Tonight is a perfect example of why I wish we could live in a perfect world...in a trusting and honest society with good people among us in mass quantity.
I'm sitting here, enjoying a nice glass of wine on a Friday evening and the doorbell rings. It's an alarm company sales representative peddling his wares. He seems innocent enough so I engage in conversation with him through the screen door and politely entertain his sales pitch (something my husband LOATHES me doing but I figure he's just doing his job so there's no sense in being rude or nasty). The conversation shuffles along..."I see you currently have Brinks"..."How long have you been with them?"..."Are you happy with their service?", blah, blah, blah. Before I know it (this guy's GOOD!), he's asking where my alarm sensors are in the door and where the main panel is located. I'm trying desperately not to look dumb and sound knowledgeable about our system so when I have to turn him down it's for good solid reasons. Suddenly he asks to see the system and I show him (STUPID ME!). He asks me where I feel the house is most vulnerable to intruders.
Odd? Slightly. Bizarre? Perhaps. Dumb? Absoloutely!
I realize almost immediately that he shouldn't be in my house. I'm instantly shocked and dismayed that he had just sales talked his way into my safe haven. And that I LET him do so without a second thought. Until this very moment. At this point it's too late to go back and choose a different adventure. Various possible scenarios - good, bad, and ridiculous (or so I hope) - are running through my head. I'm doing my best to be polite while quickly shuffling him through to end the conversation. Then it gets really weird. He starts asking about my kids (Oh, no you DIDN'T!) and if it's just us the three of us that live here. To which I reply - "and my husband" (my very LARGE, GUN TOTING husband, mind you!!!) He asks if my husband is out. Whoa! Too many questions. I flash back to the stranger danger lessons of decades past. Never tell anyone you're home alone. How do I NOT answer this question? Saying "I'd rather not say" or "none of your business", as I'd no doubt like to, is a dead giveaway. Telling him he's in the back yard or the other room is a lie that he'll surely see right through. I realize right then and there how much I suck at this and I want out - NOW!
Then the doorbell rings (I'm immediately thinking DISTRACTION - surely this must be a tag team con of sorts). I ignore the doorbell and instead watch him for any sudden movement or attempt to swipe something while I'm looking the other way.
Then the phone rings. What on earth is going on here?!? "You can get that" he says - UH, NO! I'm not an idiot. (Believe it or not...) I was very uncomfortable at that point and feeling duped and dumb and unsafe so I hurried him back outside where the door thankfully separated us again and I comfortably resumed control. Ugh!
Why do I get myself into these situations? Why do I not see these things coming before they smack me in the head? How can I be so naive and dumb?
He seemed safe enough at the beginning. A young kid, clean cut and well mannered. And once he was safely back outside on the other side of my locked door, he resumed that unthreatening status, but it left me horribly shaken. How could I be so stupid?!?! Why am I so darn gullible!?!? Worse yet, why am I forced to feel this way in today's society?!? I am obviously NOT cut out to live in this evil world. I fall into these traps constantly. My need to fit in, people-please, and be the polite and well-mannered person my parents raised me to be is not working out well for me. But being short and mean and assertive is not in me (even when my safety and that of my kids is at stake - how ridiculous is that?!?!).
In retrospect I realize I could have totally been taken advantage of. The situation could have gone very bad very quickly. Looking back now I worry that he was scoping my house to come back later...and what's worse is that now he knows that I'm alone. Great!!
As soon as he (finally!) took no for an answer, I watched him walk away up the street and then proceeded to lock all my doors and windows and set my Brinks alarm. Ugh. I am just not good at this. My husband would KILL me for being so dumb. He'd tell me a thousand different ways how I was lacking judgement and setting the scene for disaster (and he did tell me that numerous times, ultimately!). I KNOW that. I just don't know how to avoid it. I trust everyone. I give everyone the benefit of the doubt. However, in a matter of seconds, trust and comfort becomes panic when I'm suddenly in over my head and the vibe instantly changes. By then it could be too late. It's scary. It's frustrating, and it's disheartening. Why do we live in a society where I can't be who I am and be trusting and nice without risking my safety or jeopardizing my well being. I've never felt so alone. I feel like I'm a minority in a world that's set out to take advantage of people like me. If this is indeed survival of the fittest, I'm screwed.