I live in the lovely north east, along the coast. Yes, it is the land of lobsters. You wouldn’t think that Maine is an unsafe state, but every area of the US has its crime problems. I learned all about what can happen anywhere at any time when I took a self defense class in high school and from what I read on Facebook. It scared me enough to carry pepper spray at all times when out late at night after a photography shoot or when in odd locations where people loiter. If you have ever walked by a bar, you have seen drunks wavering on the sidewalk. I don’t know what they are waiting for, but I fear them as their judgment is gone. Most of the time, these are not your typical assailants. Aggressive youth or young men can lurk around any corner. I haven’t heard that women are muggers, have you? Rather, more often than not they are the victims. Being a girl can be hard out there in the cold, cruel world.
Women are well advised to learn a few protective moves as I did at the ripe age of sixteen. I take refresher courses now and then. It is all about personal safety and survival and you can’t take too many precautions. Maine is pretty quiet over all, and while I travel extensively for work and carry pepper spray after buying some from Self Defense Guide, I have seldom had to use it. I have heard a few horror stories nonetheless.
A friend had been bowling around ten o’clock and her tournament went on until midnight. The lanes were not in the best part of her town and she was reluctant to leave alone even though the parking lot was well lit. She asked her male bowler she knew briefly and he accompanied her outside. In the far distance of the lot where a light had burned out lurked a few young men drinking beer. Judging from the number of cans on the ground, they each had more than a few. As she and her friend were saying goodnight, she felt a tremor of fear. Nonetheless, he walked toward his car and she approached hers.
Then the most frightening experience happened: a drunken kid was in the back seat of her car. This didn’t mean that he was going to be aggressive; but rather, he might have been seeking a comfortable place to take a nap. Best not to panic, she thought. However, she grabbed her pepper spray tightly and kept it at the ready. He stirred a little as she reached to open the car door. She had it ajar when the man put his hand on her shoulder. A frisson of fright ensued. She froze. She turned to face him, but something deep inside told her to stop. No spray was needed tonight. As it turned out, he was the cousin of an old friend in town and he recognized her at once. He smiled, relaxed into the seat, and fell asleep. This is not your typical assailant. She went home safe and sound.