‎"...a little 'trouty', but quite good" ~ Eve Kendall, North By Northwest

Monday, October 17, 2011

High Security

Do you lock your car?

I admitted to a friend the other day that I feel guilty when I lock my car. It's like announcing that I don't trust my neighbors for beans. Granted, it's not my actual neighborhood neighbors I'm talking about. I never lock my car at home because a) I kinda hope someone steals everything out of it and then details it, and b) I am lazy. It's when I'm in a parking lot - say, in front of my favorite coffee shop - and I have my laptop in the front seat so I know I should lock it but....

But I don't like telling people I don't trust them.

So I walk away from the car and lock it with the remote - being very careful not to let it beep.

And then when I come back to my car I surreptitiously unlock the car from a few feet away so I can open it and hop in like it was never locked. If I forget and try opening the door, I cover by giving the car my best "who locked my car?" look.

I only admit this to you because it turns out I'm not alone.

The friend I mentioned it to feels the same way about not wanting to offend his fellow townspeople.

We live in a small fishing town. Can you imagine locking your car in Mayberry? I can just see Aunt Bea frowning at someone whose car alarm was going off. "Not very neighborly," she would say.

I wonder if it's the people who are not from here who pull up next to me and alarm their car before going into the post office. I wonder how many of the other cars are unlocked, with keys in the ignition.

Not only do we trust our neighbors, we all drive cars no one wants.

And we all secretly hope that someone will throw away all the empty coffee cups while we're in the post office.

In my friends' towns, people don't look at you weird when you set your car alarm. Conversely, they would think you were a moron for leaving your laptop on the front seat of your car - locked or not. And they're probably right.

Maybe there's a bit of a New England thing mixed in with the Mayberry Factor. It is Not Right to presume that you have something that someone else doesn't have and would want. To presume that would be to admit a Failure of Thrift.

Which is very un-New Englandy.

But when I forget I've locked my car in front of the coffee shop, I end up spilling half my coffee as I struggle for the lock. That spilled coffee adds up. So basically it's six one way, half-dozen the other.

Which is why I don't lock my car.


Greg said...

Mine always beeps when I lock it from a distance, so I often try to look surprised and vaguely disdainful of the sudden noise.

Butch McCarthy said...

I live in New Bedford. 'Nuff said.

Meadowlark said...

I grew up in a town with 365 people. I always locked my car.

And, just for a bit of info, that same town had a nationally known serial killer drive through the area, stop at a local farmhouse, kidnap a nice little old lady who had her front door unlocked and ended up killing her.

Besides, I'm a cops' wife. If I didn't then, I sure as heck would now. Crimes of opportunity happen from that one person in the town next door who drives to your town cause ya'll are nuts about not offending anybody.

Sheesh woman, lock yer dang car!!!

Cheryl said...

I've learned not to look stricken when my Milwaukee-born husband locks his car. He's learned to wait until I've stepped far enough away from his car before locking it so the beep doesn't cause me to jump out of my skin.

Sometimes I get all adventurous when he's not around and run to the store leaving the house unlocked. It's these little acts of trust that keep me sane.

Kristin @ Going Country said...

I don't lock my car in front of my house ever, or in the village. Even when I leave my purse on the floor when I go into the library or something. I lock it in the Small City, though.

Lemon Gloria said...

We live in very different places. Me, I live in DC. I have come out in the morning and found my car up on a jack, with my entire wheel stolen.

Not only do I lock my car when I'm out of it, I lock it when I'm driving. People would think you were an idiot for not locking your car here.

Logical Libby said...

I leave my car unlocked because I keep nothing in it. I would rather have someone open the door and find that out than break a window and do it then.

Susan said...

Greg - surprised and disdainful are two of my favorite looks. Keep up the good work

Butch - yes, I'd probably be willing to spill my coffee in New Bedford.

Meadowlark - House, yes. And even when my car is unlocked, I unlock it at night when I walk up to it so the light goes on. This is mostly so I can find it, but still.

Cheryl - You are a wild woman.

Kristin - I somehow knew you'd say that.

LG - I always lock my car when I visit our family in DC. And my car locks itself when I'm driving. I like that.

Logical Libby - yes! exactly! and oh my stars I love your profile picture.

Ambley said...

I grew up in Chicago, not a small fishing town. In the city, about a mile from where Dad grew up. And we never locked the house, rarely the car. I didn't think a thing of it until many years later, when I realized other people lock their houses and cars. The family homestead has been robbed only once (the one in Ohio, never in Chicago), and guess what? The doors were locked.

Tiny Dancer said...

I'm so glad someone else feels the same way. I feel so guilty locking my car. I didn't used to, but then one summer it just felt like things had changed and I did, lock it that is, at least at the grocery store. I never lock it at the library. That would just be rude to the ladies!

TwoBusy said...

"Failure of thrift."

Gawd, I love that.