Five Finger Discount

I might as well tell you about the only time I ever deliberately stole something. The theft just so happened to take place on the exact day that I met my future husband, though he has nothing to do with why I did it. (Not consciously, anyway. <— Ha! That is going to be mildly to moderately funny when you find out what I stole!)

Twelve years ago my friend Lianna pulled me aside in a panic at her wedding reception. A garter! She’d forgotten a garter! How would her groom’s older brother ever get married if he didn’t catch the garter at their wedding?? Luckily I, an otherwise respectable young Mormon woman, somehow knew exactly where the nearest lingerie shop was, so I enlisted my friend Christa to keep me company and we set off for Naughty or Nice, determined to save the day.

We quickly located a suitable specimen and made our way to the register where the cashier handed me a receipt to sign and motioned toward the pen jar. Well, imagine my surprise and supreme delight to there discover a veritable hoard of Bic pens with tiny plastic penises on top! They were flesh-colored and everything!! I gingerly made my selection, signed the receipt, and would have returned the pen to its holder had the cashier not at that exact moment turned her back to fold some unmentionables.

Christa, the most straight-and-narrow person I know, saw the look of evil glee spreading over my face as I closely regarded the penis ornament (pornament?), and I’ve never seen laughter turn so quickly to sheer terror. I lowered the pen, and, with my gaze locked on hers, opened my purse. She shook her head violently, eyes wide, mouthing “NO!” over and over. I nodded slowly, a maniacal grin on my face. She gesticulated wildly. I dropped the penis pen into my bag. I’m pretty sure it fell in slow motion and caused an echoing thud as it hit the bottom of my purse. We hightailed it back to the stake center.

The conclusion to this story is twofold: A) We did not go to prison, and B) The groom’s older brother did catch the garter, never mind that he was the only one trying, and he and I were married eight months later.

[PS – I typically don’t condone stealing, but if I could do it over again I would have taken extras.]


  1. This definitely will be the only time I ever can write the phrase “penis pen” in the comments at BCC.

  2. I’m just wondering what the statute of limitations is!

  3. Eight in–OK, I’m done here.

  4. A Happy Hubby says:

    Thanks for sharing.

    So many comments/puns/questions to be made, but I will just bite my tongue (and look for a tissue to wipe the blood since I am REALLY trying not to go there). :-)

  5. A pen is a pen is a pen is a pen is …

  6. Thank you Ardis. And Ard is an Ard is an Ard . . . ; )

  7. Jessie, certainly you realize that you are SUPPOSED to take those pens. It’s a marketing ploy.

  8. Allow me my one moment of crime, Michael!!

  9. You are a sheep in wolves clothing.

  10. stephenchardy says:

    Sometimes a pen is only a pen

  11. A female eyeing a pen and wishing she had one. So, that’s what pen envy is all about.

  12. Stealing the pen is an act of abject cowardice.

  13. Jessie, thank you for writing this wonderful post about the day you met Jon, and micropenis syndrome.

  14. Kevin Barney says:

    This was a suspenisful account…

  15. I just startled my dog laughing at your comment, Kevin.

  16. I think that this is a good illustration of why we need to make sure that everyone has access to a variety of teaching tools, for both semester, about how to correctly use our fingers to get what we want. Five fingers can be useful, but not the only way to deal with small problems…….

    (I’m with A Happy Hubby, the potential for comments is satisfyingly endless.)

  17. When I first read this, I was disgusted. Then I was angry. Now I’m just sad. Yep, I’m the feminist who can’t take a joke. Sad to see BCC normalizing porn culture and the objectification of women (“no really! this is funny stuff! don’t you get it? it’s reverse objectification!”). Sad that the stupid, degrading tradition (of throwing the garter) has made it into some LDS weddings; sad that this author felt she had to participate in it (see: internalized misogyny); sad to see the barrel-scraping comments (no really, they’re funny!). Personally, I come here to be uplifted and engage in thoughtful conversations. Do better, BCC.

  18. I’ll have you know that I have won awards for my barrel-scraping comments.

  19. I am a feminist who found the whole account and subsequent comments quite amusing. We take sexuality so, so, so, seriously in the church, that laughing at a stolen penis pen seems like a way of giving ourselves a break from that straight-jacket view of sexuality. I think one can chuckle at this story without it meaning that BCC is normalizing porn culture and the objectification of women.

  20. You can be a feminist *and* find stolen penis pens hilarious. You’re doing great, BCC!

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