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.