I watched the movie "The Lovely Bones" yesterday.
It made me think about another movie that I have watched many times.
The Vanishing was made in 1993 and Nancy Travis is one of the lead players, Sandra Bullock has a smaller part and she is the one who vanishes, so you know this is an older film but it is one of the best thrillers I've seen. Nancy Travis's character is more like the way we should try to be. Strong and wise.
Both of these films make me think about how women are conditioned to be polite and friendly.
I, myself have done it. I've been afraid of being rude and not helpful and then my intuition has kicked in and I realize that something is not right.
We women need to realize that it's not necessary to be always nice. It's much better to be more concerned about our own safety and to Hell with what a stranger thinks.
I hate to even think about it, I prefer to think that people are mostly good but...
Follow your Intuition:"Listen to your body's signals. Sometimes your body senses threat or danger before your mind does. Your breathing or pulse rate may change, or you might feel a sudden chill on your skin when around certain people. Pay attention to whether you feel peaceful or prickly around others, and you'll be able to make better decisions about whom you befriend."
(from http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0846/is_2_25/ai_n15675045/ )
I will give TWO examples of how naive I've been or what I like to call STUPID.
Last winter a man came to the door asking if I'd like my driveway and walkway to be shoveled. He said that he and his friend were unemployed and trying to make some cash. He would be glad to do it for $20.00. I told him I only had $12.00 in cash and he said he would take a check but I said I didn't have any checks (OK, I do, but I'm not TOTALLY stupid). So, he said OK and then said that he didn't have a shovel, that his friend had his. Well, my shovel was sitting right there in my enclosed porch so I opened the door and handed it to him and the $12.00. Then I went inside and locked the door. I watched him for a moment as he shoveled the sidewalk and then I went to my purse to see if I had a few more stray bills. I found 3 more and went to the door. He was gone...with my shovel! I told my sister about it and she was LIVID. She couldn't believe that I had opened the door, let alone gave him any money. I tried to explain that I felt bad for him and wanted to help. She made me promise not to ever do anything like THAT again. Of course in my defense I had to mention the fact that SHE was always leaving her front door unlocked during the day and even though she lives in a GREAT neighborhood, OPRAH had a show where they said wealthy neighborhoods are targeted and usually during the daytime. She replied that she had a ton of kids going in and out all the time plus two dogs and she wasn't worried and besides the neighbors would notice anyone strange.....
So I was pissed that I had tried to be nice and I ended up having to go buy another shovel.
Then this summer, just a few weeks past, I was working in my garden at the side of the house. I was moving some yard lumber from between my house and the neighbors when this man yelled up the driveway and asked if I needed help. I said No, I was fine. Then he walked up and asked if I had a phone for him to use. My cell was laying on the bench and I wasn't sure if he had seen it but I let him use it. It was about dinner time and a lot of people walk up and down my block. There were also a lot of people driving by coming home from work. As he tried to use it, I just felt weird. Then he said he couldn't get it to work, so I took it and tried to dial it for him. He took a step closer and I took a step backward and he mumbled a "sorry'. It was ringing. I handed it to him and stood a few feet away. All these thoughts were going through my head. I was thinking that if I had to I could probably scream really loud and the neighbors would hear me. I also thought I could pick up my shovel and hit him with it but what if he grabbed it and hit me instead? I thought that I should have just said that I didn't have a phone handy and that I don't talk to strangers. Isn't that what I'm always telling my nieces? Be rude if need be, but be safe. I looked back at my gate. No dogs. They were probably back there sleeping on the picnic table or trampoline. Blue was probably snoozing at the backdoor on top of the stoop. I looked back at the man. I felt so uneasy.
Then all of a sudden I heard this ROAR. Blue was at the gate. His bark meant business. The man froze, handed me my phone and walked off...I didn't tell my sister about that one.
I might have a house full of small dogs but I will ALWAYS own one big one.
Someday but NOT soon, when Blue starts to get elderly, I'll get a puppy.
I want to get this but I probably will get...
so that it grows into this:
I have people laugh at me because I lock my car at work. It's in the parking lot next to the building where people are coming inside and out constantly so it should be OK. My co-worker asked if I REALLY thought someone was going to get in my car and I said NO, but if I always lock it, it will be a habit and I won't forget.
The same goes for always locking my home, even the front porch door. That way I just will always do it. If someone comes to the door, they will be outside, not halfway in the house.
Here are some Personal Safety Tips-
Keep your windows and doors locked at all times.
Never let a stranger in your home to make a phone call.
Never give your social security number, date of birth, or personal information of any kind to people you do not know over the phone or Internet.
If you purchase a new home, have the locks changed.
Have your outside lights on a time and/or motion detector.
If you are gone for a long period of time, have someone pick up your mail/newspaper or have the service stopped.
Have a friend or relative check on your house occasionally.
Bicycles are items that are stolen frequently. When you and your family are through riding them, make sure they are put away securely.
WHILE OUT IN THE COMMUNITIES:
Do not take short cuts or walk in or near any open alleys or deserted streets.
Use caution in parking lots: always have your car key out and ready to use.
Do not accept rides from strangers.
Do not use ATM card at the same time or day of the week.
Use ATM machines that are inside of stores where there are people around.
Make sure that no one is watching when you enter your PIN number.
If you make a withdrawal, put the money away immediately. You can count it when you're safely in your car.
If you are using the ATM at night, have someone with you.
Be aware of your surroundings at all times, but especially at dawn and dusk.
Kinda scary. But better to be a bit scared and paranoid and SAFE.