“If you love, love the moon. If you steal, steal a camel.” Egyptian proverb
Your honor, I stand before you accused of stealing a coat. If it pleases the court, I have a few words to say in my defense.
I admit the coat belonged, or rather belongs, to my grown daughter, and that I agreed to store it, along with a lot of larger and bulkier items, until the time she felt fully moved in to her new apartment in the city. So for the last couple years, we have stowed a queen-sized mattress, several boxes of books and records, a dresser, some lamps and a trunk in the garage. I’ll add that half of our attic is devoted to “the archive”, a near-shrine: my daughter’s Barbie collection, Simpsons memorabilia, Happy Meal toys and 90’s Disney merchandise. Let the record show I have never shirked my parent-as-storage-facility responsibilities.
But back to the coat. Your honor, when I found it crumpled and wadded up in one of my daughter’s trash bags full of clothes and realized it was a fine quality camel hair coat, I took the time, trouble and expense to have it dry cleaned. My motives were selfish, I admit, but I fully intended to return it to the bag after I wore it once or twice. I even showed my daughter the courtesy of asking if I could borrow the coat – true, I was in England wearing it at the time and we live in New York. If I recall correctly, my daughter chuckled when I told her I had appropriated – I mean worn- the coat. I believe her exact words were “Oh, Mom.”
When I returned home, I forgot whose coat it was and just got used to enjoying it. Everything was fine until my daughter came for a visit and saw the coat. “I’d like it back,” she said. “Can you bring it next time you come to visit?” Here’s where things get a little blurry. The main point is – why can’t I keep the coat?
I’ve never denied my child anything. When she was growing up, I wore thrift shop shoes so that I could put new Skechers on her feet. Summer camp, gymnastics classes – whatever she needed, I found a way to provide. By keeping the coat, I’m only following that maternal instinct – the coat is in fact too big for her. I’m just looking out for her welfare, the way a mother does.
In summary, I’d like to – hold on, I just had a text from my daughter. Poor thing has a cold. I’m always telling her to dress warmer. On second thought, your honor, may we have a dismissal? I need to drive down to the city to drop off a coat.