At the ripe old age of 28 I can look back over my life and notice a disturbing trend. I have a tendency to attract very strange people to me.
Thankfully, more "healthy" acquitances are the norm, but still every once in awhile I have a strange come out of the woodwork. It's never very funny at the moment, but time has a way of coloring the events into what is often an amusing story (laughing sometimes is the only antidote).
This past Sunday I added another event to my list of memories. I was walking through the Walmart parking lot when some man grabbed my arm and spun me around. Though I'll admit to being startled, my first thought was, "who is this guy?" My mind couldn't process why a stranger would grab me like that, so for a split second I thought it had to be someone I knew.
By the time I realized he wasn't anyone I had ever met, he had already grabbed my right arm too and was pulling me towards him. The next 5-10 seconds was a very limited struggle of me trying to pull first my arms and then head away from him. He on the other hand, was trying to pull me by the arms and then grabbing at me by the neck (trying to get my head closer).
Surprise and shock played a role into why I didn't fight back (other than just making movement to pull away). It wasn't like he was trying to drag me anywhere, and he didn't have a gun or knife that I could see. When trying to explain the incident later to people all I could fathom was that he was trying to kiss me or something. He kept trying to get our faces closer, so I assumed that it was a kiss he wanted.
It was because he was trying to get our faces closer that I smelled the alcohol on his breath...UGH!
Our Lord sent a protector for me that evening. I never got the man's name, and he didn't get mine, but this man saw what was happening and spoke up and came to help me out. Because of his actions the whole incident was very brief (it seemed to me that it was over before I even registered what was happening). The man who was attacking me ran off when my rescuer started coming towards us.
I'm happy to report that the drunk attacker was later arrested for a DWI and has admitted to grabbing me in the parking lot. When asked why he said, "I was just having a little fun." Unlucky for him, his fun involved leaving bruises and scratches on my person, so he'll be charged with assault and battery.
Now you see what I mean about attracting the "strange ones". I have any number of stories where I've been in uncomfortable or even dangerous circumstances, which for a girl who grew up in a rural farming community that's just a little too much.
I have learned some valuable lessons from each of these experiences. For starters, I need to be more alert, especially when walking alone. I'll admit I have a tendency to be always lost in thought when I'm walking from here to there, that's a bad habit I should break. Next lesson I learned, when walking in a parking lot have your keys already in hand and don't be rummaging through your pursue with your head down. I was guilty of that one on Sunday evening.
If anything I've learned through all my years is that trust is a big factor for me. My entire childhood taught me that trust could just be easily given. I could trust my family, friends, neighbors, almost anyone who came into my life (with a few exceptions). It's not been until my adult years that I've learned that trust is something that should be earned. Sure that can come sooner for some than others, but it's not something I should just assume.
And with that I've learned a valuable lesson in life.