1.18.2008

don't approach me

i didn't grow up in Utah. i grew up in Chicago. where we don't welcome perfect strangers into our personal space. where we might not be the most friendly, but at least we're polite. we keep to ourselves, sure, but we don't go getting in people's faces.

let me take a step back. a while ago, Heidi and i went on a girl's night out. during the course of our evening, we hit the target. while walking back to our car, a very clean cut young man approached us. before he even started talking, but was definitely walking right towards us, Heidi basically shouted, "Stay back, or we'll scream!" My reaction: to just turn my head & look at her, in shock. I couldn't believe she was so verbal (why was i shocked there?!) about her discomfort with this guy. I pretty much missed the rest of the situation, cause I was in shock. At my sister, not the man. He didn't "approach" anymore, in fact, Heidi said he took a step back, clearly he was also surprised by her. He wanted some money, of course. Of course, we didn't give it to him. We quickly got in the car & locked our doors. That's when reality hit me & I realized what had just happened. My sister had taken care of me. Typical. I have great sisters.

Last night, I ran into the Smith's Marketplace to grab a gallon of milk. On the left of my car was an empty space & then a car parked one space over. Walking out, I noticed an older man loading groceries into the car one space from mine. And a young man, in a nice hat & leather jacket. They were talking but right as I was getting to my car, the young guy turned from him & walked up to me. It IMMEDIATELY put me in panic mode. Here's what I did: I grabbed my keys the self defense way I've heard, one of the keys in between my two fingers, all hidden in my pocket - but I was ready to attack. This guy walked up to me & asked for money. I said, "Sorry, I don't carry cash." Got in my car as quick as possible & locked the doors. Started it up, too for numerous reasons. Mainly cause its cold as all get out.

It was then that I noticed that the older man next to me had also sorta defended me. He'd stopped loading his groceries and watched the whole thing happen. When I was in my car, he made eye contact with me, smiled & nodded. I smiled back, appreciating what he'd done. He had my back, if I needed it. I didn't, thankfully.

In both situations, I had someone protecting me & nothing happened, but still. scary! Why do people bother me for money? What is it about me that says, "oh sure, approach her, she's a sucker!"??? I'm not. In fact, I'm quite unfriendly. I know I am. I'm from Chicago, you see, where we keep to ourselves. I hate that about Utah, how many beggars & homeless people there are. Stop being generous you Mormons, you're only creating a monster!

Don't you worry - I grabbed my receipt out of my purse, dialed the store and told them to send security out. I hope they did. Cause next time, if someone approaches me, I'm not even going to dignify their question with words. I'm going do kung fu on their balls! (maybe I'm more like Heidi than I want to admit!)

10 comments:

Shelley said...

If only they knew the real you... You're feisty! I bet you'd be pretty dangerous with a key between your fingers too. (I do the same thing when feeling vulnerable. don't worry). You don't need a protector, if you ask me, but they're nice to have around. :)

Kristin said...

Something like that totally happened to me this summer and I had Alexis with me. The scary thing was that the kid kept getting closer and closer to me and when I told him I didn't carry cash, he ran off. Didn't bother approaching anyone else. Way to target the girl walking through the parking lot with a toddler!

Mom said...

You are smart to keep your eyes open and notice what is going on around you. There are some real scary people out there both in Salt Lake and Chicago.

Hayley said...

don't worry mom, i know there are bad guys in chicago, too! i'm just saying beggars don't approach me back home.

100 Percent Cottam said...

is it wrong that this made me die laughing??? because i know it's serious business. but picturing your sister yelling that she'll scream is my favorite thing ever. or it was. until you said you were going to kung fu their balls!!!!! hahahhaha. i love you.

Holly O. said...

How Ned are we? I called a store and told them they had a beggar in their parking lot too. haha. And our big sis does kill me, she is serious business in everything she does.

Jan said...

Kung fu to the balls, huh? Loved it. And I agree 100% that it's totally scary to have some unknown person approaching you at top speed. Defensive mode for sure.

Jori said...

You Jones girls are ballsy! I am impressed with you and Heidi. Glad the old man was watching out for you. That was very smart of you to call the store and alert security. A lady in the Toys r us parking lot the other day started yelling at some guy to go get a job after he asked her for money. I was like-right on sister.
There was some guy just sitting on the curb not waiting for a bus, just being weird. I kind of held up my pepper spray with my finger on the button. Maybe we should all get stun guns.

Emily said...

I hate that. Downtown SLC is the worst for beggars. I think you should've kicked him in the huevos! Get some pepperspray!

tara said...

This totally made my afternoon. I mean, sorry about the near-mugging and everything but it TOTALLY made me laugh. And I haven't laughed all frigging day. Thanks miss jones.