I think we need to have a little chat. A refresher, if you will. First, I want you to understand that I know how you feel about the whole “finders keepers” concept. You happen upon something that doesn’t belong to you, you claim it (guilt-free), and then benefit from it. It’s genius, I agree.
And I know the thrill you’re experiencing. I’ll never forget the time I found a crumpled fiver at a Roller Skating Rink birthday party. It was glorious. Slush Puppies and Nerds never tasted as good as they did the day everyone watched me consume them after cake. I’ve found a wide variety of other things too, so I’m with you. I get it.
But there’s a difference between discovering an item that was lost or discarded, and what you’ve just experienced.
To clarify, you followed me into the kitchen and observed me dump the contents of my purse onto the counter. Then, you watched me sort and declutter until I left the room to get your sister up from her nap. At which point you poked through my things until you found the dollar in your hand, which you’re now insisting is yours to keep.
That is not a discovery, that is premeditated theft.
No? You don’t agree? Let’s break it down.
When you’re walking through the park and find a quarter by the tree? FINDERS KEEPERS (Though you might want to consider how many dogs enjoy that tree.)
That stuffed animal at CVS? Yes, I know it was on the wrong shelf, but it still belongs to the store. If you try to take it home, it’s THEFT.
That pile of glitter on the ground by the picnic bench? FINDERS KEEPERS. (But trash. I don’t believe for a minute you’ll make a “craft” out of it.)
That Barbie bike you saw your friend prop up against the tree? THEFT for thinking it. GRAND THEFT for taking it.
That gumball in the metal compartment of the gumball machine? Gross, but FINDERS KEEPERS.
And one last thing, the correct response when I ask you to return my money is NOT: “This isn’t actually your money. Daddy is the one who works. It’s his money.”
Yes, Daddy works and I stay home with you. Yes, this money did technically come from his paycheck. You need to understand, however, that this dollar is but a mere token for which I am compensated. If I were given a paycheck for my duties, our family would go broke. Your allowance? We wouldn’t even have enough left to thank you for feeding the dog.
And just so you know, by YOUR definition of Finders Keepers, every last one of your items belongs to me. You room? Clothes? Toys? I’m letting you borrow them, but I found them first, so they’re mine. Food? Snacks? Candy? You can keep them, but again, mine.
Your upcoming birthday party? …that’s right, you’re catching on. Now, put my dollar back on the counter and we’ll pretend this conversation never happened. Which, judging by the way you’re eyeing your sister’s lollipop on the table, you already have.
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