One day I went shopping by myself. Two women who seem harmless approached me in the store. With a soft voice, a woman called out to me.
“Excuse me,” she said.
I didn’t realize she was talking to me at first.
“Excuse me,” she said, again. I turned around.
When she realized she had my attention she smiled and asked if it would be okay that she gave me her business card. My first thought was, why? I didn’t understand, the need for a complete stranger to volunteer their personal information. But, I didn’t want to seem rude, so I accepted her request. She began to rumble through her things. I waited.
“I sell Avon products and you look like someone who takes care of your skin,” she said.
I thought to myself, “oh boy, I don’t need this.” But for some reason, I stood there. And I waited for her business card.
She grabbed her phone from her bag instead. She explained, she must have left the cards in her car. Then she asked me for my number. I felt annoyed by her ploy to get my personal information. However, I still felt the need to remain polite.
I told her I will take her number, but I won’t give mine. She smiled, or I should say smirked, now that I think about it. She asked where I was from as if small talk would have put my guard down. I entertained her question with a general answer and took her number.
It was over. I remained polite, no hurt feelings and I didn’t expose myself too much. So I thought. I headed to the checkout counter.
“Like I said, I sell Avon products,” she said.
But now her reason for approaching me was because my skin looked “a little dry.” She pushed the issue more by questioning when would I call her. In my polite voice, I told her I don’t know. Needless to say, I deleted her number as I walked to the checkout. When I noticed she was walking in my direction, I made a detour and waited until she left.
It was only after I talked with a couple of people, I realized that my need to be polite could have made me a victim. I don’t know if that woman was just an over zealous, annoying sales representative, or a predator.
But what I do know is, predators go after women who seem like an easy target. When I realized the woman was lying about her business cards I should have walked away then, period. She was not honest with me. That was my 1st red flag. And, at that point, she didn’t deserve my politeness.
Now, to tell you the truth, I’m a city girl, with survival skills. Random people, no matter how bright their smiles are, don’t usually get me to stop. Don’t ask me why that day was different. It just was. And for a few minutes, I was that woman who didn’t want to say no. I was that woman, who didn’t want to be rude. I was the woman who didn’t listen to her first instincts. This could have left me in a perilous situation. I am not saying to be rude, although in some cases you may have to. But, what I am saying is, God gave women a little something called intuition. Never be so polite that you ignore it.
[Note: Original Post on August 20, 2013, www.akamissi.com]