Did you ever put yourself in a scary position?

Kathsgrdn

The news about the latest murder of a young woman in Utah has me thinking about this. No one seems to know why she had the Lyft driver drop her off at the park, where someone, the killer (?) picked her up. All I can think is "what was she thinking?!" There is a local case, of Savannah Spurlock, missing since the winter. She left a bar with 3 men, possible strangers. No one has seen her since. I know when you're young you can make big, stupid mistakes. I did when I was about 16. Working at a small town casino restaurant, used to get off at 1:00 or 2:00 am on Friday and Saturday nights. Sometimes I had my mom's car, sometimes my dad would pick me up, sometimes he would go drinking and forget to pick me up. Sometimes I took a cab. I had walked home a few times too. Home was clear across town. One night my dad was supposed to pick me up and didn't show up. After waiting for I don't know how long, decided to walk. As I was leaving, a regular customer, who was dating my older friend who worked there, offered me a ride home. I really didn't like this guy but thought he was harmless. Then I got in his car and I realized he could take off with me and I started thinking if he starts going the wrong way, I'll jump out of the car. I felt really stupid almost immediately. Nothing happened, but it could have. My dad even chastised me for it, he did come eventually but I had already left and someone there had told him I left with that man.


Have you ever put yourself in possible danger when you were young? I can't remember ever doing anything that stupid since. I did work with a guy who later killed a young girl and dumped her body in the desert. That guy gave me the creeps from the minute I met him. He even held out his hand to shake mine and I couldn't shake his hand. I'm never usually that rude but I couldn't do it.

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DawnInCal

I did once when I was 19 and it still gives me the shivers when I think about it.

Hubby and I were not yet engaged, but had decided to move in together. It was moving day and he was hauling loads of furniture/household goods in his pickup while I was running errands and buying household stuff like cleaning supplies and whatnot.

I had finished my shopping and got in my car to drive to our house only to find that my car wouldn't start. This was in the days before cell phones and I had no way to reach him. I called a few friends for a ride, but none of them were home. Despite it being a brutal 110 degree day, I decided to start walking. The distance from the shopping center to the house was about 4-5 miles.

About the time I was just past the half way point of making it home, a guy in a pickup passed me going in the opposite direction. He made a u-turn and offered me a ride. I declined. He said ok and drove off. Then he made another u-turn and again offered me a ride. Again, I declined. He pulled over and started talking about how hot it was and how he'd be happy to give me a ride the rest of the way. By then, I was so hot, sweating and feeling a bit light headed (this was in the days before bottled water) that I accepted and got into his truck.

As soon as he started driving, I started wondering to myself what I was thinking. He kept up a steady flow of chatter and took me right to the house, dropped me off and told me to have a good day. As it turned out, he really was just a good guy trying to do something nice for someone, but I was so relieved when he pulled up to our house and I got our of his truck.

I've never done anything like that again in all the years since that incident.

I have a girlfriend who used to pick up hitchhikers. We were always telling her that she was taking crazy chances, but she scoffed and kept doing it. One night, near the Sacramento airport (desolate area back then and still is), she stopped to pick up a guy who was hitchhiking and three of his friends ran out of the bushes and jumped in her car.

None of them spoke English and were talking and laughing with each other in their native language. Because she didn't know what they were saying she grew more and more anxious, finally pulled over and told them to get out of her car. They did as she asked and she never picked up another hitchhiker.

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desertsteph

yep - and not just in my much younger yrs. in my 30s I caught a ride with a trucker when my car broke down on the interstate, but I had my gun with me then 'cause I was driving a good distance from our city. he took me to a phone and I called for help. more recent times (about 15 yrs ago) I also caught a ride with a guy in a pickup cause my car broke down. I kept a close eye on him and figured if he made a wrong turn I'd be outa that truck, but he took me home. We didn't get a lot of strangers out in this area back then and people would often stop to help someone stranded on a back road. now - it's gone nutso around here so I don't think I'd do that / trust someone again.

I also wondered what that young girl was thinking to meet up with a stranger alone in a park like that - with all that is on the news these days. maybe young people don't watch the news. I feel so badly for her parents - and her with what she must have gone thru.


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adellabedella_usa

There have been reports that the Utah girl was a Sugar Baby. She was having a meet up with the guy.


I was usually pretty cautious about stuff. I used to jog five miles a day along the road. I had a guy stop and offer me a ride. That freaked me out so i started jogging in the neighborhood. My parents were pretty strict and I was a rule follower so I didn't get into trouble much.

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marilyn_c

Not when I was really young....I was more like my late 30's. The foolish thing I did was trust a Virginia State trooper.

I was traveling, alone. Going from Pennsylvania to North Carolina. I was going through that part of Virginia to visit a penpal...someone I had written to for 11 years. A prisoner. He had never had a visit and I had special permission from the warden, because it wasn't a regular visiting day. I don't remember the town where I stayed. It really wasn't a town. It was a crossroads and 4 motels...later found out they were there for visitors to the prison.

So, I got a room, and then I decided to drive into town to get something to eat. There was a hill...I drove over the hill and there was nothing but very thick forests on all sides.

So I went back to my room. There were glass storm doors on the rooms, and I went in and sat on the foot of my bed...reading a Strout real estate catalog.

I didn't close the wooden door and I didn't lock the storm door. It was still a couple of hours before dark and I didn't feel uneasy at all.

I looked up to see a man walk into my room. He was wearing a polo shirt and cap that had Virginia State Police logo on it.

As he walked in...he said, "oh, I'm sorry. I thought I knew you. I am John Minton, Virginia State Police." I knew that was probably bs but I introduced myself. We chatted a bit. I told him I was on my way back from the waterlily symposium in Pennsylvania and was headed to North Carolina to buy some koi and was stopping off to visit my penpal.

He was the one who told me the motels were mostly for people visiting prisoners. He was going to the prison to transport a prisoner to a court proceeding. I told him I was expecting a town...he said there was a coffee shop down the hill would I like to have a cup of coffee? Truthfully, I would have preferred staying in my room, alone, but I thought walking to the coffee shop was harmless. After all....he was a state trooper.

We were walking back and I said I needed to call my husband to let him know I was okay. I called him every evening. There were no phones in the rooms...just a phone booth out front. Oh, and the motel attendant had left for the night. He said he would walk with me.

Sitting across from him at the coffee shop, he reeked of alcohol. I didn't want to be around him, but, surely....

As we walked toward the phone booth, we passed his room. He said, "just a minute ..

I've to get my cigarettes." He told me to come in for a second. I stepped inside, stood next to the door. I could see his uniform and his pistol hanging there, and a huge bottle...like a gallon of Wild Turkey. He offered me a drink...I don't drink. He poured a drink, and I said, I have to go call my husband. He then knocked me backwards onto the bed and jumped on top of me. He was talking like he was just kidding around...asking me to go skinny dipping at a pool behind one of the other motels. I was scared but I tried to not show it. I knew he could do anything, even shoot me. Could say anything...about how it happened. I kept talking to him, trying to not make him mad, and trying to figure out how I could get away.

About that time there was a knock at the door. He jumped off of me, grabbed his pistol, opened the door to a small black kid, about 8 or 9 years old. He waved the pistol at the boy and asked him what he wanted...saying, "John Minton! Virginia State Police!!" Just then an older woman, probably the boy's grandmother appeared behind the kid and chastised officer Minton for his behavior. When he jumped off of me, I got up and was right by the door. When the lady and the boy left, I said, "I have to go call my husband." He said, well, he would walk with me because it wasn't safe. So I called Jody while Minton stood there. Then as soon as I hung up the phone, I made a bee line for my room. As I walked in and shut the door, I thanked him for walking me. I locked the door, and I was scared to death. I didn't sleep all night. The next morning when I looked out, his patrol car was gone. Only then did I feel safe.


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watchmelol

I was a very wild and rebellious teen, so yes. I hitchhiked, spent my time looking for the next rush of adventure. I was the why not kid. The one who took the dares. By the mid 60s I was in the biker culture. I was also caught between the hippy and the biker world. The bikers weren't accepting of the hippies yet and my school aged friends were embracing the whole Haight Ashbury scene on weekends. I wanted to be part of that scene too so I would sneak away, not from my parents, but the bikers who forbid me to look like a hippie LOL to go play hippie with my friends. The only time I got caught was when I came back wearing patchouli oil. OOPS.

In the later sixties the so called summer of love turned ugly. Drugs meant money and with the drugs came violence and mistrust. People were disappearing and dying. I never was into drugs very much past the experimental stage. Maybe because they and always been available to me , maybe it's just my personality of wanting to stay aware. I started to move away from the scene. Intuitively I saw it wasn't fun any longer. I was ready to find the rest of me.

I fell hard for this guy. He was not part of any crowd. A new guy. I will never know the story. I just know I got caught in the middle of something I never really understood or was too naive to see. There were signs. Boy were there but I shrugged them off. Sometimes I got a cop vibe off him, other times the opposite. He was kind and gentle and caring with me. I was 18 and in love. One night there was a knock on our hotel room door. We were staying in a long term motel for his job. He had a phone call. He ran into the room and started tossing my things into a suitcase. After a wild "Streets of San Francisco" type ride he put me on a bus. Then he left the state. He was supposed to be back. Left his things behind with a friend. Then the friend disappeared.

I looked for both. I pushed pretty hard. Asked a lot of questions. Then I heard from friends that people on the street were not happy with my looking. One day a friend told me maybe I should go somewhere for a while. Things finally got hairier and I got really scared. The somewhere mentioned by my fried got a bit too real. I was at a dance and a guy came up to me. Said someone from the somewhere (clear across the country) my friend had mentioned wanted to meet me. I immediately thought trafficking although that wasn't a widely used word then but it describes what I feared. I grabbed my girlfriend and ran out. Never looked back. I pretty much kept a low profile for 17 years. I met and married my DH, had children and became the typical cookie baking, room mother, drive the kids to activities mom. Every so often I would still wonder what was really going on prior this stage of my life. So when the internet came along I would do a search now and then. I finally found a death notice for the guy I loved back then. I found it not too many years ago. He died a couple of months after leaving the state. The obit was just a few lines. Date of death, birth age in Miami. Listed as a highway accident. So I will never know.

There are only two living people who know my whole story, my DH and my best friend. The above is just a small part. Even their knowledge together has missing pieces.

An unrelated incident brought me out of my incognitoness. (made up word). My family was threatened. The police were useless and my past leaked out in a really weird life is stranger than fiction way. So I went "home" again. It was the right choice. I have been free of the old ghosts since. I'd had the same exact nightmare for almost 2 decades. Woke up in a sweat and uncontrollably shaking. After the right choice I had the same dream. The ending was a clarification and it never came back after that. Freedom. Loving every single minute.

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Lucille

My younger years were much like Watchme's. Consequences at times exceeded hers. But to this day, I cannot share details. I share this much to show that I believe many in this group have not had quiet sheltered lives, and a close look would reveal all sorts of diverse experience.

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ritaweeda

I did things way back when that make me shiver now. But times were different then and there's no way I would do those things again, but then I'm an old woman now. When we are young and strong we think we can fight our way out of a bad situation and anyway, we're too young to die yet, right? Many times when I hear horrible things on the news about someone who just wasn't thinking I shake my head and say "how stupid" until I stop and remember what I was like way back when. I was just very lucky.

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Debby

I didn't put myself in danger, my brother in law put me there. He offered to drive me home from his place then proceeded to drive in the wrong direction giving me excuses the whole way as to why we were going the wrong way. When we got to where he decided we were going, he tried to rape me. I was 18. I had no reason not to trust my sisters husband. HE put me there, not the other way around. I have never, and will never blame myself for something someone else did to me. I had every right to trust. He had no right to do what he did.


Why wouldn't the woman who disappeared trust the driver who police believe may have driven her somewhere? Why wouldn't anyone not trust the Uber driver or their cab driver or their bus driver? It's their job so you trust them. She had every right to do that. They did not have the right to break her trust.

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gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

I'm like ritaweeda.......the things I did in my youth without a second thought make me cringe now. Yes, it was a different time but I certainly put myself in situations that were risky then (and probably life threatening now!), believing the good in everyone and my own invincibility. Fortunately, I mananged to come through unscathed.

Debby, trust must be earned. I would never trust a complete stranger just because it was "their job" and especially with something like Lyft or Uber. There are stories all over the news about assaults or unwanted advances from these for-hire drivers. There is no uniform screening process and even background checks are hit or miss. All you need is a car and a drivers license and proof of insurance.....hardly more than paid htchhiking in my book!!

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Debby

gardengal48, it doesn't matter who the person is: doctor, lawyer, police officer, garbage man, grocery clerk: criminal records checks done by employers only show that the person who is having that done didn't get caught. It didn't mean they have never done anything illegal. I agree that trust is earned. But just because someone was given a clear to go sticker, doesn't mean they're innocent of anything. Just watch Forensic Files (I'm on season 5 - Netflix) and you'll see how many people in a very trusted field of work, should never have been trusted by anyone.

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dedtired

I went to NYC to meet up with a bunch of people I met on the internet. Lived to tell about it.

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blfenton

I was just damn lucky. I was about 25 and old enough to know better. I went to a party and was drinking. I woke up in the morning in my own bed and had no recollection as to how I got there. I went downstairs to discover that my car was parked askew in my parking stall and fortunately with no dents or scratches. I had driven home and had no memory of it. I still have no memory of the drive home. I probably told myself that I was fine and it wasn't far. Neither is an excuse.

That was the very last time I ever drank and drove.

My kids on the other hand, have had it pounded into them from the school and from us since they were in grade 8 about the hazards of drinking and driving. They took buses, cabs or had designated drivers and we always slipped them some cash for a cab. The parents, as a group, in our neighbourhood always made sure they were safe and there was never an accident or an issue.

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Olychick

Too many times to list when I was younger. I have always had a 6th sense about people, however, so really trust my "gut" about people and situations. It saved me a few times, I think, but I still cringe at how stupid I was sometimes. Ugh!

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bpath reads banned books too

Dedtired, that was probably the scariest thing I've done in awhile. Although the most dangerous part was probably driving to the airport at 5am. E most dangerous part for my husband was when he told me we had a 6am flight: I could have killed him.

When I was in high school, the shortest and easiest way to walk home was partially on the tracks. ON the tracks. ON THE TRACKS. For about a quarter mile or more. One day a girl I didn't know was walking a ways ahead of me, and she kept turning around to call to someone behind. I knew it wasn't me because, well, I didn't know her. Finally I turned around myself to see just who she was calling to, only to see a freight train bearing down, horn blaring. I hopped off the tracks like lightning!

Why didn't I hear it? Well, I couldn't hear the girl, either. I was such a dreamer then (then?) I could block out the world. Even a blaring freight train. The girl and I ended up walking together most days . . . Along the tracks . . . we got to be good friends.

Nowadays I worry about that freight engineer. He must have been frantic, yelling and praying that that stupid teenager would get off the damn tracks.

The other scary, I guess, thing I did was travel in Europe at 21 with a very loose itinerary. One day I was sitting in a cafe window, and realized that I would not know anyone who walked by, and none of them would know or care that I was there, and no one I knew had any idea I was there. Gave me kind of a funny empty feeling. Thereafter, I made more of a point to connect with someone, whatever city I was in. Chatting with a couple on a tour bus, or with someone in a museum. I mean, I always did this, but now I had an ulterior motive, Just in case something were to happen, someone might say "didn't we meet a girl fitting that description in Stockholm?"

I was in Amsterdam, just off the train. I'd stowed my duffel in a locker and stopped by the student accommodations agency for a list of options. A fellow, not Dutch, started talking to me in French and in English (he wasn't French, either). Asked where I was staying. I wouldn't engage. He started following me, talking the whole time. I saw a lot of British folks walking into one of those narrow passageways, so I got in the middle of a group and walked in with them, no idea what I'd find. The guy didn't follow me, but he hung around at the entrance.

well, the passageway led to a glorious court yard filled with daffodils, and at one end, THE Anglican Church in Amsterdam. Ancient, stone, out of a storybook. People were just milling around, mostly English, reading signs etc. I kept glancing back at the passageway and could see the guy peering in from time to time. After an hour or two I didn't see him, so when a group was walking out I got in the middle and walked with them. I may have mentioned my situation to someone, I don't recall. But I kind of walked with them for a long time while looking around. Never saw the guy again, thank goodness. The next day was Easter so I went back to that church for an English Easter service.

When our son traveled to Germany, Croatia, and England a few years ago, we had only occasional phone contact but we had his credit card text us every time it was used, so we knew where he was (like, he got to the hotel before the reception desk closed, or he was at the cafe at the airport so we know he'll make his flight). We weren't overly worried about him, although when his buddy he was visiting in London posted on FB "Hey, DS, where ARE you?" we had a nervous moment! Goofy guys, they'd agreed to meet at the airport but not WHERE at the airport. Guys, sheesh. How irresponsible lol.

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whatsayyou18

Well, this pales in comparison to some of the accounts above. I was one of those kids who knew if she broke any of the "rules", she'd not live to tell about it so I adhered closely (no regrets!).

However, at about 16 I answered an ad for a "model". I don't remember the details but it sounded rather low key. Someone who was looking for models to show their clothes for buyers or some such thing. I met the criteria and was asked to come in. Turned out to be a guy in an apartment by himself! I didn't tell my parents but at least had the sense to have a friend with me who was to wait in the car for an agreed amount of time before coming to look for me. There were no obvious creepy signs. I tried on a couple of things for him (regular clothes; no lingerie, etc.), left and that was the end. But....HOW STUPID OF ME!!

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jkayd_il5

I worked with a gal who was divorced with little money so her car was old and broke down a lot. She was going to visit her Mom two states away and her car broke down on the Interstate. This was before everyone had a cell.phone. A car load of teenaged boys came along and stopped to help her. She was a high school secretary so wasn't afraid of them. After looked under the hood they decided they knew what part she needed but they didnt have any money to buy it. She got in the car with them to go buy the part. On the way back one of them asked her if she was afraid and she said I guess I should be but I'm not. They didnt hurt her. I dont remember but I dont think they were able to fix her car. Boy did her family give it to her and so did I. She said she wouldn't do it again.

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Chi

Yes, in college. I was dating a man for a few months who was bi-polar, and arranged to stay at his home for my spring break from college. Our relationship was pretty normal until a few days before my dorms closed when he started acting very strangely. He called the dean at my school and reported me missing, and when I would call him, he would sound just...off. Come to find out, he had stopped taking his medication.

So, being young and naive and a bit dumb, I figured I had no where else to go for spring break, and I didn't have the money to fly home, so I still stayed at his place. It was very strange - he would just stare at me for hours on end not saying anything. Then one night at 2 am he woke me up and told me I had to leave then. He wouldn't let me get my clothes on, or get my stuff, or make a phone call, or get anything and he shoved me out the door at 2 am in a dangerous part of Chicago in my underwear. In February.

I didn't have a cell phone, or money, or anything, I was freezing and scared to leave to find help. He finally came back out and grabbed my hand and walked me around the block for an hour. I was crying, he didn't say a word and every once in a while he would just stop and stare at me. I finally persuaded him to let me back in and to get my stuff and as soon as it was light out, I left and never saw him again.

I cringe now at how I ignored all the warning signs and I'm very lucky nothing terrible happened to me, either by him or someone else.

Oh and when I was 16, I met a guy off of the internet when I was visiting Vegas. He was 38. It seemed so cool at the time but now I cringe. Adult me wants to arrest him for some of the things he did!

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Bookwoman

I grew up in NYC in the bad old days (I was a teenager in the '70s), and never did anything that my parents or I considered dangerous, although perhaps people who didn't live in NYC at the time might.

I took the public bus to and from school every day starting at age 10, and in high school my friends and I went all over the safer parts of the city by ourselves. It was paradise, despite the dirt: you could get $5 student rush tickets to see Broadway shows; I saw Nureyev and Fontaine dance Swan Lake; the museums were free to students, rents were reasonable.

I was never mugged, and the only bad thing I can remember happening was that a man once exposed himself to me on the bus when I was about 12. I was so naive that I didn't even know what I was looking at!

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eld6161

I did the average teen things. I think I cringe now thinking of all the times I hitchhiked while working at a camp in upstate NY. We had one day off and I (but usually with at least one other girl) would hitchhike to Woodstock.

There was a bar in the town where the camp was located. Counselors would walk into town on the dark road. More than once I decided to head back to the camp alone. Nothing happened but certainly could have.

Getting into relationships too quickly with many boyfriends during those years. I should have been more picky.

Riding the subway to do field work in relatively high crime areas. There was one job I had for the Agricultural Department's summer lunch program. We HAD to work in pairs as there was a homicide of one of the workers before they implemented the two people rule.

Fast forward to present tense. I have a busy road behind my house. I cross it daily on a walk with the dog. It seems traffic is more visible coming from my house over and if I do this loop, it is usually not an issue. When I reverse the loop, traffic is harder to see. On more than one occasion i have found myself scurrying a bit too quickly to get across. I have to remind myself to just be more mindful

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Alisande

I grew up in NYC without much sense of caution. I actually created some situations myself with my overactive sense of mischief. When I look back I find it rather amazing that I never got hurt. I was trusting, but those were different times.

I remember one funny hitchhiking experience. My girlfriends and I always "hitched" together. We preferred to ride with women and children (the women were trusting too!), but this time we got in the car with a rather scruffy-looking guy. There were four of us, so we figured we were safe. (This was before Richard Speck murdered the eight nursing students in Chicago.) I was in the front seat. We were all chatting when I happened to look down. The guy was driving barefoot, and he had the longest toenails I'd ever seen. They were grotesque. I said, "Okay, thanks. You can let us out on the corner." One of my friends started to say, "But this isn't . . . " and I interrupted her. "Yeah, this is where we're going." And we all got out. Whew!

I think one of the most dangerous things young women (and sometimes much older women) do is to relinquish all power when riding in a car driven by a male friend, lover, husband, whatever. When my granddaughter was in a terrible accident in 2011, I wrote about this in my blog. I was certainly a passive passenger when I was young. But not anymore.

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maifleur01

Only time I hitchhiked was with two girlfriends when the driver that was supposed to pick us up failed to show. The two guys that picked us up seemed harmless and perhaps they were. They offered us beer or soft drinks. I was not thirsty so although I opened mine I did not drink. All of a sudden my friends started voicing sexually aggressive things toward the men which was not normal for them. I looked down at my can and saw part of a hole in the seam where it was opened and knew that something had been added. My friends finally got the idea that they should not drink any more. I do not remember where we where dropped but it was not where we had been told we would be.

My parents knew all kinds of people some shady some not so I knew what to look for.

watchme's comment about the man who disappeared could have been the same man, also connected to law enforcement someway, that became engaged to one of the women I ran around with in college. He gave her a promise ring until he could afford an engagement ring. I had to tell her that the age he gave her with the information with being in a certain Olympics did not add up when we were standing in his apartment. I think it was wired because the next day when she went over her key did not work. In checking the landlord swore that the apartment had been vacant for months. The school had no record of him nor did the teacher of the classes that they took together which is how they met.

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Kathsgrdn

At first I thought, I'm glad I'm not alone, after reading these. But, then I realized I'm NOT glad. Too bad we live in a world that we can't be stupid at times in our lives and everything be okay. Abellabedella, I hadn't read anything like that about the Utah girl. It would make sense, though, as to why she was where she was.

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seniorgal

What, exactly, is a Sugar Baby? Of course I can make some guesses!

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watchmelol

What, exactly, is a Sugar Baby?

A sugar baby is the younger half of the relationship with a sugar daddy. A young woman who seeks relationships with older men. These days there are sugar dating websites to connect the older men with the younger women.

The claim is that it's not the same as prostitution because the women are more like mistresses being given gifts, sometimes housing and/or a generous "allowance".

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arkansas girl

Let's just say that I'm lucky to still be alive! Sheesh, I shutter to think of all the dumb things I did when I was young! Even when I wasn't so young! Argh!

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rob333 (zone 7a)

Recently. And I was stupid for doing it! Because, worse, my son was with me. Sigh. Age isn't making me smarter.

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eld6161

Rob, I so agree. The things we do!

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artemis_ma

I did some dumb things when I was young.

When I was six, my parents allowed me to walk the neighbor's dog. We were living in a NYC apartment and they lived across the hall. I got a quarter each time, but I did it so I could go outdoors rather than for the money.

No one asked where I walked their dog, a little white thing not much bigger than a cat. Nope, I didn't stay on the city streets, I took it into the woods by the Hudson River (which is now a parkway). Usually, unlike on the streets, there was no one around. The pooch had about as much chance of protecting me as I would have had myself. (I suspect the first few times I walked their dog it was around the block two or three times, and parents just simply assumed that would be what I'd continue to be doing.... Nope, their kid had an eye towards explorations.... and with a real FOREST - so I thought - a block away... there I went!) I did have it ingrained in me not to talk to strangers, but I was plenty shy anyway.

I hitch hiked once in college - it was raining and the rain had gotten harder, and I had 2 miles further to walk. That turned out okay, too. I had friends who hitched all the time. I just felt uncomfortable about doing it.

I did attend a Saturday class in lower Manhattan when I was living in CT - I took the train down and then the subway to some dodgy station down that way. Always tried to walk with crowds, but that wasn't always possible. Cabs didn't seem to exist there, and this was the 80's, no cells. Unfortunately I didn't want to appear "needy" so I was never comfortable in asking one of the guys in the class to walk me back (as they were headed in different directions).

Various other risky occasions, a couple not to write about - but the only times I actually got in (minor) trouble were more day-to-day -- being suddenly groped by a teenager at the Museum of Natural History when on a fifth or sixth grade school trip. Leaving the college biology lab in Indiana at 8 or 9 am one Saturday when I'd gone in to take care of my ongoing experiment - some dude coming up to me, seizing me and giving me an unexpected full-mouth kiss... me wishing I'd had the presence of mind to bite DOWN.


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OutsidePlaying

I have been thinking of all the stupid little things I did. The worst was probably driving home late at night after being out with friends when I was way too tired and got sleepy at the wheel. I had not been drinking, but had to sing along to the radio in my VW to stay awake. I had an over 30 minute drive to get home on some 2-lane lonely roads, and it’s amazing I didn’t drift off.

College seems like a blur and I am quite sure I went some places I shouldn’t have with some questionable people. And I somehow made it home without remembering how I got there a few times. I was always with some girls I knew though and it worked out. It seems like a different time then.

Alisande, something similar happened to a couple of my high school girlfriends. One was dating a guy who had brought a friend home from military school. She was calling some friends to go out on a double date. I was one she called but I couldn’t go. The unknown guy decided to speed, lost control and there was a bad crash. No one was killed but the other 3 had severe injuries. This was in ‘65 so the details are fuzzy but I think alcohol was involved with the driver. I don’t recall what happened to the driver but he was the least injured.

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quasifish

I grew up in a small, remote town in CA. Everyone seemed to know everyone else, and didn't trust strangers, so stranger distrust has always been strong for me.

Probably the worst choice I made was while working off hours at a big box retailer when I was 20. A storm came in around midnight and temperatures were dropping dramatically (this was not in CA). Employees were making decisions about whether they were going to stay put or take a chance and head home. I was tired and just wanted to go home. Wind chill was already -40 when I left. The drive was a few miles on a highway across open prairie and then the road split, continuing across the prairie and splitting into town to the left.

As I got further down the highway, visibility got much worse. Knowing I needed to go to the left, I drifted that direction, praying I wouldn't get hit or hit someone else (fortunately, most people were smart enough to stay off the roads). Finally when the snow was coming down so heavily there was no visibility through the windshield, I just stopped and prayed. When the snow cleared a few minutes later, the car was on the far right hand side of the road, next to an embankment. I thought I was on the far left hand side of the road. Had the car gone down the hill, no one would have found me until the snow cleared- and at those temps, there isn't any way I could have survived long. After a few more minutes, there was a decent break in the storm and I was able to navigate into the city area where visibility was fine since the flurries were broken up by structures. I was very lucky that night and should have just stayed at the store.

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nicole___

I have a LOT of scary stories. Doing stupid things does not have an age limit.

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yeonassky

I was somewhat of a shall we say wild child during the late 70s. I quickly came to my senses and began to seek a better life. I turned to meditation and they said no shenanigans and so I followed those rules and never looked back. Personally I think meditation saved my life much as some people think religion and God saves their lives

Sometimes I feel like I put myself at risk every time I take the dog for a walk on one of the trails by myself. One very memorable scary time is when virtually nobody was around and then all the sudden a fellow jumped out at me. He made some inane comment about my walking the dog and I said yes this is a lovely place to walk the dog and I continued along quite bravely. Then he who had walked in my direction but ahead of me of me jumped out of the bushes again. I smiled and nodded all casually and carried on. He followed behind me for a short ways then thank goodness abruptly turned around in the opposite direction and disappeared down the trail. For a few minutes I was quite shaken. It was scary but nothing happened. To put it in perspective of course. But boy was I happy to see people as three or four groups of people made their way past me.

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Kathsgrdn

The news in the city I work in has an article about a woman who was going to the ATM at 1:30 in the morning. It wasn't working so three strangers in a car offered her a ride to another ATM and so she got in the car with them and after getting her money they robbed her at gunpoint. She threw the money at them and fled and is okay, but what was she thinking?!

After thinking about it I did do some stupid things after the one I mentioned above. Just not stupid in the same way. I was stationed in Germany in my 20s and drove all over Germany and northern France volksmarching. Sometimes leaving my home with only a tank of gas and enough to pay for the walk and a little food. That's it. If my car broke down I was screwed. I used to walk in the forest behind my house. One day I went down the wrong path and got lost. What was supposed to be about an hour long walk turned into a 5 or 6 hour walk. I have a very active imagination so it was terrifying after awhile. I finally decided to keep walking straight out because I knew it eventually ended in farmland. Walked into a farmer's field with a man and his son (?) standing there staring at me. Probably thinking "stupid American". I asked them which way my town was and they pointed very far away and I almost cried. I can't remember now how long I was walking but I was exhausted and miserable by the time I got home. If they had offered me a ride I would have taken it, but they didn't. Oh, and since I was just going on a short walk,had no water or food with me.

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patriceny

Well, you can add me to the list of people who did something really stupid.

I was a junior or senior in college when this happened, so I suppose it goes with the age to some degree.

It was after midnight, and I decided to wash my car. When you're in your early 20s, midnight is just the start of the evening. Now about the only time I see midnight is if I'm up to use the bathroom - but back in my younger days I would go running really late in the evenings. That alone probably wasn't overly intelligent, but I stayed around campus and there were so many other people out that I never felt concerned.

However that evening I decided to go wash my car. The car wash was a few miles away, in a light industrial/commercial setting. As I pulled in I realized there wasn't a living soul within at least a mile of the location as it's deserted at night.

I pulled around back to drive into a self-wash bay, and noticed a scary black van with symbols painted all over it. To complete the picture was a scary looking guy vacuuming out the back of the van.

He 100% creeped me out. If I'd had any brains I would have left right then. But I was about 21 years old and nothing bad had ever really happened to me, so I told myself I was just being a big baby.

I put my money in the machine and started spraying my car. I positioned myself so that I could always see what he was doing. I decided if he even made a move in my direction I was jumping in the car and leaving.

I noticed that he was watching me.

I turned my back to put the wand back in the holder and when I turned around he wasn't at his van anymore. So I flew as fast as I could back into my car and when I looked up in the rear view mirror he was standing literally right up against my rear bumper. He was grinning like a maniac. As long as I live, I will never forget the rush of fear and utter sense of evil that washed over me.

I hit the lock button on the car and put it into gear and drove away shaking so badly it's a wonder I didn't wreck.

There was no one within a mile of us, no one would have ever heard me scream. I don't know what the he11 I was thinking that night, but I lucked out by milliseconds. I've tried hard to never be so stupid ever again.


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amicus

When I was 20, my roommate and I went on a vacation to the Cayman Islands. One day, a trio of 3 men beside us on the hotel's patio (they looked to be mid 40's) started chatting with us. The said they were childhood friends, and always went on a vacation together every few years, to go deep sea fishing. They said their wives went together the same week, to some other vacation destination.

They had rented a boat for the next day, and hoped to catch some 'big fish.' They said if we felt like getting offshore for half the day, we could meet them on the beach the next morning and join them. They explained that it could get pretty boring waiting for a bite, and being childhood friends who'd shared every story possible, they'd welcome some different conversation...but one laughed and added that we should feel free to bring something to read, in case we found them too boring.

We asked how their wives would feel about their invitation. All 3 said their wives wouldn't be upset, as they knew their husbands frequently invited a few people to join them, and that they implicitly trusted their wives as well. So we agreed to meet them on the beach the next morning, with our packed lunches and nothing else.

Just before we boarded the boat, one of them mentioned that the ride out to where they needed to go, could be pretty choppy. He offered us some Gravol, to avoid getting seasick, which we took. The pills looked 'normal' and it was back in '76, so we'd never heard of date rape drugs back then.

Indeed the ocean was pretty choppy on the long ride out to sea. About an hour after they stopped, I started feeling really sleepy. My roommate later told me she'd been captivated, watching one of the men struggle to reel in a large fish for about 20 minutes. When he finally landed it, she noticed I was nowhere to be seen. She was told that I'd almost nodded off in my seat, so had gone below deck to lie down for a while. My roommate said she went down, but I was asleep, so she went back up top.

Less than an hour later I awakened and rejoined everyone. Nothing was amiss, and I felt refreshed after my nap. Not long after, I watched a shark being caught and released, as it was deemed to be too young. When we returned to shore, the men were thrilled that one of them had landed a big fish that would be mounted and brought home. The next afternoon, we saw the men come back in, with 2 guys and a girl they'd apparently invited along, but no big fish. So my roommate and I were thrilled we'd been part of a successful deep sea fishing excursion!

But as a mature adult in today's world, I realize how bad things could have gone. In our naivety, we'd gone with 3 virtually strange men, out to sea. No one at the hotel would have known what happened if we'd disappeared, and certainly not our families back home. There weren't even any witnesses on the beach at 5 am, or on the hotel patio when we'd left with them. Although the Gravol just made me sleepy, it could easily have been a totally different pill. Even if the men really were 'happily married to implicitly trusting wives' we still could have been killed and just dumped overboard, way out at sea. No one knew we were on board and sharks would have eaten the evidence.

So my roommate and I were very, very fortunate that these truly were a trio of honorable men, who were at all times courteous and respectful to us. That still stands as the most foolish and potentially dangerous thing I ever did.

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