I stopped at a drug store (chemist, for you UK folks if my American->English translator is working) on my way home from work tonight. We’ve gotten to the part of the year when it’s full dark by the time I’m on my way home, so after the shopping errand I was walking out to my car in the dark parking lot.
As I got into my car a young man in a hooded sweatshirt came up towards me and the car and started into a spiel about being cold and hungry. By that time, I was in the car with the door locked, and he came right up to my window.
I put on my best I’m Dangerous face and in my best I’m Dangerous voice I said “Get away from the car.”
Mr. Sweatshirt almost jumped back from the car window, his hands in the air, and said “OK, OK, I’m going.” and he went.
Well, after I reassured myself that weaponry was, yes, in easy reach (and no, it’s not a gun) I had a brief moment of guilt thinking that maybe this gun really was down on his luck and I just scared the shit out of him. Just for a moment. Because this is a dangerous world and I just couldn’t take the chance. Coming out of the dark, from around an SUV, and approaching just a little too fast and too close creeped me out and set off my alarm bells.
Really, I’m just as happy that all I had to do was unpack my “war face” But it does make me sad that the world has to be that kind of place.
And then I got to wondering just what it is I do when I do the “look and sound mean” routine. This isn’t the first guy to back off quickly and get lost. Hey, I’m small and female - I don’t think I look that threatening size-wise so that’s not it. Some of it comes from exuding absolute self-confidence in my ability to defend myself, if necessary, but I doubt that’s the whole of it.
Well, whatever. It’s over and no harm done. But I’m still a little bummed out about it all.