When I was a teenager, I was taking a flight out of the country when my parents weren’t home. They arranged for a car to pick me up and take me to the airport.
When the car showed up, the man driving got out of the car quickly and exclaimed that he really had to use the bathroom. I opened the door up, let him into the house, and into the bathroom.
When I told my brother this, he (rightfully) flipped out at me. He explained that if someone learned they were picking up a teenage girl, chances were her parents were out of town. Even though it wasn’t likely, he could have been scoping the house for valuables or planning worse. And again, even though it wasn’t likely, the risk and consequences outweighed any sort of politeness. He suggested next time I speedily get into the car and direct him to the nearest gas station.
Rewind to me now and sliiiightly older than a teenager. I take a lot of early morning Uber rides to the airport.
I used to live in an apartment and once I moved into a house, the conversation lines changed dramatically.
“So, that’s a big house to live in alone.”
Oh, I don’t live alone, I live with my husband.
“Oh! He must be out of town then! I didn’t see anyone else there!”
Oh no, he’s just sleeping.
“So, you must make a lot of money to live in an area like this.”
We have the smallest house on the block, we got lucky.
“So what does your husband do?”
Et cetera et cetera.
I know the drivers are being polite and are curious, but ever since I moved into the house, the conversation has gotten pretty invasive. I usually get asked these questions–whether my husband is in town, what he does, and questions aimed at how much money I make.
Thinking back to my brother’s advice, these questions make me really nervous. Yes, the chance of something happening is still really low, but at this point, a lot of drivers are learning where I live. My husband travels a lot, so if I mentioned that, they would realize my house is completely empty.
So out of an abundance of caution, I always say my husband is home. No matter what. I always downplay the value of my house. I always talk about my bartending, not my desk job. Or say I’m running a blog and hoping it takes off. Anything to suggest we are not worth robbing.
A bit paranoid? Probably. But the risk is not worth it.
Plus, is it just me, or are these questions pretty invasive?