Date Rape

As an Uber driver, I hear a lot of stories. First thing in the morning on weekends, you get the lost crowd. These are the folks who never quite made it home the night before. Sometimes they are just finishing up partying. Other times, they went to a party only to crash there or with a friend. Lots of times they met someone while they were out and went home with them. Believe it or not, I also pick up quite a few prostitutes at that time….and folks headed to the airport.

Last weekend, I had one of my most disturbing calls. I was en route, when the passenger called my cell to see how far away I was. She explained that she had never used Uber, and said that she was in a predicament. I just hoped that I wasn’t showing up to a case of domestic violence in progress. I found her outside her hotel lobby, and she looked like many of the young women I give safe passage to at this time of morning. She was wearing part of an outfit that was clearly from the night before, her eye makeup was sliding down her cheeks, and she carried a plastic bag containing the rest of her belongings.

As I drove toward her home, she told me her story. She had been talking to an older gentleman (mid thirties- ten years older than she was). They had met in person once, and the night before was their first date. He picked her up, took her to dinner, and then to a bar. At some point, he had a friend come pick them up and they went to a hotel. She was probably drunk enough at that point that she didn’t realize how fishy that sounds. She said he had done everything right at that point – picked her up, bought her dinner and drinks….we are socialized to assume a man will treat us well if he does certain things.

So, she found herself in a hotel room with tho men she didn’t really know. She said she remembers taking a shower…..and then waking up alone and naked. She woke in a panic, felt the need to physically feel her body to see if she were hurt, and checked her purse to see if anything were missing. 

The truly scarry thing is that she still did not seem to understand what might have happened to her. I would be willing to bet that these guys slipped something into her drink at the hotel and assaulted her. I tried to broach the subject, but she completely ignored it. I hope that she is safe, and that at some point she can deal with this.

Ladies….be safe! Be smart! If you’re dating, stay in public places until you really know someone. Be the one in control of a situation. Use condoms….and most of all, use common sense!

Unrecognizable 

My father is not a young man. He has not been middle aged for quite some time. I know that he is getting older, and losing certain qualities. He has a difficult time understanding conversation because his hearing is bad. He shuffles slowly and sometimes walks with his back hunched over. He is no longer comfortable driving at night, or more than a short distance. He is forgetful, and sometimes gets confused. And even so, I am caught unawares in his worst moments. 

This morning, he had one of those moments. He did not recognize me. The scariest thing is that he had been seeing me walking around the house getting ready all morning. I went out to put something in my trunk, and when I came back into the house my parents were standing in front of the screen door. I heard my dad ask my mom who was coming in the house….and he was looking right at me. I realize that these moments of confusion are still just moments, but this was a very scary thing. What else does he get confused about? Will be eventually not recognize me at all? What if this happens while he’s driving? How long can my parents really live alone in their own house without some assistance?

These questions have been rattling around in my head for a while and this episode brings them to the forefront. And what is a child to do about their aging parents? I don’t have room for them to move in with me (nor would they if I asked). I can’t leave the area where I am until my Kiddo finishes high school at least, and I wouldn’t want to move in with them anyway. They won’t leave the area, and don’t want to go smaller. I don’t know what the future holds for them, and that is frightening.

Growing Pains

I woke up this morning in a “family bed”. One cat was snuggled up beside me, the other lay at my feet, and The Musician snored softly from the other side of the bed. This is one of my favorite things….waking up surrounded by love. It wasn’t long before my bliss faded away as I remembered the conversation of the night before. The Musician is very passionate about politics, and his worldview is very different than mine. He is a conspiracy theorist to the nth degree. He believes that a corporate conglomerate is in control of our government. I sort of agree with that, but he believes that they are actively poisoning the population, are behind mass shootings, etc etc….and that their end goal is world domination. It just goes a little far for me. He wants to discuss his ideas, but doesn’t seem able to cope with the fact that I have a different opinion. He goes into a conversation believing that he needs to “enlighten” me. I tried to explain to him that this is not a conversation, it’s bullying. Yes, I heard your point and I understand it- I just don’t agree. To me, this isn’t a big deal. We are not going to agree on everything. That’s ok. As long as we are respectful, we can disagree and even have disagreements….. it’s healthy. He isn’t on the same page with this, though, and it’s a big issue for him. I think it reminds him of his long term marriage, but I’m not sure of that. I think that learning how to have disagreements and get over them is important, but he tends to clam up and run away. I’m not sure what any of this means for us in the long run, but it’s what we’re dealing with now…