Sunday, June 2, 2013

Don't Be THAT Girl

“I always tell my daughters—Don’t be THAT girl. Don’t be that stupid girl who gets into the car with a stranger, takes a drink from someone you don’t know, walks down a deserted street…DON’T BE THAT GIRL—You Hear Me?!” My co-worker relates her maternal warning to me and The Beast. We are both quaking.

But that is how you feel as a mom—you see news reports, photos on milk cartons, stories in local papers about a girl…a nice girl, who was probably just being polite, not thinking and there she is…gone. Just the shattered family left behind. How could she have been so stupid, what was she thinking? But that is the thing—girls are taught to be nice and it is so easy not to think when you already know how to be polite.

The other day I was driving The Beast and her friend, The Bulldozer, into the city for a YouTube concert thang that I will not even pretend to understand and I was giving my pre-subway lecture for the benefit of The Bulldozer. " Don’t stare, if there is trouble in the car or some creepy guy—change cars. If someone actually bothers you—call out loud and clear: NO, Leave Me Alone! and New Yorkers will respond and help."

Thanks to my co-worker The Beast and I now just a code phrase to avoid the long lecture—"Don’t Be THAT Girl."  And I pray when the smooth talking guy pulls up in his car or a cute boy offers a drink or the short cut down the deserted street beckons that the fear of Being THAT Girl will overpower all other thoughts.