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Robbery, Rugs and 90s Relapses

Remember slap bracelets?


As a child of the 90s, I can personally verify that at one time, they were THE SINGLE COOLEST THING EVER. That is a fact.

This was before even cooler things, like pogs…

and the Sony Discman.

Slap bracelets were, as we’d say in the 90s:

“the bomb”
“off the chain”
“all that and a bag of chips, yo.”
And no diggety.

Once, when I was about 8, I went to a yard sale and tried on a slap bracelet. (Fact: you can’t touch a slap bracelet without putting it on. To this day, if there is a slap bracelet in my presence, it is going on my wrist. That’s just how I was raised.)

So 8-year-old me tried on a slap bracelet, left it on for a minute to check out the koosh balls (or something), and then accidentally left the yard sale with the bracelet still on my wrist, having not paid for it. About half an hour later, I looked upon my wrist in HORROR.

I had accidentally STOLEN it.

I was horrified. I burst into uncontrollable tears, wailing and sobbing with regret at what I had (accidentally) done.

In just moments, I had unintentionally plunged from my position as teacher’s-pet-sunday-school-attendee to straight-up thief. A felon. THE POLICE WERE PROBABLY ALREADY ON THEIR WAY.

I would be trading my slap bracelet for handcuffs.

I made my mom drive all the way back to that yard sale so I could return the contraband and restore my place in the world as a good and noble 8-year-old citizen.

For all my faults and indiscretions, there is still no part of me that wants to steal things. Except…

Babies (as I mentioned in this post)…

And this rug.

I spied it on a recent shopping trip to Ross, and it had no tag to indicate price. But I thought I might be in love with it. You know how sometimes you see things while shopping and you THINK you might be madly in love with them? Either that or you hate them, but you’re not quite sure yet? That’s how I felt.

I thought it might be perfect (and/or terrible) in my office…

…having given up on the idea of Turkish Kilim rugs after Andy suggested that a pile of vomit on the floor would look better than a kilim rug. (Do you agree? Disagree?)

This rug at Ross? It was cool. It was had a fun ikat print.

But it had no price.

So I asked the cashier, who seemed bewildered. She called the manager to the front, who was equally confounded by this great mystery. Clearly no one could decide how much to charge me for this rug.

In my head, I thought: “Self, you know what you should do? You should make some crazy lowball offer to this manager lady, and maybe she’ll accept it. Some lowball offer like THIRTY dollars.”

I chuckled silently at my cleverness and the silly idea of walking out of Ross with that rug for $30. “Self, you are so silly,” I told myself.

Finally the manager came back, shrugged and said, “Thirty-five?”

So I threw my money at the cashier and run-skipped with the giant rolled-up rug out the store and through the parking lot before they could realize I HAD STOLEN it, change their minds and apprehend me.

Thirty-five dollars for a 5×8 rug? COME ON. Come on. AmIRight?

Lock me up. I paid the asking price, but I stole this rug.

The only thing is, now I have to decide if I love it or hate it. What do you think? Andy rates it: “Better than puke on the floor” and “You said it was only $35, right?” I didn’t pry any further.

Should I keep it or return it? Are you hiding your slap bracelets from me right now? Have you ever stolen a 1990s fad jewelry item from a yard sale? Do the 90s make you wanna git jiggy wit it? What do you think of the rug?

Let's connect


  1. Me like!! Way to make a deal!

  2. WOW. i need to get to ross. NOW. and i am so proud of you for going back to return your stolen slap bracelet…. i hope they let you keep it for your honesty! and do you remember when people said they could cut your wrists and kill you? i stopped wearing them for fear of death by slap bracelet.

  3. I think I’m feeling old right about now, that’s what I think. I kinda remember slap bracelets … but I was too old to partake in that crazy 90’s fad and my kiddos were too young to steal them from yard sales at that point in their young little lives ….

    Love the rug steal. Seriously. $35? I think I hear the sirens blaring and they’re coming to take you away …



  4. I think that rug is bomb diggity baby! hehe Another child of the 90’s who lad a bajillion slap bracelets and should have had bruises from slapping them on so much! Totally keep the rug! I think it’s stylish and just whimsical enough to big a statement in that room. GREAT bargaining! If it’s missing soon, I stole it!

  5. I bet you can guess my response….it’ll be the exact OPPOSITE of Jen’s. 🙂

  6. The rug looks great but I might still be stuck in the 90s. 😉 Yesterday at Target my daughter E was looking for a watch and we found a rainbow slap bracelet watch for $6. She didn’t buy it but of course she had to slap it on, only after I did first, of course. Anyways, the rug is a steal and I like it in there! Even if you don’t like it after the office is complete, $35? You could always probably list it on CL for $40. 😉

  7. I think if you like the rug that is what is important. Not my style but that is ok.

  8. hahahahaha 🙂

    The rug is a-to-the-mazing.

    You have to keep it. And grow old with it and pass this story down for generations to come 🙂

    🙂 me

    PS And keep those slap bracelets, too. You never know when Antiques Roadshow may be rolling into a city near you!

    • HAHAHA. Antiques roadshow and slap bracelets. Still giggling. 🙂 That reminds me of how weird I feel when 90s music is on “classic rock” stations. How’d that happen?!

  9. I was also about 8 when I took my fall from grace. I was in a McDonalds ball pit, having a grand ol time when my grandparents said it was time to load up. When I got to my seat in the car, I felt something weird in the middle of my back and I gasped in horror as I realized that one of the balls had fallen into my hood and I walked right out of McDonalds with it. I felt terrible and made Grandma escort me back in to return it. Totally guilt faced.

    PS – I say the rug is yay!

  10. I’m officially doing a citizen’s arrest! Hand it over 🙂 Love it and you’re so funny, you little teachers pet!! And I would never choose vomit over kilim!!

  11. Me likey!

  12. First – congrats on 7 years of wedded bliss!

    Now, onto the puke vs rug debate of 2012! I love it – keep it – it’s worth the guilt too. I am having similar guilt issues over something I “stole” with my lowball offer at a recent yard sale at a convent — to a nun!!

    I know I’m on my way to the bowels of h – e – double hockey sticks! But I can live with the guilt because it’s the most fantabulous find ever (sharing this week)!

    • Okay I’m dying to know what you stole from the nuns! Are there convents around your house that have yard sales? Dying to see that post! 🙂

  13. 1 – SO FREAKING AWESOME. I can’t believe they took $35 for that! Can I say it again… SO FREAKING AWESOME.

    2- I never understood pogs, but we’re still friends because of #3…

    3- I accidentally stole a slap bracelet! I walked right out of a kids store with one on my wrist when I was 10 or 11. I was in the car when we realized it and I absolutely sobbed. I felt like the worst person in the world and we went back and returned it.

  14. Ok, first… um, puke? Really? I love kilim rugs! – Men are funny.

    But second, HELLO gorgeous, fun ikat rug!! You TOTALLY stole that at $35!! Watch you back, they may be comin’ for ya!

    Love it. love it, love it!! It’s perfect for that room! Great score!!


  15. LOVE THE RUG!! What a steal!!!

  16. hahahaha, love, LOVE it. With the right set up of course … is it wrong for me to be the first to say, I can see how it’s either a love it or leave it. but, it was only $35 and I know you can make it shine!!!

  17. I can’t help you decide about the rug, what good would my dated advice be.. I still tell people they’re the bomb.


  18. I honestly don’t like it so much. It’s probably just my taste in things, but I find it a bit distracting. It looks kinda faded where the blue and yellow hexagons are. Both stripes of it, that of course could be just the picture. I don’t know….sometimes you get stuck with something just because it was a good deal, it’s happened to me plenty of times. Then again this is just my opinion and since you asked I figured I’m allowed to be honest 🙂

  19. Your story reminded me of my only shoplifting experience. I was about 5 and accompanying my mom at the hardware store. She handed me a large box of wood stove matches and told me it was my job to hold on to them and not let go…which I did. It wasn’t until we got to the car that she realized I was still holding them – and that she never paid! I was mortified when we went back into the store to explain and to pay. I was just following instructions!
    Anyway…I think the rug was absolutely meant to be yours. The colors will look fantastic in your office and only $35??? Come on! We should all be so lucky!!!

  20. Wow, I love the steal and run stories. I did something similarly lowball and ridiculous one time in Target for an unpriced storage thing. Regarding your husband’s opinion… “I didn’t pry” … I have had that moment many times with my own husband, well said! 😀 I think the rug is a bit clownish.

  21. I think it’s a good compromise. Plus, $35? I mean, c’mon, $35 is… nothing gets better than an inexpensive rug!!

  22. This post reminds me of that Ikea commercial when the woman thinks she’s gotten away with something at checkout and screams for her husband to “start the car!!”. Personally? Love the rug. And I say for $35 you should keep it even if you don’t. 🙂
    xo Heidi

  23. Saw your featured blog on Only a Breath. I am on there too. What a pretty blog! I love the white shelving! I think I’m in love!!

  24. That rug is a steal! The employees at the store apparently do not have much of an idea what their items could even remotely be worth. I think it is gorgeous. It would be good to see a picture with the built-ins and rug together. And you will have some furniture over it so it will not be all you see when you walk in the door. I do think it is a fun piece.

  25. That rug is awesome! What a steal! I definitely love it!

  26. hahaha oh Kelly….you never fail to make me smile. I am guilty of buying things because they are cheap and not because I love them (working on that…) but since you loved the rug before it was cheap, I say you totally scored!!

    And I’ve been to Alcatraz (on a tour…) and can firmly say that you and your slap bracelet would not have fit in there, what with the alarming lack of pogs and overwhelming presence of people who eat “bomb diggity” for lunch.

    Seriously–what is the purpose of pogs? I could never figure that out.

  27. Ross has rugs? Who knew? (other than you, obvuiusly) I say keep it, it’s super cheap and you canalways cut it up and turn it into chair seat covers (not the right words but the baby must have sucked my brain right out:), or an ottoman.

    I bought a rug on overstock for our dining room, only $200, and 6 months on we’ve decided we hate it. It sheds and the food that drops on it sticks (which with 3 kids is *every* meal), so I’m craigslisting it and looking for a new one. Maybe I’ll head to Ross…


  28. I remember the 90’s and then some…sure miss those days! And how can your husband not love the kiliam rugs? Men they know nothing : ) High five on your new rug find. Love it!

  29. A few days ago, I managed to walk out of a shop without realising that I had 2 carrots in my hand (only I could steal root vegetables). It was mortifying having to go back and explain. I think the rug is definitely a keeper, and yes, that was a total steal!

  30. I loved so many things about this post! Slap bracelets and discmans? How old are we??? I do miss the 90’s.

    Love love love that rug! It’s looks puke proof to me.

  31. Right. So I realize this is going to seem like the quintessential creeper status that I’m commenting on a 2 year old post, but then we all remember that Pinterest makes that possible. Anyhoodle, I dig the rug and hope you’ve kept it. (“Dig”. 1970s. Way before we were born.) I once walked out of Media Play/Best Buy/whatever with CDs in my hand (for my Discman) that I had been carrying around for 30 minutes, right through the security sensor door things. Kicker: they didn’t go off, but I ran back in a panic when I realized I was carrying unpaid merchandise into the parking lot. From that point, I was forever skeptical of security sensor door things.


  1. […] Skye from Neathering Our Fest! Who also appears to be immune to my possible shadiness… and my criminal background.)Hahaha. Just kidding, Maury and Skye.Maybe. Muahaha.I’m just saying. Hide your slap […]

  2. […] to visually separate the dark wood desk from the dark wood floor. Sure, we had other options, like this ikat rug I stole one time. But the longer I looked at it, the more wrong the ikat rug felt in the office. (I’ll use it […]

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