I met with a lady and her son that had just moved to our small town from California. To make small talk, I asked where in California she was from. She said that she was from Stockton. Rather than comment on the horrid reputation of Stockton (Stockton consistently tops lists in terms of crime rates), I said that Vol Fan and I loved several things about California. I went on to talk about the glorious weather and no mosquitos and the fact that smoking is not allowed in bars.
When we went to leave, I noticed that she had locked her car. It was such a small thing. But for me, it just went to shine a glaring light on the difference between my hometown and theirs.
Don't get me wrong. I am all for safety.
- I lock my car door while I'm shopping.
- I even hook the grocery cart child safety belt through the handles of my purse.
- I lock the doors to my home at night.
- I rarely travel alone at night.
- You could not pay me enough money to stop at a deserted rest stop or gas station.
- If I have to travel alone, I stop before dark and always choose a safe hotel with inside corridors.
I'm not so silly to think that crime can't happen anywhere, that crime doesn't happen in my small town. It can and it does. But not to the extent that she is used to. And I hope that she and her family will come to learn that fact as well.