Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Last week, a friend of mine was walking downtown with another girl (they were walking in front of the Hilton) and they were kidnapped. Forced into a car with some guys who drove from ATM to ATM, making them withdraw money. Then the guys stole their purses and let the girls go, fortunately without physically hurting them.

Tuesday morning, I saw an article about a violent attack downtown.

Wednesday evening, as I was walking (granted it was after dark, but it was in my neighborhood - practically right in front of my house), the same car passed in front of me three or four times - slowing practically to a stop at one point until I really tried to peer into their window to see who it was. At that point it drove away. I have no idea who was in that car.

All of this has caused me to really question myself about my attitude regarding personal safety. Because here's the truth....the few times I've gone downtown alone (generally to attend a Buffy or "Women of the 80's" sing-along at the Alamo Drafthouse), my husband has made a big deal about me needing to be safe. As a matter of fact, he OFTEN tells me to be safe when I'm about to go do something on my own - even taking a walk in the neighborhood. And I've just pooh-poohed him. You know - I figured it's a public place and I could take care of myself.

But (and this is difficult for me to admit, since my husband reads my blog - at least sometimes) - perhaps he has a point. I am not NEARLY as safe as I ought to be. Never have been. As a matter of fact, I remember (with absolutely clarity) a church trip to San Antonio when my then-boyfriend (he later introduced me and my husband at a party...but that's another story) had to physically prevent me from walking in front of cars three times in one day. I kid you not. After the last episode he practically screamed at me: "Do you have a death wish????"

Um......................actually I think I have a real problem with awareness of my surroundings. You know - my head is so far in the clouds, or in my imagination, that I don't have the inclination to face the real world. (This would explain the fact that I've knocked the side-view mirrors off of our family cars at least three times. And, if I'm underestimating the number - I really don't need to know that, honey....)

What I'm getting at, I suppose, is that if I look at my history from an analytical perspective, it would appear that when it comes to personal safety issues - my judgment is sorely lacking. And, in my old age, I'm beginning to become concerned about this fact - because the truth is that my luck can only hold out for so much longer. At some point, I will walk headlong into a dangerous situation and no one will be there to pull me back to safety.

It's an easy solution, theoretically. I just need to pay attention to what I'm doing.

I'm aware of that. Really, I am.

But why does it seem so hard? The idea of becoming aware, really paying attention - like a grown up - almost scares me. For some reason it feels more comfortable to stay in my haze. I suppose there's a certain security in denial. Even if you know you're heading down a dangerous creek with no paddle.

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