Thursday, October 1, 2009

the vigilant eye

Those of you who know me only through this blog may not know that I have a classic case of over-cautiousness, known also by the uglier moniker of paranoia. I prefer over-cautiousness =).

I was trained in this art as a youngster by my over-cautious mother, the one who would instruct my sister and I to hide under the bed with the phone, ready to call 911, whenever a strange man knocked on the door during the day. The same one who famously slammed the door on a man who later turned out to be a new neighbor bringing by doughnuts or something as a gift. I suppose the propensity toward due diligence (or excessive diligence) is something not easily shed.

I discovered this one night just a few months into our marriage, when Nathan and I were sitting in our apartment. We heard an unexpected knock, so I jumped up, looked through the peep hole, saw a very large man, and ran for cover. Keep in mind, our apartment was all of 600 square feet, which meant a true "hiding spot" was difficult to find. Making the best of my limited surroundings, I hid behind a wall and in an urgent whisper said, "It's a big, scary looking man. Hide!" Nathan, still on the couch, was by this time rolling in laughter. He jumped up, and despite my squeals of protest, threw open the door. The large man who had knocked just wanted to let us know that I had left the keys in the door when I had come in. Oh my.

I've tried to ease up since then, but if I denied having flare ups, I'd be lying. Like the time a police officer came to the door thinking our alarm had gone off and I wouldn't let him in because I thought maybe he had stolen an officer's uniform and police car. Or the time fairly recently when I was positive a man had followed me into Target. I really do think he was following me, but driving an alternate route home and passing our neighborhood once before doubling back, and staying up all night worrying that he had put a tracking device on my clothing was probably excessive.

This brings me to my most recent episode. Last Friday night I scheduled a hair appointment for about 7:15, and Nathan dropped me off so that he could take the girls to get ice cream while they waited. I walked in and noticed things were a little dead. In fact, I didn't see anyone else in the entire salon, but I figured that the other stylists were in the back. Wrong. Seconds later the man who had greeted me at the front desk took a set of keys out of his pocket and explained that he was locking us in since we were the only ones there.

Say what?!

As he walked me back to the hair washing station, I couldn't help thinking I was walking into a scene where crime was ripe for the picking, and I was the obvious victim. I kept a smile on my face, and non-chalantly pulled out my phone and sent Nathan a text with the message: be back in 15 minutes. Fortunately, I lived to tell about it.

So there it is. I have come to the place where I have to admit I err on the side of caution. I am always looking for things that look suspicious and trying to avoid iffy situations. A domestic Jack Bauer, wouldn't you say? I'll let you decide =).

16 comments:

Laurin said...

Laughing out loud on this post! I had forgotten a/b those stories! Glad you lived to tell a/b Friday night!

jeweljannie said...

Remember, every robber and rapist is somebody's neighbor!
You just THINK that our neighbor was giving us donuts. :0)
Oh! What fond memories!!!!
Mom

Candace said...

Don't worry... I'm Sheila Burbee's daughter.... I'm "cautious" as well. :)

Anonymous said...

that story in your apartment is one of my all time favorite angie stories!

julie

Anonymous said...

In this day and time it never hurts to err on the side of caution. As a single woman I am always aware of my what is going on around me. I love the story about your apartment that is too funny.

mandiegirl said...

Goodness! This sounds like something I would have written, and I do not come by fear or paranoia honestly...it's something that has crippled me over the last few years, but I just keep telling myself, especially in the last few weeks, "God has not given me the spirit of fear, but power, love and a sound mind."

Ben and Audrey said...

this cracked me up b/c i am the same way. my husband always tells me how ridiculous i am. i've watched way to many Law & Order episodes!!! but these days you can never be too careful!!

Kay said...

I'm pretty over cautious myself. One time we got a package and I couldn't see who it was from and for some reason, I got spooked. So I called 911 and they treated it like a possible bomb until they removed the suspicious box and asked me if I had ordered something from LANDS END. oops. So yeah.. I hear ya. And I would have freaked at the hair salon too.

Penny said...

Too funny! =)

Allyson said...

Hilarious! This sounds like a story that could be written about me! Your momma trained you well!

amanda said...

where did you get your hair cut? i have definitely felt that way the "i am in a future crime scene" feeling. it is good to have suspicions sometimes, better that than being oblivious!

Lee said...

I think I would feel a little awkward alone in a hair salon like that, too!

Lisa said...

sorry I had to laugh!!!! You don't watch those true crime shows do you?..

Leah Budinsky said...

umm, being locked in a hair salon...that is very creepy! I would have been freaked out too!

the funky mom said...

Oh Angie....I am the exact opposite....a little too carefree and oblivious to all around me. My law enforcement hubby is always reminding me where we live....BUT I would have called him back to the salon on that one too!

Andrea and Grant said...

I can so relate it's not even funny! I will NOT answer the door at all. I literally get panic attacks when the doorbell rings. It stems from the fact that a naked, bloody woman came running to our door one night (while my parents were away) needing our help b/c her drug induced boyfriend was threatening to kill her. That was probably 18 years ago- I'm still scared to answer the door (afraid the boyfriend might find her)!