Hitchhikers

I think about picking up hitchhikers every day.

EVERY DAY.

I just can’t do it. I wish I had more faith in humanity. As a 29 year woman, usually driving with children in the car, it just isn’t the right decision. Even when they aren’t in the car, it would be silly.

But I really would love to make someone’s day that much brighter. I think of how 97% of these people are truly just down on their luck. I think of how the experience could influence my life in so many positive ways, and how putting positive, trusting energy out in the world reciprocates back to you tenfold.

The risks are too great.

The what-ifs tear my heart apart. I can’t risk putting myself in a compromising position, risking my life for no reason but to make someone’s day.

This feels totally bogus to me sometimes. I’m a huge advocate of Free range parenting and I feel like my fears about hitchhikers are exacerbated by the media. Stranger danger is such a fad right now. Seriously…the dirty hippie on the side of the road is probably not a threat to my family. Why can’t I let it go. Every time I drive by a dirty hippie I get mad at our culture for blowing EVERYTHING out of proportion.

A nice person can’t even help out her fellow human being with a ride because of the possibility of risk. How screwed up is that?!

So I ask you all, my dear readers, what is something that you wish you could do, but are too scared to try? Am I alone in my fears of the unknown?

I’m very interested in hearing your responses!

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About dirtdonthurtmom

Beauty and Simplicity inspire me. Lack of clarity annoys me. Selfish people really piss me off. I have a filter, but ignore it, mostly.
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4 Responses to Hitchhikers

  1. Karlie O says:

    I’ve ALWAYS wanted to pick up a hitchhiker, but am too scared! In Tahoe City, a ski bum town, people hitchhike all the time. They’re usually just trying to get to the mountain, and you even see girls doing it, which is typically more of a male sport. Recently I passed a gal on our way to the lodge and when we were walking up from parking, there she was getting dropped off. Not really the down on your luck kind of thing you talked about, but the danger of the unknown, the lurking possibility of a robbery or worse. Ick! I can’t do it! Honestly, there are so many crazy people in this world that it’s not just the media. I just had a run in with one last weekend and I was honestly scared of the thought of putting her in my car and giving her a ride home, even with men in the car with me. The cops stepped in, but that’s a whole different story! Love you!!

  2. Mini Moe:) says:

    I feel ya, sister. I think about it all the time too. I actually did once! There was a guy running down the side of the road by my house one day. He was totally sprinting down the street in jeans and t-shirt with a Coke in his hand. It was odd. He flagged me down and I pulled over without hesitation, because it was obvious something was wrong. I rolled down the window and, gasping for breath, he told me how his girlfriend was in a car accident just up the road. My knee-jerk reaction was to tell him to get in the car; so that’s what I said, “Get in the car.”

    As he got into my little, two-door car, I realized just how giant this guy was. I swear he felt just about eight feet tall, especially since the seat had been adjusted for the previous occupant, who was most likely HALF this guy’s size. This is when panic set in. What had I just done?! I has just gone against every teaching that I had ever been taught. I had just gone against everything that I had ever taught to all of the babies and friends that I love. Was this an elaborate, murderous plot?! Fuck! Why did I just do that?! It was totally instinctual to want to help…but now, I thought, I might end up paying the ultimate price for it.

    As you know, I live in a subdivision that borders on the sticks. A left turn….about a mile to civilization and a firestation where I could get help. A right turn…total and complete farmland…perfect for leaving my lifeless body. That’s just how my mind works. It’s funny how the same brain that felt compassion and empathy for this person just a second ago, had now turned me into a survivalist, reminding me of all the sweet spots to attack a man. He didn’t look like a psychopath…but neither did Bundy, right? As we drove along, he broke up the deafening silence by telling me all about his grilfriend…and..blah blah blah blah…that’s all I heard. He sounded just like Charlie Brown’s teacher.

    All I could think about was that if I didn’t see smoke or the flashing lights of an ambulance up ahead, that shit was going to go down. I’ve always maintained that I would NEVER allow someone to kidnap me. Growing up in Hayward, we never found Michaela Garrett. That is something that I will never, ever forget. So from a young age I have always known that I they would have to kill me right then and there if they were going to take me. I always think of something that Oprah once said: “Bite until your teeth touch.” Gross, right? But I bet that would do the trick.

    As we got closer to where he told me the accident was, I saw the flashing lights. I was happy.

    Humanity: 1
    Fear: 0

    “Can you drop me off about a block away? She’ll be pissed if she sees me in the car with another girl.”

    Bitches: 1
    Affeminate Men Who Can’t Stand Up to Jealous, Ungrateful Bitches & Should Grow a Pair: 0

    I’m not going to lie…in the end, I was happy that I did it. But that was an emergency, I didn’t have kids in the car and don’t have any responsibility to anyone to ensure that I am there to tuck them in at night.

    When you choose to become a nomadic, stinky hippie…you accept the fact that most people will not be giving you a ride. They understand. And if they are a true, stinky hippie…a smile and a wave from the kids would probably do equally as much for them as a ride would.

  3. Janeen says:

    My parents met hitchhiking 🙂 My dad picked up my mom. True story.

  4. Colleen says:

    My mother and most of our family friends worked in prisons, so I grew up in a home with stories about scary men who chop off women’s arms using an axe (true story! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Singleton). My mind often goes straight to the worst case scenario, which is one of many reasons why I have never once considered picking up a hitchhiker or hitchhiking myself.

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