It's been a while since I've had a day off. It's the holidays, which are also known as Custom Guitar Strap Season at the Moxie & Oliver studio. I'm working every day, and nights, so that I can get all these beautiful straps made, and then wait a year to show them to you (seriously, I just found photos of these custom straps I made LAST CHRISTMAS that I never bothered to edit and share).
The last few days I have binged on the Hollywood & Crime Podcast which covers the Black Dahlia murders. A few of the bonus episodes have someone analyzing the behavior of these women in the 1940s who fell victim to a creepy, sadistic, serial killer. He refers to what some of the women were doing - offering strange soldiers a place to sleep, giving rides to strangers, and going places with strangers - as "high risk behavior." At one point they mentioned one of the murdered women said she always had men try to pick her up at the bus stop when she was waiting.
Then I remembered a moment in my 20s. I had become friendly with this bus driver who drove the route from the U-District to Mercer Island, where I worked when I was in college. The bus was almost always completely empty and I would sit up front and talk to him. I was a cute college girl. He was probably in his 30s. It was hard to tell since I was always looking at his profile.
One day while I was waiting for the bus on the way home, he pulled up. He didn't drive the route that I took home. He was off the clock, and in his car. He offered me a ride and I hesitated for a minute, and then got in his car. I knew it was unwise when I said yes. I knew it was unwise when I got in. I knew it was unwise the entire way home. He drove up in front of my apartment, I got out, and went home. And nothing happened.
This isn't a story I tell all that often because it was probably the stupidest thing that I did as a youth. That should tell you something about how risk-averse I am. But let's be honest - this was fucking dumb. The idea that I should have trusted him because he was a bus driver was, and is, ludicrous. I have now listened to enough murdery podcasts to know this. And honestly, I knew it then, too.
So I share this with you for no other reason than it was on my mind. I'm thankful to have learned my lesson about "high risk behavior" without getting myself in serious trouble. I mean, honestly, it still haunts me almost 20 years later.
To all you, SSDGM (Stay Sexy, Don't Get Murdered - a la My Favorite Murder Podcast) this holiday season. I'm going to go find something cheerier to listen to and make some more custom guitar straps...