Stranger Danger?

The following tale is not one looking for praise and admiration. It is a story of a flawed human being. A facade. This may come as a shocker to some of you but… I am talking about me. Yes I am flawed. It is true. However, in my defense I believe that there is not a single perfect human being on this planet. We may find that one person or persons in the world that we think are… but in fact they are just perfect for us… a compilation.

Along with the concept that no one is perfect we can also say things like…

You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover or…

Nothing is always as it seems or…

You learn something new everyday or…

Pretty much any other cliche thing you can imagine.

For whatever the reason the event from yesterday really made me put my thought process in perspective.

This is how it looked on the outside…

The weather was cool and drizzling. There was an old woman with a walker sitting in front of a store. She has a thin scarf covering her head as she held out a white foam cup shaking it. You could hear the change moving about inside. I don’t normally walk from that direction but I had just gotten paid… so I took the train instead of the bus so I can cash my check.

After I finished getting my money I started heading towards my boyfriend’s apartment.  I see the woman from a block distance so I went into my bag and pulled out a dollar, walked over, and put it in her cup. She smiled and at me and I moved to continue on my way but she started talking. However, I could barely understand her. I think she was speaking in Spanish. So she reached out and tugged at my ruana wrap and patted her head. I asked her if she wanted it and she nodded so I gave it to her and began heading home.

How it unfolded in my head…

There is a woman panhandling. I’ll give a dollar but let me take it out before I get near.

Okay what is she saying to me? I don’t understand. Why is she reaching out? Should I step back? She is touching my clothes. Why is she touching me! Who does that? What does she want my wrap? Just let her have it you don’t want any trouble.

Did I just get taken advantage of? I never did know how to say no. Why do you think like this? Something must be wrong with me. Now I am cold.

….

Why I take money out before I get near

I like to have my money out and ready beforehand. The reason for this is because of this fear that someone will grab my bag or wallet from me. This has happened in NYC so it is always in the back of my mind when dealing with strangers.

Why I wanted to step back

She reached out for me so I immediately felt nervous. I am always on my guard when it comes to strangers. Remember when you were a kid and your parents and teachers taught you about Stranger Danger?

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Apparently that has stuck with me through adulthood.

I’m like…stranger_danger_by_somedoodnamedjack-d9me233.jpg

Not to make a joke out of it but I think I am afraid of people I don’t know!

Why I questioned myself

It was lesson time. I discovered that sometimes someone else needs something more than you do even if it is the clothing off your back.

What I find interesting how this was all put into motion… my lack of checking the weather before I leave the house.

Long story short… this wrap was something I kept at work. It is freezing in my office and we can’t have too many heaters on or the electric blows. Yesterday I wore it home because I had short sleeves on and the weather was rainy/chilly… ie stupid me didn’t check the weather before getting dressed. So on my way home I walked out wearing my blanket. I suppose now the reason I kept it on was because someone else was also cold and would need a blanket of their own.

However, despite all that I am mostly upset at my fear of this person. What is up with my faith in humanity. Not everyone is out to “get me” 😦

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6 thoughts on “Stranger Danger?

  1. I am the same way with strangers, especially those who are panhandling. I think you reacted in a very humane way (giving her money and your blanket), but also out of that fear of the unknown that is always in us. Perfectly human. And I am sure that she is very thankful for the gift of your blanket to keep her warm 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I don’t have much faith in humanity… I always assume if a stranger approaches me or speaks to me, they’re going to rob me or hurt me or something like that. I guess it’s not a good way to be, but then again, I’d rather be overly careful than not careful enough.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. H’m… I think there are plenty of people out there who are ready to take advantage, so one should be ‘streetwise’. But that’s not the same as going scared all the time – that just ruins life! Worth following the Roman poet Horace’s “golden mean”?

    Like

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