Story Sent in by Jasper:

Kelly and I were out to dinner together on our first date. I asked her how she was, and in the middle of telling me about two ill family members, a problem at work, and an unfortunate encounter with an ex-boyfriend, she suddenly broke down crying.

"What's wrong?" I asked her.

She replied, "I've just had a very tough week. I'm sorry. I'll be okay."

"Can I get you anything? Tell me what you need."

"I'm okay. I'm okay. I'm sorry."

"Don't worry about it. Whatever you need."

The poor girl seemed worried sick, but she regained her composure. The rest of dinner went well, and afterward, we took a short walk. She was pretty clingy, although I wanted to be there for her however she needed me.

It had grown late, and I was ready to call it a night whenever she was ready. Then, she asked something unexpected:

"Can I stay over at your place tonight? I'll sleep on a couch or something. I just don't want to go home alone."

Automatically, I answered, "Of course."

We made it back to my place, I set her up on my futon with blankets and cushions. I resisted any urge to kiss her goodnight or do anything other than what a good friend would do. After setting her up, I retired to my own bedroom and readied for bed.

In the middle of the night, I woke up with a start. Something seemed wrong, although I couldn't tell what. I opened the door to my room and slipped out, into the living room, where Kelly had been sleeping.

She wasn't there.

I heard the sound of soft footsteps from the kitchen. I peeked in and saw her, in the mostly-dark, going through drawers and cabinets. She was putting various things into her pockets: forks, spoons, and even a spatula. She took a box of cereal out of my cupboard, then put everything she had collected from her pockets into the box. I watched as she gathered up a few more things, then I shrank back as she left the kitchen and moved back into the living room.

She removed a couple of DVDs from my shelves, and even took a book. Once she had about an armful of stuff collected, she put it on the futon, then turned around and scanned the room. She didn't see me. She crept over to the door, opened it, then turned back to her little pile of things.

"What's going on?" I asked her, stepping out of my hiding place.

She yelped, dropped everything, made for the door, smashed her foot or arm against it (I really couldn't tell in the dark), muttered an expletive, and ran far, far away.

I locked the door behind her, but kept all of my things there, on the futon, until the morning. I decided not to contact her unless she contacted me first, with some sort of explanation. She never did, and so that was that.


  1. Why did you not call the police? I doubt this is the first time she has pulled something like this; she could be robbing who knows how many people with this scam.

  2. ^ Exactly.

    Seriously, go back upstairs, call the police, then make sure she doesn't leave until they show up.

  3. And as for the title, an actual diagnosed kleptomaniac will have some kind of document proving it if they get into a situation like this.

  4. ^Not if they haven't been diagnosed, dear.

    Jaspar, way to write in with A Bad Case of the I Really Should've Known Betters.

  5. Do kleptomaniacs generally plan to steal? I was under the impression that it was a compulsion, not something they put a lot of thought into.

  6. Hrmm...excellent point, Gnome. TO WIKIPEDIA!

    Kleptomania is an irresistible urge to steal items of trivial value. People with this disorder are compelled to steal things, generally, but not limited to, objects of little or no significant value, such as pens, paper clips, paper and tape. Some kleptomaniacs may not even be aware that they have committed the theft. [Note, this last sentence was marked as "dubious; discuss.]

  7. @ Previous Claire (and Nikki) I specifically said diagnosed in my answer...

  8. How can you not be aware that you have committed a theft? Taking without permission without intent to return = Stealing. Seems pretty simple. Assuming, of course, it was not placed on your person by someone else.

  9. @ Baku> Have you ever grabbed something without being aware you did? That's how.

  10. Why would anyone allow a complete stranger in their house to spend the night? What if she were packing a gun in her purse and was looking for her next victim. People are nuts and so very trusting.


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