  And so the mere idea of me committing a crime is extraordinarily out of the ordinary.

And yet I did it.

This was no traffic ticket, people. It was a full-fledged misdemeanor.  My life was in a wreck at the time and I truly think that in that moment I lost a bit of myself.  I wasn’t the sweet-tempered woman I usually am, I was turning into a felon right before my inner eyes.  I didn’t even care.

Things were crumbling around me — or so I thought — and I had never felt so out of control.  I hadn’t learned the lesson yet that control is an illusion.  All I knew is that I desperately wanted, needed, to feel in control of something.

And so I stole eyeliner.

I’ll give you a moment to internalize that one.

I hadn’t intended on doing such a thing.  I was in line to buy it.  There were only two women ahead of me and ordinarily I would have waited my turn.  In fact, I probably would have chatted with them.  Instead, I found myself growing impatient.  Even angry.  I knew I was transferring my emotions onto them, but I didn’t care.  I just wanted my damn eyeliner.  For once, I wanted to be in control of my own situation.  I wanted to choose when I could leave.  I wanted to choose what I had in my hands.  I wanted to choose if I bought or didn’t.  My choice. Mine. Only mine. Nobody else. Me.

So I walked out, eyeliner in hand, shoving it into my purse once I got outside.  Nobody even noticed or cared.  But I cared.  These were my decisions, I empowered myself, and I didn’t care.

And there was no traffic on the way home.  Even better.

I pulled into the garage, closed the door, shut the engine off and burst into tears.  I could only text my husband who was in the house.  Sobbing, I told him I had committed a crime.

“Ummm… what?”

“A crime!”

“Come in and let’s talk about it.”


“What did you do?”




“A car?”




“….. well? what?”



I just cried more.  What do they do to people who steal eyeliner?  I told him I was worried  I would go to jail but he just laughed at me more.  This was a big deal!  I STOLE!

I did eventually go inside the house after calming down (it gets cold in the garage) and my husband greeted me with a hug.  After a few prison jokes, he talked me through my thinking.  I always knew I would go back the next day to pay for what I had taken; that wasn’t the problem.  What worried me deep down was that I had done it in the first place.  In my mind, I was five years down the road and robbing banks, using manners with the teller.

This was the first time I had ever compromised my loyalty to honesty and integrity.  I have always been honest in my dealings with people and have always felt like I have personal integrity.  Yet I blew it over eyeliner.  To perfectly honest, it wasn’t really about eyeliner — it was this concept of control that I felt I needed.  Instead of being humble and relying on my family, ecclesiastical leaders, and prayer — as I normally do — I fell into such a dark place. This is not where I normally fall to.  I am not comfortable in dark places.  Probably because I steal everything in sight.

Thankfully, I have learned a great deal since this difficult time.  I wear this same eyeliner almost every day if only to remind me that it is less about control and more about understanding.  Understanding what there is to gain in myself, in life’s perspective, and possible growth.  I also wear it to remind myself that it wasn’t worth stealing in the first place. It’s a terrible product.

Some things just aren’t worth the hassle.

This post is part of the two week Scintilla writing project where we share our histories by writing our stories.  Day 1:  Life is a series of firsts.  Talk about one of your most important firsts.  What did you learn?  Was it something you incorporated into your life as a result?

C. Streetlights
Latest posts by C. Streetlights (see all)

Published by C. Streetlights

I wrote and illustrated my first bestseller, "The Lovely Unicorn" in the second grade and I've been terrified of success ever since. Published by ShadowTeamsNYC and represented by Lisa Hagen Books

20 thoughts on “just a little bit sketchy”

  1. I love you all. Thank you for your support in my life of crime.

  2. Sara Rose says:

    Ok. Sigh. Sometimes realizing that we're human and that we have to create our own boundaries for self control and just life is very overwhelming. So in that moment you stole eyeliner. Thank goodness you took a lesson from it, instead of just going back to pay and forgetting about it.

    And with you, Brandee, and I, gee, we'd be real criminals. I could harness up my Conistoga, Brandee would bring the cheerleader beer (aka wine coolers), you can bring the eyeliner, and I can pouf glitter. With that dead criminal combo, yes, we'd so rob banks politely and glitteringly.

  3. Noel says:

    This is such an honest, well-told human moment. Love. 🙂

  4. Tracy says:

    is it ok for me to admit i use eyeliner to black out my teeth? i am serious! it is perfect for that! i am talking liquid liner of course… great post!

  5. dominique says:

    i have done this exact same thing, with little brackets instead of eyeliner. i completely get it. i am so glad i am not the only one!

  6. So very true. We learn from guilt if we let ourselves. Mostly we learn to laugh at our

  7. Thank heavens it was only eyeliner!

  8. Whenever I can bring about a guffaw my day is allllright!

  9. I do believe I was very human at that point! Xo

  10. "And so I stole eyeliner."

    I swear to God, I almost peed laughing! Brilliant story!

  11. SCW says:

    Oh, I had such a hard time not laughing – in recognition. I stole white nail polish. WHITE! And so shimmery. It was totally unwearable. But … we are human. And sometimes we get to remind ourselves of that. Bless you and your beautiful lined eyes.

  12. Jason says:

    I bet you thought I wasn't going to comment, didn't ya? This post made me laugh, and I have to say i would have LOl'd you too when you admitted to stealing eyeliner. Great post as always.

  13. Amanda says:

    Standing in line at a store could drive anyone to commit a crime. : ) I like your story – because it shows me what a good, good person you are.

  14. Stereo says:

    I put my hand over my mouth and tittered at this but boy did you describe this perfectly and painted a picture that, save for the specifics, so many of us can fit into so easily. Have I mentioned how much I adore you today? I must make it a daily occurrence. ♥

  15. You know, eyeliner IS the gateway make-up.

    I have to admit, I chuckled, too. I am ridiculously glad to know that you are human. The pedastal I have had you on was getting pretty high.

    I'll confess…when I was in high school, my two girlfriends & I got an older person to buy us wine coolers. My parents were out of town, so we got giggly, then sleepy…on FOUR wine coolers between the three of us.

    All we need for this rough crowd is someone to act as our getaway driver & we've got quite the gang going!

    All joking aside, I'm sorry that you had such a rough stretch. You are certainly someone that I hold in very high esteem.

  16. i LOVE that you still use the same eyeliner as a reminder. that is just perfect. and i too, am laughing, but definitely with you. with you.

    this is just great!


  17. This is, at once, hilarious and human. The guilt of even the most minor misdeed is so real that it follows us throughout time. It's "no big deal" to many, but some of us learn much from the almost dark places.

  18. Lol, I can't believe you stole eyeliner! Sorry, I shouldn't laugh. But I am. 😉 Thanks for sharing this story, it's bizarre what impulses take over down there at rock bottom.

  19. mark says:

    You better burn this before Miss Bean learns to read. That little munchkin will be leading a life of crime with such an example.


    I'm glad I was the onliest person in the office whilst reading this because I chuckled, then I guffawed. My cover would've been blown, thanks to your heartwarming story of humanity and realization.

    I like your husband, BTW. He sounds like a righteous dude….

  20. there are times in life when we do things that make us understand that we are human. and this gives us compassion for all the other, flawed human beings around us.

    we all have our moments, whether we will admit them out loud or not. and so, here you are, honest and human and still beautiful.

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