Full disclosure: this is a story, one of many, about my crazy. If you proceed, please do so with caution, an open mind and the relief that comes with knowing you’ll never be as messed up as me. ;o)
“In the criminal justice system, the people are represented by two, separate, yet equally important, groups: the police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders. These are their stories. *DUN, DUN*” I love hearing those words! Law & Order is one of my all-time favorite shows. Rarely have I come across an episode from its 20 seasons that I have not seen multiple times. And I’m not talking about Special Victims Unit, Criminal Intent, Los Angeles nor UK; the original Law & Order. Chris Noth was my favorite detective and I was so sad to see him leave. L&O was kind enough to throw me a bone and bring him back in 1998 with the TV movie Exiled. No assistant DA was better than Sam Watterston nor DA better than Steven Hill, IMHO. I love that, on any given weekend, I can always find a L&O episode on some channel and I hope I always will.
But there’s this one episode…*shudders*…that has altered the way I behave when I enter and exit my garage. In the beginning, a mom is in her minivan. I believe she had just dropped off her kids at school or just finished grocery shopping while the kids were at at school. Either way, she came home, used her automatic garage door opener and pulled into her garage. She made 3 major mistakes: 1) her car doors were unlocked, 2) she wasn’t aware of her surroundings when she pulled into her driveway, and 3) she started exiting her car before the garage door closed behind her. How many of you make one or all of these mistakes?
You know what happened to this suburban mom? Two brutes were waiting for her to come home, one on either side of her garage. As soon as her minivan entered the garage, they slipped in, too, before the door came down. She started to step out of her van, unaware of the man behind her with a baseball bat. He cracked her good! She either fell back into her seat or he pushed her back in. The other brute opened the sliding door of the van on the passenger side and the 2 men proceeded to beat her to death. Why?
Her MIL (mother-in-law) took out a hit on her. You see, the MIL was Jewish and although her DIL (daughter-in-law) had converted to Judaism when she got married, and was happily raising her children in the Jewish faith, she was not a “real” Jew in her MIL’s eyes. The MIL heard rumors that her DIL was not happy and worried she would file for divorce. The MIL had her DIL killed to get her out of the way so she could keep her grandchildren and her son, “real” Jews. Puts some perspective on the relationships some of us have with our MILs, huh? How many of you, like me, just thought, “Holy crap! And I thought mine was bad/bat-shit crazy/mean!”
I saw that episode long before I ever had a home with a garage, but it stuck with me. Anytime I am getting into or out of my car, at home or in public, I am aware of my surroundings. When parked on a public street or in a public parking garage, I have 3 keys sticking out between my knuckles to use as knives if I’m attacked going towards or walking away from my car.
I scan the area as I approach my home garage. When I pull in, I not only look in front of me so I don’t hit the back of the garage, but also watch my rear and side view mirrors until the garage door is completely closed, to make sure no one comes in. You have to check those side mirrors, even move them down to see the floor, to make sure no one crawled in to avoid being seen! My car doors are locked, and remain locked, until the garage door is completely closed. Only then, after assuring that no one came in with me, do I unlock the doors and get out.
When I leave the house, I enter my garage and immediately lock the door behind me. I get in my car and lock all the doors before I open the big door and drive out. As that door slowly rolls up, I’m checking my mirrors for assailants! After pulling out of the garage, I stay there and watch the door until it closes all the way, to make sure no one sneaks in; they might steal my stuff or lay in wait until I return.
One day, a couple of years ago, my dad came over. He, B and I decided to run an errand and I was going to drive. I opened the door to the garage and let B and my dad walk in ahead of me. My dad innocently reached up and hit the garage door button on the wall, trying to be “helpful”. He had no idea about my “garage crazy” so my full-on freak out reaction caught him completely by surprise. I’m too embarrassed to describe it; use your imagination. (I know what you’re thinking, “REALLY?! You are too embarrassed to share something?! I didn’t think that was possible.”) I apologized to him and educated him on my garage procedures after I got the garage door back down, the three of us were securely locked in the car and I stopped hyperventilating. I never told him why my procedures were in place, though.
I am laughing right now, wondering what all y’all must be thinking of me. Whatever it is, remember this – I’ve never been attacked in my garage, so my crazy is working! And I can guarantee you one thing: the next time you come home and pull into your garage, you’re going to think about that Law & Order episode, too. *DUN, DUN*