A Series of Nevers vs. Violation of Ethics, aka Don't Lie About Peshawari Naan *UPDATE*

So here's what happened:  I just wanted roti canai. But on my way out of work I saw a car on the parkway, driver door open and person standing outside the car.  It's a dark curve with no shoulder - not a safe place to stop.  I slowed and rolled down my window to see if I could be of assistance; the person said everything was fine, so I kept going.

I went to the Asian market to get some frozen roti, and I left my purse in the car, which I never do. I put my wallet in my pocket and congratulated myself for being lighter.

I got really excited when I found a sign for Peshwari Naan, and then I got really tetchy when I dug through several rows of frozen bread and found none. You don't falsely claim to have Peshwari naan when there isn't any. That's just rude.

So I got the plain roti I'd come for. I went back to the car - my big ugly pink purse was gone.  The passenger window was still open, which is also something I never do. I could see it so clearly: who wouldn't swoop in and pick up those ginormous leather handles?  It wasn't a cute purse, but a huge canvas bag. With nothing of value in it - fuzzy slippers, The Art of War, reading glasses I just bought, and a vintage poster of Prince in the shower...there was no money, no credit.  Even my loose change was in my pocket.  The thief was going to be sorely disappointed.

The officer who came to take the report was cute, looked 15, and didn't infer any eyeroll as I enumerated the shady contents. Thankfully my Mongolian Sheep Knee was safely at home.

All the lectures started marching through my brain:

You should have brought the purse with you
you should have remembered to roll up the window
you should have just gone home
you didn't have to be out drinking
you shouldn't have been trying to hang with the guys

...you were asking for it.

Just stop - I can hear the protest from here. Is there a difference, really, though? Violation is violation, and I am quite familiar with many kinds, thank you. 
We give up something when a decision is made. - Joe Manion
Staying home in the safe zone, dressing modestly, and only going out with approved males from your mahram is not guaranteed to keep you safe. You could still get hit by a bus. Or your brother could be hit by the bus, leaving you unprotected and fair game to rapists. Incidentally, these rules are pretty exclusively pointed at females, even though male persons can also be robbed, raped, or dressed inappropriately.

You have to make a decision. You can decide to play it safe and cloistered, or you can take calculated action. You can check your surroundings and make sure you remembered to roll up  your window before you lock your car.
When a person decides to reach into a car and take a purse that isn't theirs, or throttle a person who doesn't want to be intimate, they are also making a choice. Nobody forced them to violate any code of decency. It is never about the victim. Remember that.

*UPDATE* A lovely lady named Sarah found my purse and contacted me. Her husband had found my bag among the cars in the parking area, about 15 minutes drive from where the bag was lifted. Sarah patiently talked me through her apartment complex until I found her with the Mauve Big Ugly. And she LET ME HUG HER. Yay, Sarah :)  SUPER-alhamdulillah!

The only thing missing from my miscellany was my square bushmill's shot glass.


  1. The only person in your life you really have any control over is yourself, but you ARE responsible for your own decisions. Watching the open confirmation testimony yesterday turned my stomach in at least three major ways. We have WAY too many "leaders" out there right now victimizing us all, and not even covertly. Humanity is not a pretty picture right now. The main issue wasn't even about blaming the victim. The issue was privilege. And entitlement. And bullying. AND our future. America, please wake up and vote for leaders and adults in November. Vote for leaders who at least KNOW when they have done wrong. Not for scumbags that live for what they can weasel out of others and then excuse themselves because they are weak, pathetic and delusional. It's not about placating the victim later, either, when they come forward to hold you responsible. When the little boy cries out to the entire parade, "the Emperor has no clothes!" It's not about excuses and convincing oneself that it never happened. We HAVE to find a better caliber of leaders.


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