Thursday, April 05, 2007

Confessions of a Jack Unitarian

My son, who was raised UU but has not attended much in adulthood, calls himself a Jack Unitarian, playing off the nickname for a Mormon who has left the fold but still feels Mormon. We talked last night about some of what he's doing these days and he told me he had written something on his blog about a situation he'd handled lately. When I went to his blog, I loved what he wrote and thought I'd share it with you. I didn't get his permission, so if he objects, I'll be taking it down. Read fast!

I'm proud of him. He's going to school, working, being a house husband, and getting ready to be married to his sweetie. And I think he'll always be a caring guy---at least in part because he was raised UU.

Here it is:

2007-04-04 - 12:54 a.m.


Just to get everyone up to speed, I recently took a new position at Target.

I'm one of the dorks in the store in an imitation police outfit that stands by the door to stop shoplifters and tell little old ladies with bladder issues where the bathrooms are.

For the most part, it's pretty interesting. I get to know all the good gossip, I don't have to sell shlock any longer, and I got a pay raise. Even the parts where I'm getting jigsaws thrown at me from fleeing entertaining.

Then today happened.

Nothing bad per-se, but something that made me think.

We had a lady, in her late 20's, come in with her two young kids. After she went to the bathroom, she walked by one of the empty registers and grabbed some of the shopping bags. She then proceeded to grab items and stuff them into the shopping bags. She wandered around the store for a while, grabbing more stuff. Then she walked right out the door.

We had seen her grab the bags, and so our undercover guy started following her around, while another one followed her with the security cameras. We saw her walking to the door, I went outside and waited. As soon as I got the high-sign over the radio from the undercover guy, I stepped around the corner by the door, and stood in front of her cart. Her eyes grew wide and she started babbling excuses that she had just "forgotten" to pay.

We took her to the security office, and started going through her bags. Due to the amount she had taken (over $250) it was considered a felony. I got her kids some icees and sat with them in another room while the police were called and they interviewed and finally arrested her. Her husband was called and he came and got the kids.

Those are the facts.

The stuff she was trying to steal? Clothes hangers, cups, area rugs, silverware, Tupperware, etc. All kinds of stuff someone would need for a new apartment. No electronics, or easily sell-able stuff. Not even a few toys for the kids, or a few pieces of jewelry.

The husband?
A short guy with a mean face, and I got a serious unpleasant vibe from him.

The thought that keeps going through my mind is:
Did I stop a battered wife who had enough money for a new apartment, but couldn't afford to furnish it? And now is the husband is going to take it out on her?

I saved Target 250 dollars, but I may have screwed up someone's life forever.


Chalicechick said...

She was so obvious about it, it makes me wonder if on some level getting out of it by going to jail was the plan.


ms. kitty said...

That was my thought too, CC. We talked about it last night and I mentioned that possibility. He said he'd also talked it through with friends who said similar things. He's trying not to worry about it, but he's a tenderhearted guy with a sense of responsibility for people. Which I admire greatly, whether he's related to me or not.

Z said...

UU in part, but I bet it had more to do with his Mom. :)

My heart goes out to you and your son, and that poor woman if she is being abused. Her radical obviousness seems pretty clear though.



Joel said...

I may be naive, but I don't understand how on earth you can be a Jack Unitarian. Is there any sort of orthodoxy or mandatory practice to lapse from?

As for the shoplifter, I hope he's wrong about her reasons. However, if she really is trying to escape a violent situation, it may be that the police will jog her into following some safer channels. Or the husband could have given off a "mean vibe" because there's something wrong with his wife, and he's had to come rescue her before.

The Favorite Son said...

Actually, I believe most Jack (insert denomination here) aren't rebelling from any sort of orthodoxy or mandatory practices of the religion in general. I have found that they are removing themselves from the congregation, not the religion or spiritual path. If they truly are disgruntled or offended by the teachings of their DoC (Deity of Choice) then they usually leave the religion. Occasionally this is accompanied by nailing things to the door next to the For Sale Reliquary ads and the Indulgence price list.

Myself, after 30+ years of hearing the same "Talk about the openness of UU and bash whatever religion they were raised with in the same breath" caused me to want to explore my spirituality away from the church, removing myself from the congregation- but not the ideas of exploration that UU has instilled in me.

Thus is my reason for titling myself a "Jack Unitarian".
At least until I get some cable-access time and realize my dream of being the first Unitarian-Universalist Televangelist.

ms. kitty said...

You go, Impact!

I was going to say "unorthodox in all things, just to confound the orthodox", but you said it better, favorite son.

Joel said...

At least until I get some cable-access time and realize my dream of being the first Unitarian-Universalist Televangelist.

Send me money, for whatever reason you think is right for you! Can I get an amen/shalom/blessed be?