Stranger Danger

I go back and forth between being overly trusting and just the opposite of that.

One moment I’m thinking, “Oh my goodness, this man on the train is pretending to be falling asleep on my shoulder so I lower my defenses and he can steal my belongings and possibly my soul!”.  At 8:30 in the morning. On a crowded train.

Other times I’m thinking, “Well, surely that text message wasn’t meant to sound as mean as it did. Or perhaps I deserved it.”

I suppose this seemingly willy-nilly trust attribution system has worked thus far.  Though, I may have taken it to extremes. Sometimes I wonder if I’ve gone beyond cautious into outright jaded.

For example, I was telling two friends recently about how, every night, at 9pm, an ice cream truck drives around my block, playing it’s tinny, eerie nursery rhyme jingle. I scoffed and said, “Like he’s really selling ice cream.” My friends looked at me with slightly confused looks on the faces, which slapped the sarcasm right off my own and caused me to return their questioning looks. “You don’t think he’s actually selling only ice cream do you? At night? In Brooklyn?” My friends both pondered this for a second and slowly started to agree, “Yeah, I guess you’re right, that is a little weird…” “I mean, would YOU let your kid run out to the ice cream truck in the dark?!” “Wow, I guess I never really questioned the ice cream truck being out that late. I figured it was the city, everything’s open late.”

I mean, I’m not saying he’s selling black-market organs. Or that he grinds up the bones of children in search of a chocolaty treat. I just have a feeling that if you wanted a little something extra with your snow cone, you could get it. If you know what I mean.

And I think you do.

On the other hand, my mother always used to tell me that I would be the girl who got abducted because a shady man with a porn-star moustache and a beat up, windowless van told me that he lost his puppy and I was the only one who could possibly help him find it.  Mind you, she told me this through high school. In fact…I’m not sure this joke has entirely gone away. And it’s still partially true. As keen as I am on Stranger Danger, I do wear my bleeding heart on my sleeve.

So, I might give my change to the homeless man who swears he just wants a sandwich, but probably wants a bottle of vodka and a meat clever.  I might turn my music up a little louder because I’m pretty sure the woman across from me on the train is trying to read my mind.

Either way, I’m pretty sure I won’t get axe-murdered.

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~ by Valerie Anne on 07/19/2011.

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