Late Friday night in downtown Aurora, just a block away from the casino.
Single woman alone with a broken down car in a dark parking lot.
It all sounds like the beginning of a CSI plot.
Well it happened to me this week. This was the first really time as a woman, I had the ever so slight fear of what might happen to me.
I had just left a bar and was looking forward to getting home when my car wouldn’t start, nearly no power and just the clicking sound coming from the starter.
My pre-pay phone was nearly out of minutes.
My phone battery was nearly dead.
To say I wasn’t nervous or just a bit scared would be a lie.
I texted a friend who was still in the bar rock'n out to 7th Heaven, but due to no fault of her own and because of the noise, she missed my text.
So there I sat, alone, waiting on AAA to send a tow or jump.
I sat in the cold in my locked minivan with the engine hood up, holding my cell phone in one hand, my D-cell Mag-lite in the other and my three inch folding outdoor pocket knife (which goes with me everywhere) with in easy reach.
For about 45 minutes, I watched as several dozen people walked by with out the slightest second glance in my direction. About a hundred cars driving past on the street, pulling in and out of the parking lot, did anyone of them stop – NO! Even two City of Aurora police cars drove by with out stopping.
My eyes trained on each of my rearview mirrors, making sure no one snuck up on me in the dark. I watch carefully the movements of every single person that walked by, watching their faces, watching their hands. The minutes dragged on.
My heart jumped when my phone rang. The tow truck driver was just minutes away. My breathing eased ever so slightly. As I saw the yellow flashing lights approach, I finally took a deep breath.
I know you will say that just as much as I feared being mugged or raped, many others will not approach what appears to be someone in need for that very same reason. But come on. We're not talking about something simple like guys opening doors for a lady or helping a lady carry something heavy. Has the age of a gentleman gone so far into the past that you can’t just stop and take a few minutes to wait with a lady in distress until help arrives? Has the fear set in so permanently that we, as a civilized society, can not help a stranger in need? Or am I so old fashioned to even expect someone to stop?
In my opinion, in cases like this, chivalry has long since expired. Killed off by a vicious group, a gang that has worked their way among us. The leader of this gang is not fear as you might expect, but something more insidious, something that tells us "Someone else will help." Who is the number one face on the wanted poster for the demise of chivalry? Apathy.