I was running across the 2nd Avenue subway station yesterday evening, determined to make the 9:00 dinner time I scheduled with Chelsea. It was 9:02.

A man stopped me and asked me if I had 50 cents. I told him no. He then asked me for a dollar. I was thinking, why would I give you a dollar if I won't give you 50 cents? I mean, it's also a precautionary measure I take. I'm afraid if I do take the time to rummage through my purse for two quarters, the guy will have the opportunity to punch me in the face and steal my bag.

So I ignored his request and walked past him.

He then said, "Could your shorts be any shorter?"

I instantly looked back at him and replied, "Could you be any more desperate?"

He looked like he was going to hit me.

I just ran the hell out of the station.

It largely depends on where you go in the city, but overall, New York can be a pretty scary place. I don't know any self-defense besides watching The Karate Kid remake with Jackie Chan (you know, the basic put-on-your-jacket-take-off-your-jacket-drop-it-pick-it-up-hang-it-up technique). I did take a self defense class in high school, but Eleanor was double jointed and my wrist locks would never hurt her.

When it comes down to it, would I really be brave enough to kick an offender in the balls?

Maybe I just need to carry pepper spray.


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