Shopping Alone Calls For Being Alert

How shopping alone prepped me for the unexpected.

Recently, I decided to make a quick trip to the mall while on my lunch break. I wanted to stop and buy some sandals along with visiting a nice little coffee cafe.

Anytime that I am out and about I love to stop and buy a flavorful latte. After picking up a quick bite and my latte I headed towards the hallway towards the exit.

A man made a comment about me being beautiful and it alerted me in the way that he looked at me. It wasn’t a genuine compliment, instead more disrespectful in nature. He also happened to be walking in the opposite direction.

Considering that I work with the public on a daily basis I’m prone to making observations about people. I work in a place that calls for me to be on top of things before allowing people through the door. It’s that keen sense of awareness.

Something told me that I was going to be followed. My goal was to get back to work on time. When I got closer to the exit I turned around and the same man was clearly following me.

I held the door open so that he could go out first. He asked me if I had a boyfriend and I replied that I was married. Looking back now I should have stayed in the mall since I was in an unsafe situation.

I say unsafe because this man then proceeded to say vulgar things to me. He had no right to get graphic with me. However, he told me what he would do to me sexually.

I was able to get in my car after that and he knew that he couldn’t get to me. He walked away. He didn’t look like he was sorry at all.

I was looking to see if others were around in the parking lot. There was no one in sight. Usually, I don’t park on that side of the mall, but knew it would be closer to the store that I wanted to visit.

I did have a high-pitched alarm from a company called Damsel in Defense. The whole point of buying it was so that I could use it if needed.

Trust Your Gut When Shopping Alone

If something doesn’t feel right go with your gut. Pay attention to the signs. They alert you for a reason. After the incident I went back to work and didn’t report it until that evening.

In my haste to get back to work and not listen to my gut I made a less than perfect decision. It is so easy to think about what I could have done after the fact.

Have you ever second guessed a decision that you made?

Here are a few tips to stay vigilant when you have shopping alone and if you encounter an unsafe situation:

  • Stay in the mall.
  • Ask for help.
  • Carry pepper spray or a stun gun. (check the law in your state first)
  • Take a self-defense class.
  • Do not provoke the suspected perpetrator.
  • Be firm.
  • Park closer to a main entrance or more populated area.
  • Be careful about shopping at night.
  • Always have your keys in your hand before getting to your car.
  • Purchase a key chain alarm and remember to check the batteries on a regular basis.
  • Contact security.

My mother taught me to be street smart. It is from her time living in the big city of Chicago. You may not always be thinking of what to do ahead of time. However, I encourage you to have this conversation with others and with your children.

It could save your life. Things could have taken a drastic turn had I not been conscious of his next move. That evening I tested my alarm and it didn’t work.

What were the odds of that?

I’m pretty sure I was being watched by the grace of God. I am super grateful for that.

Be alert at all times. Your shopping experience can still be a positive one. Men like this guy will continue to try to prey on women.

It’s up to us to put a stop to that kind of harassment and potential crime taking place.

Are you ready to be your own super hero and take a stand?

I know I am.

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