I wasn’t even going to mention this here, because I didn’t want to have any kind of pity party about it. I got mugged on Tuesday evening. It happened just 3 or 4 houses down from my own. The fellow was walking towards me, and I said, “Hey.” He replied, “Hey, gimme your purse.”
The thing about it that Dave got stuck on is that the first thing I said, before I started to scream for help and sort of lose it a little, was, “…really??”
I raised quite the ruckus, and every neighbor on my street came running out to see what the hubbub was about. My across the street neighbor, Jules, chased the kid down until he dropped my bag! Can you believe it? The woman chased after him, her kids’ toy and a Netflix in her hand, until he gave up and dropped my stuff. Unbelievable! This woman is a hero.
It feels like there are two things you can take from this little incident. The first, of course, is the power of people and community. I’m incredibly lucky to live on the street that I do. My neighbors were wonderful. Everyone came to check if I was alright, and a kind woman even called 911 for me. Cherry, my next door neighbor, stood on her porch while I talked to a police officer on my own. It was comforting to have someone I knew right there.
The second thing is about independence. The whole thing isn’t about my purse. It would have totally sucked if he’d gotten away with it, but it wouldn’t have been the end of the world. The real thing he took was my confidence, and I kind of think that’s what that “…really?” was all about. If this was really happening, it was changing the game. I haven’t walked to the train since it happened, and I don’t plan to today, either. Maybe on Monday I’ll feel brave enough, if I don’t carry a purse. I guess the question I have is: how do you get that back? Relying on Dave and my friends for rides is fine for the moment…folks understand that I’m a little spooked. Over time, though, something like that would just make me feel like a complete mooch. Living car free up until now has been no problem. My feet can get me pretty much anywhere I need to be.
I never thought I’d lose that feeling. How do you get it back?
Incidentally, the fellow who tried to snatch my purse was of pretty much average height with dreads about the length of my hand. He had on a Rock Star Energy Drink shirt and apparently hangs around Edgewood lately. Some neighbors said they had seen him around. If you see him, you might cross the street or call 911. The cop who works our neighborhood is named Mac, and he’s chased this kid on foot before.
Hi there! My name is Becky Striepe (pronounced “stree-pee,” like “sleepy”), and I am a freelance writer and vegan crafter living in Atlanta, Georgia. My life’s mission is to make green crafting and vegan food accessible to everyone! Check out my new book: 40 Days of Green Smoothies!