I realized something tonight - I'm a woman alone.
No, no, this isn't angst about my present condition. My own mood swings and thoughts about that swing like a pendulum, and even I can't keep up enough to write about it anymore. No, I realized that I am a woman with two small children living alone. For the first time in nearly two years, it freaked me out a little.
Because it makes me feel good, and because I should, I try to take care with the way I dress. I have more confidence when I feel sexy. Today, a little leg action mixed with a little cleavage action, and I strutted my stuff. Until I got home.
I live in a row of townhomes and, for the most part, recognize all my neighbors, even if I don't know them. Two doors down from me, two men sat in an unfamiliar car parked in the driveway. It didn't belong to the people who lived there, and I assume they were friends of theirs. I felt them watching me. I watched them watching me.
I wanted to hide away. They did nothing threatening, but the hair on the back of my neck stood up anyway. I projected an air of confidence (making good use of my "don't fuck with me" attitude) and quickly ushered the boys inside. I wanted to cover up as much as possible, throw a bag over my head, anything to take their attention off of me, to become invisible.
I'm around men all the time, but I can't remember the last time I realized so clearly that I am a single woman alone in the world. And I have no clue what I would have done if they had approached me. I don't know how to fight. I don't own a gun (not that I'd know how to shoot one). I'm sure I would have figured it out, but I am very glad I didn't have to.
Once inside, I locked the doors tight - deadbolt included - and immediately felt better. My heart rate came down, and I breathed a little easier. I don't know where that feeling came from or why those men made me feel like that, but sometimes I need to be reminded that I'm a woman alone. It keeps me alert and on my guard - and that's never a bad thing.