Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

How would you handle the tart thief?

Asked by wundayatta (58663points) March 11th, 2012

She’s a member of the community. A little odd in the way she relates. She can go off on talking jags and seems unaware she is not really connecting. She’s bipolar and maybe bulimic, too.

She was seen reaching into the bag containing the tart before the dance last week. After the dance, the tart was nowhere to be found. The birthday girl had brought it to help celebrate her birthday after the dance.

So how would you handle this? The ostensible thief has been off her meds for a while. She has no job and is almost homeless. She is trained as a dancer, but does not have a dancer’s body. Her parents recently kicked her out (although she is in her 30s). They have had her put in jail, in the past.

No one really wants to hurt her. There is some anger. She has no health insurance, so no access to care or meds. What different options do you see for dealing with her?

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17 Answers

tranquilsea's avatar

I’d just let it go. It sounds like she’s dealing with a lot.

dappled_leaves's avatar

If this question is just about what to do about the tart, I’d say let it go. If it’s about how to deal with her more generally… that’s a lot more complicated.

wundayatta's avatar

Yes, how to deal with her more generally.

tranquilsea's avatar

You could ask her if there is any way you can help her.

Incoherency_'s avatar

Tell her you’d like to help her, and then give her a delicious tart chock-full of her meds!

dappled_leaves's avatar

Just like in Pushing Daisies. :)

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Take it from whence it comes.

Qingu's avatar

Trick the thief into eating poison tarts, like the royal tart toters did in that episode of Adventure Time.

To be honest I didn’t know that tart thieves really existed.

Coloma's avatar

What are you talking about?
What community, what tart? What? lol

wundayatta's avatar

@Qingu Now that you mention it, I didn’t realize it, either. But, my friend brought one of those 10” fruit tarts, and left it in a bag downstairs, and when she went to get it after the dance, it was gone. My friend is the not the queen of hearts, by any means. And we all survived the disappearance of the tart. But it is worrisome that the person who took it (and may have eaten it all up in one go) is one of us. She is going through a pretty difficult time right now.

Coloma's avatar

Perhaps the tart thief is not the high profile suspect, you know how it goes, it’s always the really “nice” person that buries tarts in their basement. lol

john65pennington's avatar

Turn around and walk away from it.

Replace the gone tart and forget it.

It would be a waste of time to pursue anything with this woman.

Avoid her in the future.

wundayatta's avatar

Ah, that last is the most difficult part. Should we shun her? Keep her from coming to the dances? She’s a regular. She handles the door. It is a meaningful part of her life. Do you still think we should try to avoid her?

tranquilsea's avatar

I wouldn’t shun her but I would keep an eye on her.

foraginggirl's avatar

It sounds like “the community” has an “us and her” mentality. I don’t know what “community” you’re talking about. Are you part of a dance club? Can we have some context? Honestly I think “the community” should be careful not to become absorbed in something that seems so petty. Do you care about what to do with her because she has a problem or because her problems are affecting you and “the community”? If the latter, leave her alone. If you’re truly concerned about her well-being, regardless of whether it has an affect on the community, then treat her like you would treat any other friend. Just because she’s different doesn’t mean you treat her differently. And maybe a good idea, since if she did steal the tart (and we don’t know she did), is to have people bring in food like a little potluck picnic next time you meet up, and offer her some. If she’s been kicked out and has no income, she’s probably just hungry. Sometimes the simplest gestures are best.

wundayatta's avatar

Unfortunately, I haven’t seen her since then. I would imagine she feels some shame at what she did, assuming she did it. I’m told that someone actually saw her eating the tart.

You could think of it as a dance club. It’s people who meet each week to dance. Sometimes we socialize afterwards. Once someone brought the tart to share because it was her birthday. It was pretty weird when the tart disappeared. The leaders apparently discussed things. They may have discussed it with the thief who, it so happens, has mental health issues and a number of other struggles with jobs and parents and places to live and whatnot. For a while, she had been a roommate of one of the leaders. But I don’t know what happened there.

It’s sad. I don’t know why some people are forgiven and others aren’t.

SmartAZ's avatar

You might make an extra tart for her and be sure she gets it.

Sometimes a person just doesn’t know how to interact with society in a productive way. Many people respond by rejecting or punishing such a person, but what they really need is someone to help them to learn how to get along.

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