(By Breckon Angulo – Whitby, Ontario, Canada)

Sometimes a good deed goes punished … and that’s okay!

This is a story that I laugh at now but at the time I was trying with every muscle in my socially anxious body to keep from crying from pure embarrassment.

I live in Whitby, Ontario with my husband. My parents, from Toronto, were house hunting in beautiful Coburg about four years ago. I decided to tag along with them while my husband was at work. We stopped off at a Tim Hortons for a coffee and something to eat before checking out the first house.

My mom chose a table right next to an elderly couple. I can’t remember why I got up, but I had left the table for a brief moment and when I headed back I noticed that the elderly couple was no longer at the table. What was still at the table though sitting on the chair was the lady’s purse.

I looked outside and saw them walking to their car. Being the kind, sweet person that I am, I grabbed the purse so quickly that I didn’t have time to process what happened next. I felt like a superhero spinning into my spandex and cape.

As I started to make my way to the door with super speed to give back the purse, I felt this EXTREME force, as if I was being clotheslined by a linebacker at the Super Bowl. I was thrown back a few steps before my brain kicked in and realized that this football player was actually another elderly lady.

Turns out, that brief moment that I had left was enough time for the elderly couple to leave their table next to us and for another elderly couple to swing in and grab it for themselves, with the lady’s purse keeping their spot on her seat while her husband ordered their coffee and she got up to get the newspaper.

Yep! I almost stole a purse and got clotheslined by an extremely strong old lady!
Once my world stopped shaking with utter shock and confusion of what just occurred, she said something along the lines of “You’ve got my bag!” I looked back outside at the other couple and that lady definitely didn’t forget her purse.

I apologized profusely at my mistake and told her what happened as her and her husband sat down next to us at their table.

The added extra to why this story is so funny now is that I suffer from really bad social and situational anxiety and would never do anything bad to anyone. My parents were laughing so hard when everything relaxed, because stealing a purse is probably the last thing I would ever do as it’s so very out of character. Luckily my dad was able to express to them, in a humorous way, how out of character it really was for me to have attempted to steal a purse. The couple thought it was so funny too. *Phew*

My parents and this now absolutely lovely couple from Coburg had wonderful chats about the town and places to go and see in the area if they indeed moved there.
I, having been so embarrassed and a little sore from the hit, tried so very hard to hold back my tears. Unfortunately my face decided to water itself anyway.

I relived this moment over and over for weeks afterwards until it eventually became really funny and a story I liked telling people.

I guess what I learned from that situation is that honest mistakes happen and I don’t always have to beat myself up for everything. I probably would have done the same thing if I was in her position.

And I also don’t always have to be the hero and should remember to take my time to assess the situation before I act on it … or in this case, before I steal a purse.

About the author: I’m a wife to my husband of almost eight years and mother to our three-and-a-half year-old boy. I am an artist as well as a children’s book author and illustrator and I have recently published my first of many children’s books. (Find Breckon on Instagram and Facebook)

Your turn! What lessons have you learned from life’s awesome and absurd moments? Share you stories with us and help us grow our collection of teachable misadventures.