For as long as I can recall, my parents (most adults in my life, for that matter) tried to instil fear into my brother, sister, and me in regards to strangers.

“Don’t talk to strangers.”

“Don’t take candy from strangers.”

“Don’t take rides from strangers.”

“An adult should never ask a child for directions—if they do, they are trying to steal you! RUN!”

OK, so the last one was kind of paraphrased, but you get the idea. Safety is important to parents. Sure, my sister and I once got a ride to school with a stranger. Mind you, my older, but not always brighter, sister was convinced it was the grandma of our cousins driving the car (obviously not the one we’re related to—she’s thick, but she’s not that thick!).  Even though I knew I had never laid eyes on this sweet old lady in my life, I trusted my big sister to guide me to safety. Luckily, this kind old grandmother (assuming she’s someone’s grandma) took us the few blocks to school through the blizzard safely and did not try to steal us.

We were lucky. Was my mom upset? Of course not—she believed my sister that it was Mrs. umm, well, I actually forget her name, but whatever.
I knew it wasn’t, and we later discovered upon seeing the real woman that the lady in front of us was not the one driving the white car (a staple of grandparents—the non-descript white car. Also a staple of rapists and child molesters—the non-descript white van…hmm. Just an observation.).

Like a good parent, when we had to tell my mom that I was wrong (nice big protective sister, huh?) about the carpool episode, my mother was annoyed, but thankful we were all right. She didn’t yell, she didn’t resort to violence, she just hugged us and knew that we wouldn’t make the same mistake again.

Unlike my mother, I am not a very good child. I would really like to resort to violence (not literally, of course, I would just figuratively like to smack my mum upside the head!). This morning I got a facebook message from my wonderful, over-protective, safety-obsessed mother. It wasn’t a private message, either. It was the classic on-your-wall sort of chit-chat that you’d expect from an acquaintance you haven’t spoken to in forever who just wants to wish you happy birthday or something because FB told them it was your birthday.

“Hi Rachel! Dad and I are staying at the such-and-such Hotel in blankety-blank, state goes here. If you need to reach us, our number is 9-random-digits, room something-or-other. Miss you!”

Really Mom? You are going to share your personal information with everyone? You realize you just told the internet that you are on vacation—as in AWAY FROM YOUR HOME! I must say, I am a little surprised she didn’t take out an ad in the Free Press, being of the newspaper generation rather than online media. I suppose she was trying to be “hip”? “Down with the kids”?

Hmph. Some people’s parents.

The only redeeming aspect about her statement is in the knowledge (which potential burglars don’t know, by the way!) that my brother still lives at home. And they have a good alarm system which was put in after their garage was recently broken into and her bike was stolen. (I don’t remember if she tweeted that she keeps her bike in the garage—I’ll have to check my history…)

Mother, mother, mother. What am I going to do with you?

On the plus side, at least she no longer keeps her spare key and the passcode to their alarm system under a welcome mat. It’s been moved to under the flowerpot. Wait, that better be a joke—my parents can’t be that dim, can they?

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