I’m going to share an incident that happened when I drove my son back down to North Carolina last month. It’s kind of funny re-imagining it now but the underlying story is anything but.
As I was driving down to NC I was getting sicker and sicker. I was developing a migraine so we stopped at a Walmart to get some meds.
I took myself off to the loo while my son went to get me the meds I wanted (dopey arse bought the branded instead of generic – $16 as opposed to $5!! If I didn’t have a headache before that gave me one!!).
ANYWAY!! As I was walking to the bathrooms there was a man walking towards me. He was a a real country boy and to be honest, a little bit sleazy looking. My spider senses were already tingling (but that could have been his NAAAAAASTY cologne) when he turned and changed direction right beside me, leaned towards me, leered and said “You just reminded me of where I need to go”
He was literally a step behind me. I felt like I could feel his breath on my neck and frankly, I was really scared of him following me into the bathrooms and God knows what. This all took less than a minute but I’d imagined myself, attacked, murdered and was contemplating where I’d be buried!
I’m 5’1” and 105lbs (about 7 1/2 stone) so not exactly one of nature’s cage fighters!
I turned right around at him, my stomach was churning in fear but with my bitch face full on and I shouted right in his face “You walk any closer to my arse and I’m going to vomit on you instead of in the bathroom”
Ladylike ain’t I?!
He was absolutely stunned and backed right off – obviously thinking I was completely deranged.
I had wrong footed him. Maybe he was a perfectly innocent guy who was just friendly and I totally misjudged the situation.
Maybe not, I don’t know. I did feel a little bit bad about automatically identifying him as a rapery, murdery type but, he made me uncomfortable.
By turning and confronting him, I put him in a situation where he wasn’t in control. I was volatile, not predictable and – if he HAD been planning anything, he thought better of it.
I was still scared stupid in the bathroom and I’ve never got out of a ladies room so fast in my life – but I won that one. Even if I looked like the town crazy in the process!
It’s not always the answer but adding “unpredictability” to your arsenal can only be a good thing.
My preference is always to not get into a “situation” but if it’s unavoidable, take control.
Wrong foot the bastards if you can.
In a similar scenario, I was walking back to my car this week when I heard a voice behind me saying “I’m just walking back to my car and I didn’t want to startle you.”
It was an older man who was very respectful and was trying not to startle me – of course the disembodied voice did anyway but he was trying!!
It’s imperative to always be conscious of your surroundings. Remember the obvious, park under street lights and not in dark areas. Try and only walk on busy streets and be aware of who’s around you. Walk with purpose, look confident and please always let someone know where you’re going and when you’ll be back.