Article posted Thursday, July 2, 2015 10:39am

Dear Mary Pat,

My friends went out the other night and got a little wild after a couple of (eight?) drinks. They took something as a prank, something that didn’t belong to them. The next day (when they were sober) they wrapped it up as a gift and gave it to me. This is something that has sentimental value to me (something I had seen for over 20 years of coming here), but I told them I couldn’t accept it. They said it was no big deal, that the item wasn’t worth anything and that no one would miss it. I still said it was wrong. Am I being a goody two shoes? It would have been nice to have this little piece of Door County history but I wouldn’t have felt right about it.


Not in Possession of Stolen Goods

Chicago, Ill.

Dear Not in Possession of Stolen Goods,

No, I don’t think you are being a goody two shoes. It sounds instead like you have a conscience. Your friends didn’t use good judgment when they took the item (so curious as to what it was!) while they were impaired. And they didn’t have any better judgment when they were sober since they tried to give this thing to you as a gift. I’m hoping that since you wouldn’t accept it that they returned the item. It is true that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure, but that doesn’t give anyone the right to take something that doesn’t belong to them. This item that wasn’t worth anything, according to your friends, might have been worth a lot to the owner. It doesn’t matter if it is a piece of gum or a grape in a grocery store – taking something that isn’t yours is stealing.

Good luck,

Mary Pat