Email me if you have something to say. I like you.


Sunday, December 16, 2007


It's that time of year, y'all. The time of year when people send me and every other woman with an email account dire warnings about gang initiations involving attacks on women, usually in mall parking lots, where we apparently spend a lot of time. I love, because it helps me know when I really do need to be cautious and when I can just ignore that flyer on my windshield.

Anyhow, my husband and I were rambling drunkenly after writing Christmas cards discussing that old urban legend about the people who get robbed on vacation and, upon developing the film in their cameras, realize that the people who robbed them stuck their toothbrushes up their...never mind, you know the story, right? Anyhow, I mentioned the story as we were brushing our teeth. I was telling A. that the story was racist (duh). And I pointed out that, even if I was racist, I wouldn't want to use a toothbrush that had been up anyone's you-know-what, even my husband's and I love him very, very much*. Is the color of the bum in question important at all? I mean, how racist do you have to be to care? A bum is a bum is a bum, and I don't want my toothbrush anywhere near one.

None of that is the point. The point is that my husband said,

"Well, that story's probably true by now."

Which cracked me up. He's right, every urban legend is only a suggestion away from becoming the truth.

That being said, I am sick to death of the dire warnings about random crimes against women**. Why are they always directed at women? My husband goes to his office at night and I make him park in the front and ask him to be very alert when he leaves. I also like for him to call when he's leaving so I know when to expect him home. A man alone and a woman alone are more or less equally vulnerable to someone who's determined to rob them. And I'm sick of the not-so-subtle racism in the emails.

When it comes to crime, protecting yourself shouldn't have anything to do with race or gender. We should always be careful. We should always be alert. And we should always think about what we can do to make crime less likely. I know it often seems like there's nothing that can be done, but every bit counts. Give to Harvest Hope. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Question all kinds of racism, including the kind that's so ingrained you don't see it anymore, and make sure that your children understand it.

Here are some local places that could use your time, money and support***:


St. Laurence Place

Harvest Hope

Oliver Gospel Mission

Children's Garden

Palmetto AIDS Life Support

Epworth Children's Home

Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands

The Nurturing Center


The Family Shelter


Namasté, y'all.

* Sorry if that sounded silly, but I had to add the second "very", in case he hasn't bought my Christmas present yet.

** The exception being the ones that are true and relevant, like the email being sent around right now about a woman who, with her three young children, was held at gunpoint in the Earthfare parking lot here in town the other night. The nice people at the store have verified that it did happen and that the family in question is doing alright, although I'm sure they're still shaken. The crime happened in the late afternoon, when the store and parking lot are usually pretty crowded. To be honest, I was glad to get the warning, because even though I'm a pretty cautious person, I wouldn't be on high alert in that situation. I can't imagine. That poor family! I'm glad to hear that no one was hurt. The person stole her purse and three bags of groceries. Somehow, the fact that groceries were stolen makes me even sadder. I mean, you have to be pretty desperate to hold a mother and her three children at gunpoint for food. So sad for everyone involved. If you're a praying person, please keep them in your prayers.

*** Please feel free to add more, local or not, in the comments section. I'm just picking a few and there are many.


Tracee said...

I know you meant to add places that need our support, but I'm adding a place to be careful in: Local Parks. At our Homeschool Field Day, a mutual friend of ours had her passenger window busted open and her purse with everything in it stolen. This in broad daylight, during a very crowded event. The robber used her credit card to purchase gas and groceries before our friend could get it canceled. The police informed our friend that this time of year is too busy for them to put any manpower into finding the perpetrator (sp), although the credit card receipt is date/time stamped and the store has a live camera and tape from the event. Can you imagine??!

Don Mills Diva said...

Oh those poor people!
I also get those e-mails warning me about urban legends etc. We have one person at work who sends them constantly and I am constantly hitting reply all with the snopes rebuttal!