Thanks, College.

Today, Tom and I had Terminix come out to spray.

The guy who showed up was perfectly nice, wished me a merry Christmas, even asked about my due date…but he arrived over two hours early. I was still in my pajamas and glasses, and was completely unprepared for someone to ring my doorbell.


Which my dogs loved, let me tell ya.

I got downstairs and saw it was someone expected- just not that early- and let him go about taking care of our yard. Then I went upstairs to put in my contacts, brush my hair, my teeth, and wash my face.

As I was doing that, this thought ran through my head, “Working in the pest control industry would be a great cover if you wanted to case a place.”

Yes, I know that sounds crazy, but think about it:

  • People let you into their homes, or at the very least, they let you walk around their homes right up where the windows are. You can see the layout, what’s inside, etc.
  • Home owners have to sign for the work, which generally lets you know A.) who is home during the day and B.) how big they are (in a fight, I would want that info ahead of time).
  • If they have pets, you could find out how many quite easily. If they aren’t barking dogs, like mine, you can just ask because they can’t get in the spray/pellets that pest control people put in your yard for at least an hour.
  • You can ask about kids the same way as with pets.

Okay. So, there I am, washing my face and thinking all that over. And it occurs to me that I think about this kind of stuff a lot.

When I’m at the mall, for example, I am always thinking about how I could take down the people around me.

Yep. Almost 9 months pregnant and not quite 5’3″, and I’m trying to figure out if it’d be more effective to elbow the dude in his gut, or rip his ear off (since his ear is so much harder to reach if he’s tall).

Then I go with my old stand-by of “if it’s a dude, take him down by his crotch. If it’s a girl, elbow to the face (or neck).” I’m also not above pulling a girl back by her hair and smacking her face into a rail or a wall. Not if she comes at me.

I know that most of you are probably reading this and thinking, “WHAT. Is. Wrong. With. You.”

I mean, at the mall, your “old stand-by” should be “do I buy this or not?” or “Food court or wait for a restaurant later?” Not how to most quickly take down the 5 tall guys walking towards you or the lady that just bumped your purse (because no way would I go down without a fight).

The problem is that I think I’m Dirty Harry, and in reality, it probably looks a lot like this:


So as these thoughts go through my head, I tried to think back to when it all started. I’m not a violent person.Why am I like this?

I grew up in a friendly little town. I wasn’t worried about being mugged, and we had so much privacy at our house that no one really rang the doorbell unless they knew us.

I do think I’ve always been a little feisty, and I can usually hold my own. These days, I might go into labor. But still, I grew up with two older brothers and an older sister. I had to be tough to survive that!

I think part of it started in high school when I would want to run grab something at the mall by myself. Tom would be worried because the mall was a little sketchy, and he hated for me to walk around by myself.

And I started thinking of how awesome it would be to take some mugger out and prove there was nothing to worry about as I walked through the mall.

Then, in college, I heard story after story of girls in Athens being attacked. Every year, a police officer came to my sorority and and taught us about self-defense…and told us more scary stories of things that had gone down in the past year or two in Athens.

That’s when I started imagining scenarios of people trying to break into my apartment and how I’d handle it.

I got strict with myself about always checking out the window or peep hole before opening my door for anyone. And I started sizing up people in the parking lot when I got into or out of my car.

Now I’m a grown up, in a neighborhood I like, married to a guy who would never let a thing happen to me if he was home to stop it. We have two dogs, and most of the week, Tom is at home with me.

And I still wonder if the nice Terminix guy can figure out where our bedroom is based on what lights are on upstairs when he sprays the backyard.


Thanks, college.


4 thoughts on “Thanks, College.”

  1. That’s why you hire a team of ninjas as your security system. Nobody knows they’re there, not even you. And yet you will also never know when they kill someone suspicious. Goodbye paranoia!

  2. Tech made me a little paranoid since I did wind up walking places alone a lot and mid city Atlanta isn’t exactly sunnyvale suburbia.

    The first two months after I moved into my house, every noise was a potential burglar and I would start planning my escape or my weapons. I’m pretty over it now. I installed my own security system about three months after which helped a ton with peace of mind. In a year, I’ll be married and having a very ninja partner to have around with will also likely ease any remaining subconscious paranoia.

    I did answer the door with a knife in hand for a few weeks. I thought I had it well hidden when I answered… but I don’t think I did. It weirded out the UPS man and got rid of the Jehovah’s Witnesses for a good while.

    I notice the fight-not-flight thought patterns recur after watching something like Ip Man or Taken. 🙂 I think it’s just a fun thing to think about and movies/current shows make us think that we’re entirely capable of taking down what is probably a seasoned criminal the first time we, general citizens with no fighting skill, attack. :] It’s a peace of mind on it’s own I guess.

  3. You seriously crack me up! I do think about that from time to time too, esp. if Austin is out of town, but i always hope the dogs will save me!! 🙂 I took self defense in college so my “stand by” is the crotch as well! haha

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