I have never liked life on the edge. I remember having friends in middle school that would steal popsicles ("ice blocks" in New Zealand) to see if they could get away with it. No way. Not me. Not because I am an angel, but because the thought of being caught and punished scared me to death. Even so, one of the most embarrassing stories (and most often repeated) of my childhood is the stolen cheesecake story. I have always hated the cheesecake story, but honestly, as the years have passed, it has lost its power. People hear it and shrug their shoulders. That's because they didn't know 11 year old me. 11 year old me and 33 year old me are nothing alike. 11 year old me was awkward and shy. I promise I was shy. The only people who ever believe that I was once shy are the people who were there to see it. Here it is, though, in all it's glory. Friends, I present to you the Cheesecake Story.
I don't know how I got invited. My brother Craig, my sister Kari, and her best friend Rachel were going. I think we had to have an adult with us, and so Rachel's mother, Mrs. Rolston, went too. The plan was to take a coffee cruise on the Lakeland Queen, a boat that toured around Lake Rotorua. I felt very grown up to be included in these plans. I dressed in my pink skirt, white shirt, and yellow suspenders, and headed out for a day of fun. I remember most of the details of this day vividly. We boarded the boat, and Craig took out his camera to take pictures. Craig was always taking pictures. I modeled and smiled and gave my best far off look. After the picture taking, we went downstairs for coffee. This was the coffee cruise, the discounted one hour cruise. There was coffee and scones and cheesecake. I love cheesecake. As Craig was helping himself to the coffee and scones, I grabbed some cheesecake and went to sit down. When I sat at our table, Kari's eyes got really big, and she informed me that the cheesecake was not included in our ticket price. I was 11. I had no money. I don't think I had even paid for my own discounted fare. I wanted to throw up. I had just stolen a piece of cheesecake. I had to think fast, so I pretended that I didn't want it anyway. Let me insert here that my sister Kari thought this was hilarious. She made a much bigger deal out of it than was necessary, and she is certainly the most common repeater of this story. Craig took the stolen cheesecake to the server and told him I didn't know that it wasn't free and then it was over. End of story, right? Nope. I spent the rest of the cruise with my head resting on the table, pretending to have a stomachache and on the verge of tears. But that wasn't my first accidental theft.
My first accidental theft was maybe a year before the cheesecake incident. My mom and I were in a department store, and my mom asked me to hold something for her. To the best of my recollection, it was a package of handkerchiefs. I asked my mother and she doesn't even remember the incident so there is no one to argue with me. It was handkerchiefs. Anyway, I held them as she shopped. Then we left, and I still held them. Halfway down the street, I realized that I was still holding the handkerchiefs. I was a thief. Different story, same ending. I wanted to throw up and cry. My siblings laughed and wanted to tell everyone they knew.
Yesterday, I logged into Facebook, and I saw that a friend had written a new blog. This friend is one of the funniest friends I have. She is such a creative, relatable writer. She makes the most mundane things entertaining. I read her latest blog, and then looked to the left to see comments that people had made. That's when I saw it. It said "Comments for Where My Girls At", and for a split second, I was 11 again. I had stolen her blog title and not even realized it. For a brief moment, I was afraid to click on it, fearing that I had ripped off her title and maybe even her whole blog entry. What if the whole blog that I thought was mine was really just hers, rewritten with my own personal details? But thank heavens, I am 33, and so 33 year old me clicked on it to find that the content was completely different. So I laughed out loud at my unintentional thievery and sent her a message to thank her for the borrowed title. It also gave me something to write about today, so thanks, Caryn Grey Thexton, for being creative and copy-worthy. If my next blog is about having a Bob Mackie Barbie, and marrying a guy named Larry, you can sue me.