You call it paranoia, I call it being aware of my surroundings

My husband, the Help is adjusting to city life and I'm trying to get him to be a bit more safety conscious. He's been living in the boonies of Beltsville, after a slow progression out of Dupont Circle in the early 90s, then to Silver Spring and then various parts of PG Co. So it has been a while since he's spent any length of time in the city and even when he did live in Dupont, I doubt he ever went east of 16th St. on foot.
So one night we were walking back home in central Shaw and I began mentioning in a low voice that no one was in front of us, no one on the side and no one on the opposite side of the street. When we turned down Q I pointed out the hooded figure just standing in front of the house where guys hang out and said that we'll be walking on the opposite side of the street. When we got nearer to home, the Help mentioned something about paranoia.
Tom-ay-toe- tom- ah-toe
I normally don't tally a list of who is on the street. Like when you're trying to teach someone something you start out with exaggerated movements (in dance) or pronunciations (language), and this was an exaggerated observation of something I do when walking alone at night when the streets are lonely. I worry about him and I don't want him to increase his odds of being a victim of crime because of his suburban sense of safety.


My boyfriend is from a small town in New York and, like you, I worry about him walking alone downtown -- especially at night. He was brought up in the "oh, we don't have to lock our doors!" safety of a place where everyone knew his name, and I'm frequently trying to tell him to be aware of his surroundings, etc.

Of course, he tells me I'm paranoid, too. And maybe I am but, you know, better safe than sorry!

Isn't it funny, how different backgrounds can create such different behaviors and levels of "street savvy"? The month after a close friend was robbed at gunpoint in Adams Morgan, I was constantly looking everywhere around me while walking outside at night in the city, but that slowly faded, and I'm back to my stupid self. My honey went to college in a fairly high-crime urban area, and he is more aware, but less obviously so than me.
I am also spoiled by often walking at night with my dogs-- my own pit bull and a foster pit mix. They are big sweethearts, but strangers sure think twice before approaching-- especially at night!

follow our foster:

Leave a comment