I am that weirdo. The one that puts safety, not comfort, before fashion. If a product is not safe, I won’t use it. If a shoe is too tall and will cause temporary or permanent damage, regardless of the designer name or prestige, I won’t wear it. If the skirt is too short, the cleavage too low, or the dress to tight, it stays in the store. I HATE calling attention to myself when it comes to looks or attire. Even the most demure bikini or sexy one piece gives me pause. There is an internal desire to feel safe, invisible, unwanted and undesired when I walk the halls of life. As Kronk does in The Emperor’s New Groove, I hug the walls and play my own made up super spy theme song.
Blend in, blend in. That’s my motto. As if not dressing well, downplaying my beauty or trying to appear unappealing would make me less of a target to undesired advances, catcalls, and anything that would put me at risk. I don’t walk around alone. I don’t let people walk anywhere without a trusted escort, especially if they have been drinking or attracting attention. I’m constantly looking over my shoulder to make sure no one is following me or my friends. I’ll never leave a phone, wallet or drink unattended. Exits are always clearly marked in my mind, as well as escape routes. If anything ever happened I’d be able to see it come a mile away which gives me a better opportunity to counteract any threat. Or at least I am prepared to go down fighting.
I don’t think personal safety is my jam because I am female; it is more likely a wanted side effect of my upbringing as a military brat. Even though it was a good idea to instill in me this need to be safe I took it too seriously. Trust is a hard thing for me to establish, especially in social settings. I can’t make friends on the fly unless they have a penchant for safety as well. If someone cannot hold their liquor, causes fights, and gets in people’s faces they get on my radar as a bogie and fall off the friendship train. My tolerance for out of proportion reactions and helping save face is ZERO. If you are making me or someone uncomfortable I turn on the cloaking device and we disappear into the crowds. My outfit will always match the environment to make sure this feat can be accomplished easily, leaving no trail behind.
As I get closer to my late 30s and beyond, I realize that being safe meant forgoing a lot of fashion trends and skipping a lot of after parties. It made me decline a lot of invitation and pass on free drinks. Guys who would be just as qualified as my husband for this role were rebuffed for trying to hit on me while I was playing Mother Hen. Avoiding being rebellious got me of sound health and mind to this moment but I am not sure it saved me from becoming a target. In truth, I will never know if I ever came close to becoming a victim of a crime of passion or opportunity. So far the possible bad decisions I could have made turned out to be good. Nevertheless I shall continue to be ever vigilant for the sake of those around me, not just myself. Flats, comfy clothes, and CPR/First Aid training not optional.
7/16/18 I wish I didn’t have to worry about safety but it sadly comes with city life and being brought up in a world were women are thought of as sexual objects and disposable. I live for the day the next generation can walk around without fear of becoming victimized.