Thursday, October 24, 2013

Strange things are afoot...

So I mentioned a couple posts ago that I was taking a self-defense class. I finished the course and it was so awesome. It really was. In fact, in the final test where we fight our way out of the room was recorded so we got to watch ourselves at the end. The instructor actually had the guy back my video up so we could watch me deck this cop in the face again. It was awesome. (We were all suited up so I didn't hit his actual face.) I can't post the video because they asked us not to, but I really left the class feeling more confident and assertive and prepared.

I mean, I was already pretty safety cautious and always uber-aware of my surroundings. Seriously- ask my husband. He taught a safety awareness class at our church and he asked me for all my ideas that I already do... So, I always try to aware of what's going on around me... But since finishing that class 2 weird things have happened to me.
A few weeks ago at the grocery store I was loading my groceries into my van when a car parked beside me. It was an old Crown Victorian that was obviously an old cop car that was sold in auction. The windows were tinted way too dark and even though I couldn't see in the car, I could feel someone watching me. No one got out of the car so I kept me distance and finished what I was doing. Then as I was closing my trunk the driver side window of the car rolled down. I could see 3 people clearly. There may have been a 4th. This is the conversation that took place:

Driver: Hey, can you come here for a minute?
I didn't answer, but I took a step back, angling myself so the bumper of my car kind of protected me some.
Driver: I'm not from around here... Can you hear me way over there?
Me: Yes. (still standing in a cautious contact stance)
Driver: Do you know how to get to the mall?

Ok, so I kept my distance, answered quickly, and got in my van, locking the doors. I started watching the car as they backed out and you know what? It didn't drive to the street I told them to go to. It circled around the parking lot going up and down the parking rows. When I told Seiuli he told me I should have called it in as suspicious activity or whatever, but I didn't. But it was WEIRD. Even weirder? I saw the car last week in our neighborhood and I now see it parked regularly in front of a house near Isabel's friend's home. I don't know if they moved here recently or if they loaned their car to a friend visiting when they approached me. Maybe they really didn't know how to get to the mall. Or maybe they, according to Sei's cop-brain theory, were going to gang rape me. I don't know- but it was eery and creepy. Why would you ever say to someone "Hey, can you come here for a minute?" and "Can you hear me way over there?" I was like 8 feet away?!

That was weird experience #1. Weird experience #2 happened yesterday... I often like to walk or ride my bike to random places. Just call me Elizabeth Bennet...
So I decided to walk to the library. I had on workout clothes, my headphones in listening to a book, and a small backpack that had a couple books I needed to return, my wallet, my gun, and chapstick. (What!? My lips are dry!) So it was pretty obvious I was out WALKING, not stranded because my car broke down or something. This big, black truck drives past me and pulls over and parks in front of this lake thing at the front of my neighborhood. I thought he was on his phone or stopping to help a turtle in the road... So I kept walking although I did walk as far away from his truck as possible AND got my lethal key chain off my backpack. It makes it easy to swing your keys into someone's face, but anyway... I noticed him and was aware he was there. I started walking past his truck and he said something to me. I had my headphones in, but the volume was low enough so I can hear things going on around me. I just didn't understand what he said. So, I took another step further away and pulled out an ear bud and said, "Excuse me?" and he said, "Wanna a ride?" Ok WEIRD!! 1st off- Do people actually ACCEPT rides from strangers?!!? Don't people know what can happen?! You end up a sex slave in a box under a guy's bed for 7 years. That's what happens! And 2ndly, WHY would you ask someone who is obviously out for a walk if they need a ride?! I just said, "Um, no thank you?!" and kept walking...quickly. I'm sure my face was like, "Seriously guy? You think I'm gonna ride with you?!" He drove off. Is that not weird?! And don't even get me started about the teenager walking with headphones in that kept "rapping" the same part of a song over and over and over... for like 1/2 a mile. I was on a sidewalk parallel to his and I wanted to yell "Learn the rest of the words! Oh and pull your pants up." People are weird.


Klin said...

Weird things for sure. I love that you have your gun with you at the library! I'd be writing down plate numbers. I might do this frequently, even if I don't call it in, which I don't think I would have thought to do, either.

swampbaby said...

Creepy! I've had a few grocery store parking lot experiences. I hate to say I was not as calm and collected as you. You did good. One interesting thing I learned in one of those Saturday morning free defense classes that has stayed with me was when you feel someone is too close to you invading your personal space (because they said lots of times the predator will "test" how close you let them get), like standing in line for example, the way you let them know you are not ok with it and that you are aware of them is to turn around and make eye contact with them, take a step forward, and then turn around again and make eye contact with them. I think they would get the message!

Suzanne said...

That is so scary! I'm glad you knew what to do in those situations! It's sad we live in a world where we can't trust people anymore, but that's just how it is. How awesome you got that video! I could use a class like that!