When I was a young adult, I had the good fortune to go on a date with a guy I hardly knew. We were working at a national park at the time, and we drove for nearly an hour through the wilderness to get to our date destination. It was an uneventful date, and frankly, I wasn't as interested in him as he seemed to be in me. He started buying me trinkety doo-dads and visiting me at work. He wanted to help me buy a car, which seemed like a kind of boyfriend-y thing to do, and that made me uncomfortable, especially since I didn't really want to buy a car. My friends thought he was amazing though, so I decided to give him a chance (by this point, I was beginning to doubt my own taste in men.)
One day, a couple of weeks later, he vanished. Imagine my surprise when I found out that he was a con artist, and that he had bilked many of my friends out of their hard-earned money. He and his wife were wanted in several states. His wife had been doing her own thing in a neighboring town.
The impact of that story didn't hit me all at once, but throughout my life different aspects of it have left me reeling in fear. First of all...thank heavens he was just a con artist. I was alone with him in the middle of nowhere, and so many more terrible things could have happened. I also began to wonder about everybody I dated. Were they just conning me too? I remember being scared to death the night before my wedding that my too-good-to-be-true husband really was too good to be true. I don't know what I thought...that he was marrying me for my money? (Hahaha)
But lately, the story of the con-artist I once dated has taken on entirely new connotations in my head. What if, (heaven forbid) my own children are as stupid and naive as I was? What if they put themselves in dangerous circumstances and aren't as blessed to have it turn out OK? Please don't let lack-of-common-sense be a genetically inherited trait.