"Honey," I said to Husband, "If you don't need to get home immediately, do you mind if we stop at the pet store for some cat food?"
"Not at all," he agreed, likely thinking of how our cat, George, can turn into a little demon when he doesn't get his Tender Ocean Fish Dinner.
We pulled into a parking space. "I'm going to straighten us out a little bit," Husband announced, slowly backing in reverse.
He abruptly braked when a man ran out directly behind our truck's bumper.
"Geez," I remarked. "Can he not see a moving vehicle?"
My eyes followed the guy, who slid into a parked car directly from ours. "Interesting," I remarked. "Is that guy carrying a purse?"
Husband turned off the engine and said, "I kind of think that guy just robbed somebody."
"What?" I protested. "No - maybe it's, like, his mom's bag. Or his wife's."
We got out of our truck. "Honey!" I hissed, "Look at him! He's going through the wallet! He's looking through the cards!"
"What do we do?" I asked Husband.
We didn't know. We couldn't prove anything. There was nobody screaming about being robbed or missing a purse.
I tried to conjure up a scenario that would make sense of what we had just seen. What if his wife sent him to buy formula or diapers for a screaming baby back home, and she said BE BACK IN 20 MINUTES OR ELSE, and threw her purse at him when he couldn't find his wallet, and told him to just go, use her card. Then he got to the first store and they didn't have what he needed, so he rushed to a second, and then when he got up to pay couldn't find his wife's credit card? So he ran out to the car to go through everything, find the card, get the diapers, and speed home?
In that case, I told myself, I'd be a real nosy jerk if I went and pounded on his window, gesturing for him to roll down his window, and sticking my face inside his door, demanding, "Prove to me that is YOUR purse!"
Husband and I went into the pet store, nabbed approximately 83 cans of cat food that will last us for, oh, 10 days, and then grabbed a bag of treats for the dog as well.
At the register, Husband asked the cashier, "Hey - did someone by chance say they were missing a purse?"
She looked at me, "You're missing your purse?"
"No," Husband clarified, "But we might have seen someone in the parking lot who just stole somebody's purse."
"That's weird. But no, nobody has reported anything to us." She thanked us for telling her and said she would let her manager know.
We got into the truck, still puzzling over what had happened. As we turned out of the parking lot, Husband remarked, "I hate this feeling. I feel like I didn't do the right thing. But I didn't know what the right thing was to do."
I agreed. "I don't like it either. I don't think that was his mother's or wife's purse. I wish I'd at least taken down his license plate number."
Husband said, "You know how when you're a decent person, you want to assume the best about others? It seems like sometimes it makes you miss things. "
I didn't disagree. "I think that's called being realistic, honey."
But still, that niggling feeling we could have - should have - done more weighed on both of us for the rest of the day.
I'm still not sure what was the right thing to do in that scenario. But I guess that's better than not caring at all?