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.
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 =).