Unsafe People: What I Wish I Had Known

Unsafe People: What I Wish I Had Known

Nice is Different Than Good When I was a kid in elementary, a piano tuner guy came over to tune our piano one afternoon and I remember my stepmother saying “Well, he sure wanted to get his hands on Elaine. He couldn’t keep his eyes off of her today.” I don’t remember even talking to him —and I didn’t know exactly what my stepmother meant—but I remember feeling excited that I was “wanted” by someone. I was desperate for attention from any parent figure at the time… there was a part of me that felt excited and a little scared to receive attention, even if I didn’t understand fully what it all meant. Looking back, I wish my stepmom or my dad had tried to explain that the piano tuner was not a safe or good guy, and that there were certain types of people to steer clear of or that if I felt creepy or weird, I should leave immediately. It all reminds me of Sondheim’s Into the Woods. I played Little Red, and the following lyrics she sings about her encounter with the Wolf are brilliant and so true: I Know Things Now “And I know things now. Many valuable things. That I hadn’t known before. Do not put your faith in a cape and a hood. They will not protect you the way that they should. And take extra care with strangers Even flowers have their dangers And though scary is exciting, Nice is different than good.” I wish we all learned this one in pre-school. Listen to Your Gut! When I was 14 or 15,...

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