Wednesday, June 8, 2011

What Would You Do? {If Someone Snatched Your Purse}

Would you know what to do if someone tried to snatch your purse or your property?

I don't know why I'm so tardy in posting about this, but two months ago I almost fell victim to the above question.  It was the day before Toph's birthday party and we had tons of family in town.  After a failed zoo trip (way too crowded) we decided to run a last minute errand to Walmart.  I had a million things on my mind, in fact, I think my thoughts were running a little something like this through my head:

when we get home I  need to feed the baby and start making the cupcakes I hope we have enough cream cheese I also need to work on decorations and we still need to clean and then I will have to make sure we have something to eat for tonight and I wonder when all the guests will arrive I don't know if so and so is coming maybe I should email and when I get home I need to make sure the baby eats at least one veggie and...

Needless to say, I was not paying attention to my surroundings.  My dad, FIL, MIL and SIL accompanied us and ran their own errands. When our shopping was done, we met at the entrance and proceeded outside.  I was about 100 feet in front of my dad, who was carrying Toph (thank God).  I was pushing the cart and speed walking, my purse slung over my shoulder and keys in hand.  I was on a mission.  Upon arriving closer to my vehicle, I remotely unlocked my door. 

After hearing my doors unlock, I begin to reach into the cart to start unloading our goods.  In between my car and the car to the left of us, stepped a young woman.  She was half my size and was carrying a large white bag.  She approached me in an aggressive manner and grabbed at my arm.

It was during this very moment that I experienced a rush of adrenaline that I had never experienced before.  My heart was beating incredibly fast and my hands were shaking and I felt short of breath.  I knew this girl was going to snatch my purse and in a split second, I had to figure out what I was going to do.

You can't see it here, but my dad is 6'7.
However, as the girl was snatching at my arm with the purse slung over it, she noticed my dad, a huge, intimidating man, walking behind me (carrying a one year old). 

She backed up a step, lowered her eyes and asked me the following question, "You got any money?"  I stammered "no" and she quickly walked off.

My dad approached and had a quizzical look on his face.  He wanted to know if I had known her.  Shakily, I told him I had no idea who she was.  He said to me, "She acted like she was going to grab your purse." 

I am certain that if my dad had not been walking behind me, she would have snatched my purse.  During that moment of intense adrenaline, a fleeting thought passed through my head.  It was the "fight" part of the fight or flight response.  I told myself I could take her.  I told myself to fight back.

However, my flight instinct looked at her huge bag and told me to give her what she wanted.  What she lacked in size of fists could have been made up for in the size of a blade or bullets.

Given time to think about what I could have done differently in that situation, I think of two things. 

First, I should have been paying more attention.  I was not focused on my surroundings.  I was moving quickly but without purpose.  Second, I considered fighting for a fleeting moment.  I don't blame myself too hard for this because I truly believe it was born out of the intense adrenaline rush I experienced; an honest to goodness fight or flight response.

I wonder, would you know what to do if someone tried to mug you? 

I found a helpful site to give you some professional insight on how to handle such at attack.  I will also add a few things that people have told me:
  • No material good is worth your life.  Give them whatever they want.
  • If you are able, throw what they want away from your body and run.  They want your material goods.
  • Make sure the area you are in is not only well lit, but that there are at least a couple of people there with you. 
  • Don't be lulled into a false sense of security that it is daylight, as I would often do.  This girl attempted to mug me in broad daylight.  Had it not been for my dad behind me, she would have mugged me.
  • Pay attention to their face.  I could tell you everything about this girl to this day because one thing I did do was look at her.  Reddish brown hair, big brown eyes, full lips lined with brown liner, about 5'3, thin, wearing white pants, striped tank top, carrying large white bag.
  • Not material good is worth your life.  Wait, did I already put that?  It's the most important one so it bears repeating.
It goes without saying that I am thankful beyond measure that Toph was not with me (just 100 feet behind being carried by his papa).  Although I was not mugged, the entire experience caused me to analyze my reaction and what I could have done differently.  I know I will be better prepared should I have the misfortune of being mugged.  Hopefully, I will help you consider what you would do.

So tell me, dear reader, what would you do?

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Chrissy @ Boerman Ramblings said...

WOW that is scary. I am thankful your dad was there.
Our local grocery store was robbed during the 530pm rush like 3 times. scary.

City Life to Ranching Wife said...

Oh man! How frightening! As much as I would like to think this would never happen to be I know it's always a possibility. I would have to say that I would just give them what they wanted! I'm so glad you weren't harmed!

Sharde said...

i don't know. honestly i don't know what i would do if this happened to me! its so scary to think about. :/ im going to be going to school in downtown san Francisco once i move and that scares me now that i think about this!!!!!

on the subject of your hair. i generally recommend aveda hair products. the be curly line is great for curly hair, and it neverrrrr makes the hair crunchy. :) a little goes a long way with the aveda products as well, so yes they may be more expensive but you don't need too much. :) i hope it helps!!

Nancy said...

Visiting you from City Life's blog --

I'd fight. I just know I would. I'm that kind of person. I'd say "What the F?" and take her down.

I'd probably get arrested for assault. ;)

Great post. Love your blog and am now following! said...

How scary! Glad your dad was there with you! I would just let whoever have it. It's also good to keep a list of cards to cancel in a safe place in the event this happens.

I'm your newest follower from the Thirsty Thursday Hop! Would love it if you could stop by my blog and follow me :)

Six said...

That is so scary! Yikes! We found your blog through the hop. We are your newest followers and would LOVE for you to follow us back!

Rachel said...

Goosebumps! So thankful you and your family were not harmed!

I asked for a self-defense class after I was approached by an agressive panhandler who attempted to block me as I was PUTTING MY BABY IN HIS CARSEAT.

I threw myself into the car and locked the doors... not caring about what was in the cart.

I still remember how terrifying it was (I am deaf and no one else was with me... so glad you had your dad there!)

Thanks for posting this... definitely, our best defense is being alert!

Laurie said...

oh my gosh, so scary!! I'm glad you are all ok!