One Day I Will Rule the World

World Domination, Babies and Middle Eastern Dance

August 11, 2008

on safety

When our alarm system was installed, it came with two door sensors and one motion-detector. The door sensors went on the front and back door. And the installer didn’t figure that the motion detector would be able to see from the kitchen (at the back) to the livingroom (at the front) or vice versa. He was going to put the motion detector in the kitchen, but I said that made no sense. The stairs up and down go from the livingroom. So putting the motion detector in the livingroom covers the stairs, covers if anyone comes in through a basement window, etc. I said, if someone comes in the kitchen window, thereby getting past the back door sensor, they won’t be able to then go anywhere in the house except the kitchen. And they won’t be able to take anything from the kitchen unless it’ll go through the window. I don’t know why he didn’t try to sell me on a second motion sensor, ’cause I probably would have gone for it.

Anyhow, we have keyfobs for our alarm system. So when I leave, I lock the doors, and then I just hit the arm button as I’m heading to my car. But I’ve quit hitting unarm between the car and the house. I was coming home from somewhere with Ian. And he hit his unarm button while outside the house, getting his keys to unlock the door. And I said, “I don’t do that anymore. I go into the house, so I can visually have a look around, because if someone broke in through the kitchen window, they’d be able to just hang out there, lying in wait for me to come home. So I go in first, so I can have a look around and and make sure nothing feels off to me before I turn off the alarm.”

And he gave me that look that somehow suggests that you’re crazy to obsess about your safety that much.

After Hannah was born, we were driving somewhere and Hannah was crying and miserable. So, on reaching our destination, I suggested to Ian that he run into whatever store it was, while I would get in the back and nurse Hannah so she could go to sleep. I hopped in the back, and he was conversing with me, then he prepared to go. And, “don’t leave your keys in the ignition.” I said, “in fact, would you lock the doors when you get out.” And I got that look again: what? why?

Because sitting alone in the backseat of a car, I feel vulnerable. Because if someone approached the car from behind, I wouldn’t see them until they were right at the car. Because if they got in and started driving, what would I do, jump out with a baby in my arms? Because I don’t know if there are freaks out there who think that a woman breastfeeding in public is asking for something, but I don’t want to find out.

When I was growing up, and I tried to walk somewhere, men in their 50s would drive past and then circle their vehicle around the block, smiling and leering every time they passed. And I would be picking out which alley could I escape down without it being a good place to isolate me; trying to spot if there was anyone on this street who would help me if I needed it.

When I’m sitting on a bench in public, there are always men who think I’m there for them to strike up a conversation with. Men who think, “I’m not going to hurt you,” is a comforting thing to say. Men who get angry when you don’t want to converse with them because didn’t you know they were just trying to be nice guys.

I think about these things when I’m walking somewhere with headphones in — that I wouldn’t hear someone behind me. I think about it when I’ve gone to the store at night and I’m walking to my car from the store with my arms full of groceries. I think about how my car’s power locks ALWAYS unlock every door when the driver’s door is unlocked, so how would I prevent someone from getting in the passenger side when I’m getting in the driver’s side? How many cars keep the interior light on until your key is in the ignition, spotlighting for anyone who’s watching that you are alone in that car.

And it’s not abnormal, or paranoid, or crazy that I think of these things. Most women do.

And most men don’t.

Unless they’re thinking about it from the other angle.

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  1. Dave

     /  2008-08-11

    Did your alarm system installer offer glass-break sensors? My mom had a couple installed, where the sound of breaking glass (eg windows) will trip the alarm. That might be something to look into if you want to eliminate your kitchen as a burglar waiting room. They shouldn’t cost any more than a regular motion sensor; in fact, I’d assume they’re cheaper because mom has more glass-break sensors than she has motion detectors.

    When someone finalled tried to break into my mom’s house, the glass-break sensor went off before they had a chance to reach in and open the door (which would have tripped the door sensor).

    You’re going to be in that house for a while, right? Make it secure.

  2. Shit I hate when I get moody and complainy and then people get helpful I feel very childish.

    I mean, thanks.


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