I am a professional woman. I’ve been in management since I was 20 years old. I’ve worked in real estate, technology, the arts, photography, you know, earn a living with talent and skills.
So, say it’s 2 a.m. and I decided to leave work early and walk my dog and “Hands” is standing in front of his truck nursing a beer and decides he wants to have a chat. I figured, I could look and act as scared as I felt, or be more practical, as I kept a hand in my purse where I was holding a really sharp instrument for protection as I stayed on my side of the street and offered to sell him one of my motorhomes for a rediculously low price or trade for his truck. He says he is a heavy duty mechanic thus the greasy dirty look. He works on this side of town so he stays on this side of town. He admits it’s not his truck.
Red flag number 12!
I have a sales background. I can talk to anyone and look cool, so we talk about motor homes and how he really could use buying one, and mine is cheap.
He notices the police driving by first, and mentions that their break lights are on and they were turning around. I’m feeling guilty. I don’t pick up my doggy poop all the time. I don’t have a doggy bag with me. Because, well, nobody’s perfect.
So the police car comes close and I wave at them. I’m a professional woman…only, my version of a professional woman and their version is a teensy weensy different. I realize that one officer keeps talking about a woman and a man out on the street talking at 2 in the morning. I offer to give them my business card. They don’t want my business card, they keep getting stuck on the fact that I’m a woman out at 2 in the morning on the street and I don’t belong there. Story of my life! I don’t belong ANYWHERE! I offer to give them my driver’s license. They don’t want it. I point to my rv as that’s where I’m staying until my mechanic fixes it. They ask “Hands” what he’s doing there.
I catch “Hands” lying to them.
I’m talking to the officer on the far side. He asks me to walk around the car to come to his window. I insist he run my driver’s license, and run “Hand’s” license as well. “Hands” tells them he doesn’t have a license and no ID. But they are still stuck on the whole other “professional” issue and they don’t question johns. But I insist and hand my driver’s license through the window, and explain what I’ve been dealing with. The officer is stuck on the fact that I have a small town’s address on my license and “what are you doing in Edmonton?”.
OK, so I run down the list of reasons I am in Edmonton. Tell him about my property management background and notice his expression has a look of a memory/recognition. In hind sight, I realize he must have been the responding officer or at least have heard about the property manager who survived having his throat slit by a tenant in his office not far away from where we are.
The officer finally notices my dog surprised. “Where did the dog come from?”
I make a snide remark about his observational skills. I explain, that’s what I was doing, walking my dog when “Hands” started talking to me for the first time, just before they drove up and I was trying to sell him my other RV. Meanwhile, I notice the other officer got “Hand’s” last known address and pulls up his photo. He’s had run-in’s with the law before. There doesn’t seem to be warrants for him, so they send him on his way telling him to go stay at a friend’s place. He leaves and of course, after they have gone and I am back in my RV where the officer had insisted I lock myself up inside, I hear the truck back door roll up. “Hands” waited until they left, then came back.
Because they always come back, don’t they?
I sit on my couch in my RV with door locked, stunned. They thought I was a prostitute? Really? I’m almost 50 years old! Then I think, because they thought I was a prostitute, they didn’t want to question “Hands” because they thought he was a john and once again, it’s a boy’s club. Men socially and unconsciously discriminate and stick up for each other. “Hands” could have had a warrant for his arrest, and if I had not insisted we both get our names searched, those male police officers would have harassed me instead of protecting me and tell “Hands” to walk on.
There was a moment, in my conversation with the officers, who were trying to explain that here, in the industrial area, nobody could hear my cries if I were in trouble. I love a good debate. So I told them that my friend was almost killed in her own condominium when she was attacked by her ex-boyfriend.
And you know what?
She screamed and cried for help, in the halls of that condominium complex. NOBODY came out and NOBODY called the police, and she lives in a really nice area in another town.
That property manager who’s throat was slit, he was in his office just trying to earn a living.
It’s everywhere. We delude ourselves when we think that we are safer in some areas over others. Sometimes, the most dangerous man, is already in our home. He shares our bed. He’s the ticking time clock of domestic abuse. He’s looking for a weakness and an excuse.
“V” is for Vigilance.
Use your powers for good, not evil.