I got my hair done today. My stylist was running about 35 – 40 minutes behind. I might have been annoyed by this, but I had called her only a few days ago and she’d worked me in, so I wasn’t complaining. As a result, I ended up leaving the salon a little after 7 tonight.
On my way to the car, I had my keys and Blackberry in hand. It was dark and icy, and I was coming out the side entrance since I had parked right next to that door. All of a sudden, a guy knocked me over! He came on my left side and I didn’t hear him approaching, so my first clue that he was there was approximately half a second before he pushed me. I fell on my knees but kept a hold of my purse, keys, and Blackberry. It all happened within a few seconds, so I’m not sure what the guy did next. I think he was reaching for either my purse or my scarf (I’m guessing it was my purse, but at the time I thought he was going for the scarf that my sister V made me for Christmas). I got mad. I started yelling, “Hey! Get away from me!”, then hit him in the nose with my phone. He jerked back and I kept slapping him on the arms and head. He took off, I pulled myself up off the pavement, picked up what I thought was a piece of my cellphone cover, and got in my car (thank goodness for keyless entry systems). My car was closer, so going back into the salon didn’t even occur to me till I was about halfway out of the parking lot. I called Chris, told him what happened, and drove to his office (we were planning to meet after my appointment all along).
I didn’t file a police report. Some people may be critical of this, but based on what little descriptive information I could give (his race, build, and the fact that he reeked of stale cigarettes, beer, and B.O.), I doubt that they would have been able to find him. I made sure that my stylist was aware so that she can tell her co-workers and they can be safe. I wasn’t hurt (other than bruised knees), and my cellphone is fine (turns out that the piece of broken cell phone case was someone else’s). Others may criticize me for not being “aware enough”, but I would disagree with that. I wasn’t rummaging through my purse, and he approached me literally seconds after I left a brightly lit salon. My car was 2 parking spaces from the exit, so I wasn’t wandering across a darkly lit parking lot.
I’m glad that I was OK, and I’m glad that nothing was stolen or damaged. Even though I was caught off guard, I still feel that I responded appropriately – I was yelling, hit him in the nose, and was planning to use my keys and start kicking if he didn’t back off. The entire episode lasted no more than a few seconds. Truthfully, I wasn’t ever scared – just shocked and mad. When I was re-thinking the incident, I realized that I’ve seen worse stuff happen in the ER and, while I haven’t ever been knocked down by a patient, I have been hit, grabbed, kicked, spat on, had things thrown at me, and in one case was nearly bitten. What made this so “different” is that it was unexpected and I was alone (although a salon full of women armed with hot curling irons was just a few feet away). I expect a certain amount of what I would call “low-level violence” in the ER – not when I’m leaving the salon in a good area of town and am literally 3 feet from my car!