Willow has posed some fearful questions. It was more than a week ago, but I saved them because usually, I don’t do this stuff … but these are interesting. So here are the fearfully interesting questions. My answers may not necessarily be equally interesting answers.
It’s been a long time since I’ve asked questions, and I had these floating around in my mind. So anyway, I had some questions about how you, dear reader, deal with fear, or maybe the unexpected, in your world. There aren’t that many of them. But maybe you might find the them interesting…
Do you now, or have you ever, looked behind a closed shower curtain before using the bathroom?
No. Not even immediately following watching Alfred Hitchcock.
Do you look in your back seat — or taking it further, under your car — before getting in to drive?
Not since I got back from Israel. In Israel, however, you were warned to always make sure there wasn’t a terrorist hiding in your back seat so sometimes, I checked. Mostly, I forgot. I never entirely made the leap from American trustfulness to middle Eastern paranoia.
Do you have a safety ritual before going to bed at night? i.e. checking the doors, windows, locks, or setting an alarm.
Nope. There’s stuff I do. I close the curtains in the bathroom so the morning light won’t wake me up at dawn. I take the telephone off the charger and move it closer so I can grab it without a long stretch, although recently, it has stopped waking me up early in the morning. The scammers, spammers, and survey takers have finally stopped calling me first thing in the morning. Oh, the joy of it!
When you leave your house or car, do you check the locks more than once, or are you satisfied that you’ve locked the door the first time?
I forget to lock the house. It’s a country thing. But also, there’s a logic to it. This is a pretty old house. Getting into it would not be exactly difficult for anyone who really wanted to do it. It was why my husband never locked his convertible. If they were going to break into the car, please DON’T slash the top. Just open the door. It’s expensive to fix the top.
When we lived in the condo in Boston, we locked it … but the city is a different place.
Do you answer your phone if you don’t recognize the number? Why or why not?
No. I used to, back when calls were real people calling about something. But over the years of the robo-caller, I gave up. We have NOMOROBO and it interrupts most automated calls before the second ring. IF it rings twice, it is probably at least a human on the other end, or an identifiable number — doctor’s office or the pharmacy are automated calls, but we do get them. We don’t get the survey takers, the fake charity organizations, the scamming organizations who tell you you’ve won something and just want your personal information to steal your identity or, for all I know, your life.
In what setting — urban/suburban/rural — would you feel the least comfortable walking alone? Does the time of day matter?
I used to walk alone through the old city in Jerusalem in the middle of the night. It was the most dangerous city in the world — and also, one of the safest. Terrorists weren’t looking for me. They had specific goals and a woman alone was not a target. Boston? It depended on the number of alleys along the route. I have always been suspicious of alleys, especially at night. Alleys are unlit — and people hide there.
I don’t walk out here. We live out in the country. No sidewalks. Twisting roads and cars that drive much too fast. Even during the day, I’m sure someone is going to run me down on my own road … or even while I check the mailbox. I am not afraid of being attacked by a person, but I’m very afraid of being run down by a car or truck.
If you found yourself walking alone, would you avoid small groups of suspicious-looking people? How about a singular suspicious looking person?
I avoid groups of teenage boys. They scared me when I was a teenager and they scare me now. They are big, full of hormones, and mentally unbalanced by extreme youth.
Do you have a plan or way to determine if someone is following you or if someone is just walking behind you? What would you do if someone started following you?
No. Really, no I don’t. Sheesh.
What would you do if you notice the same car driving behind you for a significant period of time?
Probably not. I am clearly insufficiently suspicious.
If you drove up to your house and the front door was standing open though you clearly remember closing and locking it, would you go inside?
If there was no car in the driveway, I’d probably race in to see if the dogs were okay!
Driveway with shadows
What would you do if you drove up to your house and found a stranger there, clearly waiting for you to come home?
Who would do that? Why? We have no money, no political connections. We aren’t cops. We aren’t important. We are old and basically, poor.
Do you have plans in place for emergencies (fire, flood, etc.)? Have you ever had to use them?
We should. But we don’t. We talk about it, though. One of these days, I’m sure we’ll do something about it. Maybe.
Do empty parking lots/parking garages make you nervous?
Yes. Because if the parking lot is empty, the place is probably closed and I’m there on the wrong day.
Do you tend to forward emails/messages that urge people to beware of this, that, or the other thing, or is Snopes.com (and similar sites) your friend?
Snopes is my pal. I forward jokes. I forward really great photographs, blogs I really like, and anything that makes me laugh a lot. Also well-written articles and information of historical note. But I always check to make sure that it is legitimate. You should too. Please, do NOT forward fake news!
If you have a dog, or dogs, and they start barking at nothing you can see, does it make you anxious?
If it made me anxious, I wouldn’t have dogs. They bark at nothing constantly. Squirrels? Birds? A noise from another house? Or just because they feel like barking? Dogs bark. At nothing. Often.
Do you close your curtains at night?
I don’t have curtains. But we also live so far from anywhere, no one can see anything.
Photo: Garry Armstrong – Our house in winter
How do you feel about the state of humankind in general?
I find human beings depressing and I am often embarrassed to BE a human. I am also deeply disappointed in my country, our political process, and people I really thought knew better. I am horrified at the awful things we do to each other, to animals, to the earth and the air and the water. I expected better from us and I hope with all my heart we improve in my lifetime.