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#61 of 76 Old 08-28-2008, 05:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by paphia View Post
I think we should respect the OP's gut reaction because it is within a range of normalcy for that situation. Just as not being worried about it is also normal.
I guess my point is that I don't think her reaction *was* within a range of normalcy for that situation.

Has anyone ever heard of one woman attacking another at the playground, killing/injuring her and/or her children? Perhaps I lead an extremely sheltered life, but I've been on playgrounds almost daily for the last 8 years, talking to lord knows how many women, and I've never heard of such a thing.

Fearing another woman at the playground - and not even at the playground, but at a remove, in a car! - is simply not in the range of normalcy. Trust one's instincts, yes. But trust them regarding what might be a dicey situation. Which this was not, in my opinion.

As to "profiling," if one is going to think that way, one might as well stay in the house all day. I suppose anyone encountered in daily life could be considered a potential "profiler." But that's certainly not the way I view the world.

I don't mean to be dismissive of the OP; she did ask if we thought she overreacted. I think she did.
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#62 of 76 Old 08-28-2008, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
I guess my point is that I don't think her reaction *was* within a range of normalcy for that situation.

Has anyone ever heard of one woman attacking another at the playground, killing/injuring her and/or her children? Perhaps I lead an extremely sheltered life, but I've been on playgrounds almost daily for the last 8 years, talking to lord knows how many women, and I've never heard of such a thing.

Fearing another woman at the playground - and not even at the playground, but at a remove, in a car! - is simply not in the range of normalcy. Trust one's instincts, yes. But trust them regarding what might be a dicey situation. Which this was not, in my opinion.
Yeah that is kind of what I am getting at too.

Now I don't automatically assume that all women are harmless just because they are women. For instance, when my daughter was about one we encountered this woman who was just too interested in her, too eager, and too much in general. Something about it weirded me out because it was beyond just the typical annoying "lonely granny in the supermarket" grabbiness. This was a woman we knew socially and encountered regularly, and eventually she made me uncomfortable enough that we changed our social habits to avoid her completely. I never would have left my daughter alone with her and I definitely put up some firm boundaries when she started encroaching on us. But in reality, I don't think she was a child molestor or anything like that, I think she was just a really screwy person with messed up boundaries. But I did have a bad feeling about her, so we avoided her.

Realistically though, a random stranger woman who isn't even approaching you doesn't seem like even the vaguest threat.
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#63 of 76 Old 08-29-2008, 12:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
I guess my point is that I don't think her reaction *was* within a range of normalcy for that situation.
Has anyone ever heard of one woman attacking another at the playground, killing/injuring her and/or her children? Perhaps I lead an extremely sheltered life, but I've been on playgrounds almost daily for the last 8 years, talking to lord knows how many women, and I've never heard of such a thing.
Fearing another woman at the playground - and not even at the playground, but at a remove, in a car! - is simply not in the range of normalcy. Trust one's instincts, yes. But trust them regarding what might be a dicey situation. Which this was not, in my opinion.
As to "profiling," if one is going to think that way, one might as well stay in the house all day. I suppose anyone encountered in daily life could be considered a potential "profiler." But that's certainly not the way I view the world.

I don't mean to be dismissive of the OP; she did ask if we thought she overreacted. I think she did.
Don't live in a bubble. I live in a city where a lot of shit happens and you follow your instincts. Shit happens anyway even when you try to follow your gut! My child was 15 and taken off a public beach in Westerly RI in daylight by a rapist with a gun!

I was in a playground on West 93rd in Central Park and a women who was in a suit (looks like a mom who came home from work) wandered around the playground for a while, and walked out with a little boy by the hand. The mother of the little boy noticed as they exited the playground and ran screaming after her child, the women ran away!

One of the Doulas who works for my service, her husband was pushing their six month old in a stroller coming out of the bank on 8th Street in the village. A well dressed nice looking older women started chatting with him about the baby, how cute, she used to babysit, something a bit off, but he continued to be polite saw no harm, then asked if she could hold the baby, she took the baby from the stroller and all of a sudden he got hit on the head, she handed the baby to some man running and the she took off to the subway.
People ran after them, the police found the women and man in the subway a few stops away with the baby.

That was not the first time this incident happened it was just the first time this women succeeded in getting the baby, the police had other reports with similar description people trying to take baby's out of the carriage.

So women do scary shit just as men do.


Stuff happens. Follow your instincts.
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#64 of 76 Old 08-29-2008, 05:38 PM
 
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Yes, sure, women can do bad things. But this woman had not approached the OP, asked to hold her child, attempted to abduct her or even interacted with her in any way. The woman was not even on the playground. She was far from the OP, in her car. I live in a big city, too, and I don't think it's living in a bubble to consider this a benign situation.
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#65 of 76 Old 08-29-2008, 05:48 PM
 
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If you felt uncomfortable then you did the right thing for you.

However I am another working mom, who routinely stops near parks to check my email, have lunch or even have a conference call with an ear peice so it appears I am just sitting in a car too.
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#66 of 76 Old 08-30-2008, 10:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
Yes, sure, women can do bad things. But this woman had not approached the OP, asked to hold her child, attempted to abduct her or even interacted with her in any way. The woman was not even on the playground. She was far from the OP, in her car. I live in a big city, too, and I don't think it's living in a bubble to consider this a benign situation.

Read the whole thread.
The original poster felt creepy that was enough, since she did not say she regularly freaks out over strangers in cars. We all sit in cars and wait.

The whole Gestalt of this one particular experience and women in the car made her feel creepy, it is not a big deal she moved on with her kids.
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#67 of 76 Old 08-30-2008, 12:36 PM
 
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The only thing I can think of if is maybe the OP subconsciencioulsy noticed the woman eyeing her van too hard?
Concern for the van probably is more likely than actual concern for the children. I don't know of many instances where someone drove a car to steal another one, however. It doesn't make sense, and yes I've lived in large cities where car thefts - my own included - happened all the time.

OTOH, the OP had to go by the woman in the car to get into her van to leave. Nothing happened. If I were about to attack a woman and her children, then I'd do it when they were getting into the car. I don't know about the rest of you, but when I'm seating everyone and getting them buckled, that's when I'm least aware of my surroundings because I'm focused on getting everyone situated.

It's us: DH , DS ; DD ; and me . Also there's the . And the 3 . I . Oh, and .
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#68 of 76 Old 08-30-2008, 04:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BrandiRhoades View Post
Concern for the van probably is more likely than actual concern for the children. I don't know of many instances where someone drove a car to steal another one, however. It doesn't make sense, and yes I've lived in large cities where car thefts - my own included - happened all the time.

OTOH, the OP had to go by the woman in the car to get into her van to leave. Nothing happened. If I were about to attack a woman and her children, then I'd do it when they were getting into the car. I don't know about the rest of you, but when I'm seating everyone and getting them buckled, that's when I'm least aware of my surroundings because I'm focused on getting everyone situated.
Actually, I didn't mean to actually steal the van, but to steal something out of it. Still highly unlikely, I was just saying that's the only I could possibly think of.
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#69 of 76 Old 08-30-2008, 04:42 PM
 
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yup, go with your gut. Better to look foolish for leaving than foolish for not leaving and having a reason to be sorry about.

Heather, mama to Harriet, Crispin, in with Tom and 2
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#70 of 76 Old 08-30-2008, 08:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by zinemama View Post
I think you over reacted.

Have we become so afraid of each other that we have to leave a public place because another person is there? Doing nothing? I would have stayed.
Me too.

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Originally Posted by dewi View Post
Women should always follow their gut instincts.
I agree with this in general. But I do know two women who that doesn't apply for. One has panic attacks, and the other just has been hurt by people over and over so assumes people will hurt her and her child. So having known two women with "bad" gut instincts, I don't think ALL instincts are ALWAYS right. But I do agree that leaving for a different location is a better safe than sorry plan. I just think it was way overkill in the OP's situation.

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Originally Posted by dewi View Post
Read the book the "Gift of Fear" by Gavin De Becker. Studies show the same thing, that people aways say they had a "funny feeling", "a creepy feeling" and just brushed it off, did not want to be perceived rude. We see stuff all the time and never have a weird feeling, when you get that feeling follow it!
I LOVE The Gift of Fear, and think Gavin de Becker is brilliant! I have actually bought at least ten copies of that book to give as gifts. BUT I am wondering if the OP thinks that a woman in a car near hers near a park when no one else is around is odd in itself, if that specific scenario would worry her another day with another car and another woman. If so, then I think her instincts are off.

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Originally Posted by MayBaby2007 View Post
I was robbed at my job in December of 06, when I was pregnant. I *knew* something was going to happen. I felt it. I knew it. But....I didn't want to assume and be rude and deny the guy service. The panick button that's usually on the wall was in my hand instead. I knew something bad was going to happen so I had that panick button hidden in the palm of my hand. As soon as the bad guy said the magic words, I pressed the button. He took the money, nobody was hurt. Cops were able to catch him and he pleaded guilty. I didn't listen to my gut that time.

A few months later there was another guy at my job and my instincts screamed at me--danger, danger, danger. I knew something wasn't right. I refused service (didn't let him in the building, made up an excuse). He went to a nearby business and robbed them instead.
These are perfect Gift of Fear examples. You may not be able to pick out the reason, but something was off, and your subconscious noticed it.

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Originally Posted by Kinguk View Post
I would have hi-tailed it out of there too. Depending on what my gut was telling me, I may have even called the police.
Called the police? Really? "911, what is your emergency?" "There is a woman sitting in a car near the park on 3rd and Broadway!"

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Originally Posted by paphia View Post
I think we should respect the OP's gut reaction because it is within a range of normalcy for that situation. Just as not being worried about it is also normal.
But like others have stated, we don't all agree that the OP's response was within the range of normal for that situation. Quite a few of us have voted exactly the opposite.

If the OP gave us more info, we might feel differently. Did she just come from the bank, where she had a conversation (that anyone could overhear)with the teller about cashing her tax refund, then put a wad of bills in her purse - right before driving to the park - in a town that has a known meth problem - with many reports of purse snatchings at local parks?

Now the OP knows all the details of that situation, some of them subconscious that she may not even realize. So if she has reasonable instincts, even though it seems like overreacting to many of us here, I would support her leaving. I do think it was unnecessary though.
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#71 of 76 Old 08-30-2008, 08:27 PM
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Called the police? Really? "911, what is your emergency?" "There is a woman sitting in a car near the park on 3rd and Broadway!"
LOL hey the 911 operator needs funny stories to tell on her web forums too!
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#72 of 76 Old 08-31-2008, 01:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yikes, don't have time to go through and read ALL the responses the cropped up as I was prepping for my garage sale (made a whopping $45...bah...) but I do thank you for them and when I'm not nak I'll buzz back through.

Any-hoo, in response to a few race questions I gleaned, AFAI could tell she was white, and just going by the racial make up of my town (97% white) I'm simply going to assume that she was. Had she been another race (again, couldn't tell) I can't say as that would have changed my response because just the fact that she was parked alone, on a dead street when there are 5 dozen other equally quiet residential streets within a half a mile it freaked me out.

And honestly, in my 'freak out' mode I had the presence of mind to 'hit unlock button' put boy in (on the pass side, simply because we were parked on the street and I don't like taking him into the road to strap him in since his carseat is on the drivers side, so I open the front door and he climbs though) shut passenger door, open back door, lock doors. Strap daughter in, close door, go around, unlock doors, strap boy in, open my door, lock doors, drive away (which is what I do when I happen to find myself in a less than desirable neighborhood in the city...which isn't very often, but once in a while James has to pee andhe has to pee NOW)

I guess it's too much CNN...I'm not pregnant, but the whole baby snatching from utero, kidnapping a la law & order or whatever. There are 9 million things that COULD have happened considering there was no one around.

Or it could have just been a lady on her lunch break having a ciggeratte since 75% of the major employeers in our area have banned smoking on their property. *shrug* Who knows...

Either way, no harm done to either party. My son got over his fit. We came home, had a snack and went back later in the day (when it wasn't so blessed hot anyway!)...and after school hours so there were LOTS of people around and I truthfully felt more safe. I'll probably continue to go back to that park in the middle of the day (until it gets too cold) because it's the only toddler friendly park in the area...

Renae wife to J :, Mama to 4.5y/o J-bird and 2y/o A : and E coming in late Dec/Early Jan. My husband had a living donor kidney transplant! :
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#73 of 76 Old 01-01-2009, 03:55 AM
 
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whenever you're uncomfortable - follow your instincts, if for no other reason than you would have been miserable and not enjoyed yourself if you had stayed. Better to just remove yourself from the uncomfortable situation. Your son will get over it

Attachment-Parenting mom to darling DS : (January 2006). : : : : :
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#74 of 76 Old 01-01-2009, 03:59 AM
 
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And although I don't blame you at all for leaving when you felt uncomfortable, I think someone's suggestion that they might have called the police is ridiculous. It's not a crime in this country to sit in your car, thank god.

Attachment-Parenting mom to darling DS : (January 2006). : : : : :
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#75 of 76 Old 01-01-2009, 04:08 AM
 
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A parent's instinct will always be as powerful as ever. You did not overreact you just showed that the safety of your children should not be put to risk..
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#76 of 76 Old 01-01-2009, 03:36 PM
 
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And although I don't blame you at all for leaving when you felt uncomfortable, I think someone's suggestion that they might have called the police is ridiculous. It's not a crime in this country to sit in your car, thank god.
Ditto this. I don't think you OVERREACTED, necessarily. Calling the police most definitely would have been overreacting. I'm sure there was a good logical explanation as to why she was sitting in her car. I sit in mine quite often. If you were uncomfortable of course you should leave the situation, though.
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