I live in a really nice neighborhood in Northern Virginia, not far from DC. My city, Bristow, is pretty small, bordered by larger, more established cities like Gainesville and Manassas, and seems to have a reputation for stay at home moms, yuppie families, and lots of kids. Lots of new construction, lots of former Fairfax County residents that wanted more bang for their buck. There are no trailer parks or apartment buildings out here – lots of lovely single family and town homes, in lovely neighborhoods, with playgrounds and walking paths and little shopping centers full of Harris Teeters and Targets. I’ve mentioned before that this area is also a certain level of hell for me (I’m a city girl and can only eat dinner at Chilis so many times), but I have to admit it is a fantastic family area and we are very blessed to be able to live here.
|Very old picture, but that is my house.|
My specific neighborhood has 276 single family homes. When I moved in, our dog walker talked about how safe it is here – that she didn’t even lock her door. I, however, grew up in Alexandria, so I ALWAYS lock my door, but it did feel safe. There are maybe 2 teenagers in my entire neighborhood, it is mostly young families, young children. Neighbors that look out for each other. We have pot lucks and block parties, dinners and happy hours, and lots of play dates. It is sort of Mayberry here.
|Final walk through day in 2008.|
Yet, my car was broken into for the second time this summer. The first time, they took all of my car chargers. I assumed teenagers, because they left behind my Bugaboo Cameleon stroller and all accessories – they could have probably gotten $800 on Craigslist for all the baby crap I had in there. This week, they took my DSLR. I hadn’t unpacked my car yet from the Wig & ‘Stache bash party and it was in a box of items in the trunk. While I am now super diligent on locking my car, sometimes Guinevere gets my keys and sets off the alarm or opens the garage door, so I’m assuming she may have pushed the buttons to unlock it.
It sucks. It sucks that there are crappy people out there, it sucks that I have such bad luck, it sucks that I now have to buy another camera, and lost all the pictures on the old one.
Then, last night, I was at my next door neighbor’s house for our weekly Thursday night wine night. She has a kitchen table in front of double glass french doors leading out to her stone patio, and we had the blinds up and all lights on. At 11:30pm, I look up, and there is a naked man standing at the door. He had jumped their 4 foot fence, run into the yard, up the three stone stairs, and was looking in the house. No clothes, and when I freaked, he ran off.
Obviously, we called the cops. My heart was racing all night, and my blood pressure is still out of control, even when I woke up this morning. Unfortunately, since they don’t have a strong lead, the case is considered inactive, so I am not optimistic they will find him.
Sidenote: the highlight of the police interview was when the police officer asked me if he was excited. “No,” I replied, “the way the blinds were positioned I couldn’t see his face.” “No, no,” the officer clarified, “excited.” Again, I am thinking back on body language, and reply, “I just couldn’t tell without seeing his head.”
Donna and Kate are cracking up. The officer was trying to ask me if he was aroused. (He wasn’t). And, because of his non-aroused state, they are thinking it is likely not a sexual predator/pervert.
I never felt like I was in any danger. In fact, my first instinct was to run out and chase the guy, but Donna and Kate talked me out of it (smartly so). But if it is a pervert…man, we have daughters. There are 8 houses on my side of the street, and every single house has a daughter except one, and she is pregnant. One daughter is a teenager/young adult, and my baby is the youngest, but you can’t be too careful when you have kids.
We have a motion sensor flood light in our back yard and will be installing one in the front. My neighbors will both be purchasing similar lights tonight, and Tyler has offered to go help install them. I also won’t be surprised if we put some thought into our Second Ammendment rights.
This week…thank god its Friday. I just don’t think I can handle anything else thrown my way!