So there’s a thing going around Facebook these days, which I think is super nifty:
(I know, it’s pretty large, but the next size down was basically unreadable.)
And y’know what? I love this. But here’s the thing: I’m not entirely sure it’s quite clear enough, or provides quite enough information. So if you’ll bear with me, I’m going to expand on it just a touch.
First off, here’s what Moon Man and I look like:
Here’s Moon Man and Yours Truly with sunglasses, bein’ all swankylike right before a road trip:
I post these both because MAN do I ever have a cute hubby, but also because while it’s great to know that nebulous folks in the void are willing to be support systems, I think it’s a bit more helpful if you know what those people look like. So there we are–those are the faces you can look for. And here’s my promise to you, regardless of your gender, sexual orientation, race, religious belief, etc, etc, etc:
If you are in the situation in that first image, where Creepy McCreeperpants won’t leave you alone at the bar (restaurant, coffeeshop, bookstore, etc), and you happen to notice that we are in the same room, come sit with us. My name is Tricia (or you can call me “BW” if you want to signal me that you’re cashing in the I Saw Your Offer on Your Blog and Wish to Take You Up On That card), and hubby’s name is Nate (or, y’know, “Moon Man”). We’ll be glad to play along, escort you to your car, wait with you for a ride, or just sit and chat until Captain Creepalot creeps on down the road.
Here’s what I look like when I’m out walking:
If you’re out and about and feel unsafe/uncomfortable, come walk with me. As fair warning, I don’t really run; so you may have to slow your pace a bit if you’re one of those people who inspire me while I’m out trundling along. But if you’re cool with going a little slower than usual, I will gladly walk with you. For that matter, if you’re out exercising and get those self-conscious back-of-the-neck “oh man, they’re all gonna laugh at me” prickles (you know the ones), come on over–we can laugh and chat and compare sweat stains and distract ourselves until we’re feeling comfortable and triumphant again.
In related news, here’s what I look like when I’m goin’ on a hike:
If you’re out hiking and feel unsafe/uncomfortable, come hike with me/us (Hubby Hubbington and I usually hike together). Ditto if you’re out having adventures and find yourself in a bit of a pickle–we’re totally glad to share our water (with you or your dog), help your twisted-ankle self get back to the populated world, or use our phones to get help for you. We’re perfectly happy to pretend that you’re our old pal from the wayback machine and that we’ve finally made it to the completely intentional rendezvous point, that meeting up with you is not an accident and you’re not a total stranger, and we’re absolutely down to have you hike along with us until we all get safely back together.
And yes, the We’re Long Lost Pals offer stands in bars and cases of Creepington WontTakeAHint, but it also applies in broader circumstances. For instance:
If you’re in an unsafe situation at home and need help and spot me in a public place, come to the bathroom with me. Just come over, all smiles, say “BW! I haven’t seen you in ages! I’ve only got a few seconds but would love to catch up–I’m on my way to the bathroom, can you come with?”, and once we’re there I’ll call for help for you and wait with you until it arrives.
If you’re at the grocery store and having one of THOSE days and are >this< close to weeping in the spice aisle, come shop with me. We’ll talk about whatever has pushed you to the Sobbing Over Saffron stage, exclaim over good sales in the produce section, and make ridiculous combinations at the Jelly Belly display.
If you’re at a big event–concert, festival, state fair, etc–and are having sensory overload and need a break but don’t want to hang out alone, come eat nachos with me. I get overwhelmed in crowded/noisy situations too, so I’m perfectly happy to get us some sodas and find us a nice out-of-the-way corner to go sit quietly. We don’t even have to talk. (The nachos are only sort of negotiable, though. Mmm, nachos.)
I will sit with you in the waiting room until the doctor comes; I will stand with you at the bus stop so you’re not alone; I will text you with an emergency so you can get out of a situation (you’ll need to slip me a note with your number and “please text with fake emergency” on it, or a similar cue); I will let you join our group through the haunted house or help you find the toothpaste aisle or tell you whether that shirt is a good color on you.
The world can get scary sometimes, is what I’m getting at, and occasionally we could use a little backup. So here’s my face; if you see it, and you need to push the Buddy System panic button, come find me. I can’t fix your life and I won’t hold your jacket while you commit a crime, but I’ll gladly sit with you.