A few days ago Cordelia and I were taking a walk and talking about safety. This is an ongoing conversation as it should be with children. I talked to her about how adults should never ask children for help. I said an adult, who isn't family, asking for help from a kid is doing the wrong thing, because normal adults would never ask a kid for help. I told her to not be polite if a stranger talked to her when I am not around. We discussed how normally we are kind to people, but if an adult is behaving in a way that makes her uncomfortable she needs to not worry about being kind, to get away. Then I listened to her questions and we carried on with our day.
Later in the evening I found myself walking down the street alone. I was approached by a total of three men. Two of them were just being kinda polite, kinda flirty and I easily let them know I wanted no interaction and they moved on with no further discussion. The third was drunk and just kinda slurred stuff from across the street. He was ignored. It was still light out, around 7pm. There were families about and I knew I probably wasn't in danger, but I still felt vulnerable. I hate that feeling and it is a delicate art to turn down the advances of strangers without aggravating them, because then things escalate.
About an hour later I had picked up the girls and we were waiting for Eric in the back parking lot behind the museum. It was dark. Suddenly there was a tap on my window. I jumped back and hit the locks on our doors instantly. There was a man at my window. He had a button shirt and looked like he had an office job. I immediately wondered if I had a taillight out or something, but no, he was drunk. In just a few short sentences he told me that he was the groundskeeper for the museum (lie) and could I give him a ride (No!) or give him money(No!). He crept nearer to the window. He was not being his best self. It was clear what was happening I told him in a stern voice, "You are making me uncomfortable. I am leaving." I slammed the car into reverse and drove away.
Once we were away Eric let the women at the museum know, so they could take safety precautions as they went to their cars. Then the girls and I talked about how I was not polite to that man and that I quickly left a situation that felt unsafe and that it was the right thing to do.
I am not happy that I have to teach this stuff to the girls, but I am thankful that they got to see me model the behavior.