That was the rule in our house.
My mother repeated it all the time. “No matter when or where or who you’re with. Anytime….even at 3 AM….it doesn’t matter. If you call, I’ll be there. No questions asked.”
I listened….the way kids do, with the roll of my eyes, and nodded. “Okaaaay……I GET it.”
I didn’t really have any reason to take her up on it.
I was pretty resourceful and independent.
One evening I was out with an old boyfriend.
I hadn’t seen him in a while.
When he picked me up he drove like a maniac. Speeding around the single lane, curving cliff roads.
He scared me to death.
And to top it off when we got to the ‘party’ we were supposed to be going to, the house was empty.
I got mad.
“Take me home!” I demanded.
He just laughed. “If you want to go home,” he said, “You know the way!”
Then he did a few ‘lines’ and fell asleep.
I waited for him to sober up and take me home………finally I decided it was time to take my mother up on her oft repeated offer.
Now, remember, this was in the days before cell phones. As a matter of fact this was in the days of rotary phones!
Have you ever tried to quietly dial a rotary phone? Quickly?
It isn’t possible.
Here’s the funny part.
I didn’t want to wait in the house in case my ‘friend’ woke up. So I left the house and started walking home. But then I thought if he woke up and couldn’t find me he’d come looking for me. So I ducked behind some bushes.
Every car that went by I was paranoid it was him coming after me!
So here I was, crouching in some stranger’s yard, afraid that they might call the cops on me, thinking I was a prowler. Scared that my ‘friend’ might find me and do….who knows what….in the middle of the night.
I was beginning to think I had gotten myself into something that might not end well for the first time, when
down the road came a car and I hear a voice whispering…..”ROBIN! ROBIN!”
It was my mother to the rescue!
I ran to the car and got in; she looked me up and down and asked, “Are you alright?”
“I’m fine. Just scared”
And we went home.
True to her word she never asked me another question about it.
Not about what happened, or why I was hiding behind some random bushes.
Not a word.