Monday, March 1, 2010

Protecting Ourselves

Have you ever wandered over to My Very Worst for a good laugh? The scenarios are often cringe-worthy, but most of the time you get a good chuckle as well. They had a contest for Valentine's Day where people submitted horrors to win Worst Date In America. Ever since V-Day, they have been running the Finalists.

As you can imagine, these are some of the most brutal, embarrassing and/or scary dates fathomable. I know when I read them I often feel sorry for the innocent bystander who gets lied to/manipulated/humiliated, or all of the above. But there are several that make me nervous for the attitude and behaviour of women in our society (and in myself): the need to appear polite.

Example: This woman's date went from normal to startling in a short time. She discovered, while out in public, that her date had a serious dose of the crazies. She was driving, and when she got him home he made a request:

"He asked me to come up and I really didn’t want to, but didn’t know how to say no. I thought I’d just go up for a bit to be polite and then I’d leave."

Soon after she went inside, he entered the room naked and holding a rifle. Now, luckily this woman's story ends with her safely getting home, and a more appropriate sense of What Not To DO on a date, but it would have been far too easy for her to end up on the news.

Another entry shows us a woman who finds her blind date to be much older than his profile pic (a common crime), in horrible shape and sporting a matted grey beard. He also starts off the date with more lies by having her meet him at an upscale restaurant, only to hop into her car and ask to go to House of Pies. She sees several red flags, and yet says this:

"Then he asked me for a ride home. I was curious, so when he asked me if I wanted to check out his comics collection I followed him inside."

I will not even type the things this man did - and that she allowed - other than to say she wound up... messy.

"Bewildered, I washed my hands and then showed myself the door, wondering if this crazy date had all really just happened."

For one final example, this woman went to her date's mansion on their second date, and had a bad feeling from the start thanks to an unnecessary display of candles:

"He had a couple of glasses of rosé wine already poured – I know, I know, red-alert, right? But I wasn’t thinking, because I was already nervous from the candles.
I didn’t like the taste of alcohol, so I only had a very few sips. Then I noticed that I was getting sleepier and sleepier, and had a horrifying moment of clarity: this guy had slipped me some roofies."

She makes this horrifying realization, and then goes with him on a tour of his giant house! He "kept finding excuses to keep me in the house" and "stalled, and stalled, and stalled" until, in order to show her a 'trick', he crossed to the opposite side of a very long room. This would have been a good moment to escape, if not sooner, but she plays along with his trick.

"After an hour of stalling, he went to the bathroom, and I ran out the front door, leaving my expensive heels behind."

An HOUR, ladies! She stayed and wandered and threw grapes and made small talk for well over an hour even though she KNEW he had slipped her drugs!

Even more upsetting, perhaps, is the comments section. Concerning the last "date", many people were proud of the woman, because she had "the sense to get out". Yes, that much is true I suppose, but if she had any sense, why did it take her an hour?!

Ladies, we have to protect ourselves, not only from lame or creepy dates, but from charming strangers. I'm sure we have all heard about woman being kidnapped in parking lots or out at social events because some charming guy made a simple request, and the women were too polite and/or too trusting. It scares me, because I have those qualities in full. I am often too trusting and polite, although I also have a healthy sense of panic.

Please remind your girlfriends, sisters, daughters, whoever to be careful in this world, that is so full of creepers.

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