I have found that blogging can be an incredibly wonderful hobby and yet it can give me numbing anxiety in the middle of the night. The kind of stress that all of a sudden my eyes pop open and my heart races with the thought I have run out of ideas to write about. I start asking myself questions like what the heck am I doing trying to write something that someone other than myself would find interesting. I always say a quick prayer and ask God to give me some inspiration and try to fall back to sleep.
Last week, I did my usual Thursday thing. I played in a tennis match, and got my rear end kicked. I got in the car, swore to myself the opponents were cheaters and it was all my partner’s fault, and then I consoled myself by going shopping.
I went to our small department store in town. The place was practically empty. While looking for some sweaters, I noticed a man behind me also looking through the racks in the ladies section. A sales lady repeatedly kept asking him if he needed help. I paid no attention… just assumed she thought he was a shoplifter and honestly, I felt she had everything under control – no need to don my batwoman costume…. yet.
I took my time shopping and did notice he was always in the same department as me, but I didn’t worry because the sales lady was on his tail.
As I exited the store, I noticed two police cars and the man (from the ladies department) stood by them in handcuffs. I started walking to my car when a police officer approached me and asked to talk to me. I’m thinking …holy bananas… they think I was in “cahoots” with this guy who was shoplifting! What’s the Mister going to say when I call him for bail money? The young officers and store manager told me that I was not “in trouble” but it was imperative that they get a statement from me. I told them that I did not witness him taking anything. They then told me that he was not shoplifting but he was actually on the floor taking pictures up my skirt. For one millisecond I swear I thought I was on Candid Camera or that show that Betty White plays tricks on people.
Within minutes, I am peering at a tape in the store’s security office of me with my full “reader” arsenal – glasses on my head, on my face and another pair hanging on a chain. The tape shows me trying to look at the price of a sweater totally oblivious of the guy on the ground on his back peeping up my skirt. I’m ashamed to say this happened in two separate instances.
By the way… I don’t want any of you to get the wrong impression of me. I am a height-challenged, ab-challenged
middle aged fairly young woman who dresses very traditionally. No cleavage (due to lack of) and I had bike shorts under my very conservative tennis skirt.
The officer asked me if I wanted to file charges. He explained to me that if I didn’t fill out a report, this guy would do the same thing to other women. I couldn’t bear the thought of him doing it to anyone else, especially a young girl, so I filed the paperwork.
I have watched about 10 million shows where a security expert advises you to always be aware of your surroundings. Maybe I should have watched 10 million and one shows.
I think the message is clear in this story. Not only did I learn some valuable lessons, I also was “inspired” to write my blog!