II Chronicles 7:14

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Friday, August 01, 2008

This is the last STRAW!

Well, I've been keeping a secret from you all. It's been going on now for...oh...probably a good year or so and up until this point, I've kept it hidden from everyone but my immediate family...but now that the kids are older and they are starting to notice...and lately I've even had them be my little accomplices...I figure I'll just spill the beans. I steal straws.
Yep, you read that right. I do. I steal straws. Only the big fat ones though. My favorite places are Braums, Sonic and McDonalds because they have the biggest ones. You can't buy nice big ones at the store...so my only option is to take them, a couple at a time, every time I eat out.
Here's what I do:
When I get our tray of food, I usually grab enough straws for everyone in the family plus 2 or 3. I stick the extras in my purse. Then I'll go up and get some napkins and take another 1 or 2. A little while later, I'll have the kids go get some more ketchup and I'll holler "Grab a straw while you're up there." Usually I end up leaving with 5-7 in my purse. My record though was 14 a couple of weeks ago. I can't decide if this is "BAD" or not. I mean, the places really don't care. It's not like I am taking 30 or something. Plus, I make smoothies and shakes for us at home all the time and the skinny little straws you can buy at the store SUCK when you're trying to drink something thick through them. I would be MORE than happy to pay for these straws...but really...I doubt they'd let me. It started out as something I'd do as an honest mistake. Kind of like when you grab a few too many ketchup packets out of the bin or a couple extra napkins. Where most people probably throw that kind of stuff away, I've always put it in my purse and just taken it home. I never thought of it as stealing since it would have gotten thrown away anyway. Now, here lately though, since I am intentionally taking the straws, I feel kind of guilty. I mean, when you have to look around the restrurant before you take them and then slip them into your purse as FAST AS YOU CAN and then hope that no-one saw you.....doesn't that probably mean you think you're doing something bad?
Here is another way I justify it: As a kid, we would always go out to eat after church services with our friends. The adults would sit and talk for hours while us kids did mischevious things like dump out all the salt and pepper into the ketchup and mix it up and we would also use TONS of straws to play with. We'd first pull off one end of the paper and then blow the rest at our friends face...then we'd take the straw and wind each end of it around one of our fingers and then have our friend flick it in the center and hear the loud pop noise as the straw "pops". I bet we went through 30 straws sometimes!!! No one ever said a word to us about this.
(of course, now that I am a parent, I would NEVER let my kids do stuff like this and I can't BELIEVE my parents allowed it!!)
Anyway, what do ya'll think? Is it bad? I mean, I really try to only get a few, 5 or so, each time. The time I got 14 was kind of an accident because Grant grabbed a big handful and rather than take them back, I just took them.
The kids have asked me why I like to take straws and I just tell them "Well, I like to have a few extra's just in case we need one at home." They seemed to think that was a very sufficient answer and haven't asked anything else.
I really don't think I'm "stealing" but maybe I am...????


Tammy said...

Oh my gosh - too funny!! And you're right - the straws at restaurants are WAY BETTER than the ones you buy at the store.

I certainly can't judge you - I "steal" too. Napkins for the car and Sweet 'n Low packets. Makes my dad nuts - he buys me Sweet 'n Low packets all the time so I won't have to "steal" them.

I think it's okay since you're actually BUYING something from the restaurant. At least that's how my sick mind justifies it ;)

Teresa said...

For some odd reason I felt compelled to take a few straws from McDonald's today....LOL!!

Serious. I grabbed them and felt like I was getting away with something...and I DIDN'T EVEN NEED THEM!!! What's up with that? Maybe I'll mail them to you! Ha!Ha!Ha!

I just love you girl...you are hilarious!

Kate said...

ummmmm, I think you're safe!

too funny . . . .

Kuckie said...

Wow, you and Sheri really ARE criminals...LOL!!! I'm with Tammy...always looking for napkins for the car!

too funny!

Anonymous said...

If your conscious is bothering you, you should probably stop taking the straws. I saw a book one time called, "Please Don't Steal the Sweet-and-Low". I can't remember the authors name. She was with a singing group and like you she would grab just a few extra packages of Sweet-and-Low every time they stopped somewhere. She said God convicted her and she decided that she didn't want to miss heaven over a few Sweet-and-Low packages!

A second thing to think about is if you teach your children that it is okay to purposely "take" straws why would they think it is not okay to "take" something else.

Logzie said...

I always ask for extra creamers and sugars at McDonald's and I keep them in the van for when they screw up my coffee...which is often!

I don't think it's a big deal really...I'd be different if you "could" actually buy them but didn't want to spend the money or something. Maybe just limit yourself to like 5 or 6 a week so that your obsession doesn't spin out of control...LOL!!...and turn into stealing from Target or something! LOL!! Just kidding!

BTW-I totally forgot about the whole winding up the staw and popping it thing...thanks for the idea...we did this on Saturday at McDonald's.

Love you girl and I love your candidness and honesty...if only we all could admit our little things as openly...

Jenelle said...

LOL!! Such an addiction.

Think of it this way, if it was your business, what would you think? Ever think of looking online for your special straws?

Anonymous said...

Have you asked the Braums, Sonic, or McDonalds manager if you could buy a box of straws? I am sure that they have had stranger request! LOL


Teresa said...

Have we lost you to Faceboook? :0)

KC said...

I have honestly never even thought of "taking a straw", or sweet n low, or anything else. (Although we did tie an Olive Garden Napkin around Levi's neck once, for him to eat, and it looked like a cowboy bandanna which he wears often...well, next thing we know we are getting out of the van at walmart, and I said "Oh no! The napkin!" Needless to say, I have an Olive Garden Napkin in my kitchen towel drawer. Oops!)

Sorry, got sidetracked there: If we get home with a drink from sonic, I wash the straw and keep it in our silverware drawer for our shakes. I always have about 4 of those straws in there. I feel like I'm "recycling"! haha :) Once they wear out, I throw them away, and replace it the next time I have a drink from there.

Oh, I met a friend for lunch today, and as I opened my straw for my drink, I couldn't help but think of you and LOL! :)

Amy said...

And I remember how you used to always have McDonald's Ketchup to eat with the cafeteria fries in jr. high.
Sorry to spill your secret but that's one of my favorite funny memories from that time.
:) Love ya girl and I don't think there's anything wrong with taking one or two extra straws. Or packets of ketchup. Just not too many.