...because we all have our motley moments!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

A Strange Thing.

A strange thing happened to me today.

As I was about to enter the mall today, a guy came up to me and said he "needed help". He told me that his car was low on gas and needed my help. He didn't ask for money, but he acted like he wanted to speak to me about it.

Ok. The part that was weird was that it wasn't your typical scummy guy that just wanted a hand-out. This guy was neatly dressed in a newish looking polo shirt and khaki pants. He was very clean-cut and nice looking.

His look totally threw me off, but my internal warning bells starting ringing big-time and I told him that mall security would be here soon and he could get help from them. I then hightailed it to mall entrance and reported him to the mall office who in turn alerted mall security. When I left, mall security was out at the lot and the guy was nowhere to be found.

I found out later that he was also spotted at Lowe's and he asked a male friend of mine for money with the same story. My friend thought he was probably looking for some cash to feed a drug habit with. Who knows.

The reason why I'm telling this story is to remind everyone that danger doesn't always look scary.

This guy looked friendly and approachable. I even had my doubts as I walked away that maybe he really did need my help with something and that maybe I should have been more helpful. Then I thought about how women go missing every year in parking lots just like today's. Is this how it happens? A friendly-looking guy approaches them and they try to be helpful and then get taken away? Could be.

As I drove away from the mall, I thought about how it could have ended differently. What if I had walked toward him? What if he made me get in his car? What if something really bad happened to me because I just wanted to be helpful?

This happened mid-afternoon on an ordinary day. Girls, be careful out there and don't be afraid to be suspicious because it might just save your life.


Rachel said...

All right--I'm going to take your blog as an opportunity to plug one of my favorite books, The Gift of Fear. It is by Gavin De Becker, a security specialist. EVERY WOMAN should read this book. Don't worry about the title--when you finish it you will feel empowered to trust your instincts in situations like the one Maria mentioned as well as a host of others you may never have thought about.

That being said, wow, Maria--you get into some interesting situations! So glad you trusted yourself and got away! Thanks for sharing!

Maria said...

Hey! I'm going to check that book out. You can never be too careful.... Thanks.

Liz said...

Dang, you have some scary stories! I'm glad you're smart enough to trust your intuition.

Pam said...

I am so glad you are safe. Great post - thanks for sharing. It is a message worth repeating!

Bryssy said...

Rachel, I read that book after you mentioned it to me awhile back. It's great. I really listen to that feeling of unease when I get it now.

Maria, great post! Thank you!

Rachel said...

So glad you liked it, Bryssy! I just saw that he has another book that is specifically about child safety. I think I'm going to check it out.

Lindsay said...

I will have to look into reading that book. Sounds interesting. I watched the "Safe side adult" video that Candy has at MOPS, with the girls. It really is a scary world we live in and it's always better to be safe than sorry. Thanks for the message.

At Olive Garden in Winter Haven once my hubby and I were both approached by a very clean cut looking guy like you described. I just happend to have a $5 bill in my pocket and we handed that to him and walked away. He seemed really thankful. Who knows that he did with it.