This week I went to the post office with my partner and our baby to submit the baby's passport application. Happy to report the baby's passport photos that I had taken at CVS were accepted.
While I was in line waiting for my appointment, I noticed a man in front of me holding three iced coffees in a tray. When he was called up to the window, he asked for the woman with black hair who had helped him with his passport application yesterday. He had brought these coffees for her as a sign of his appreciation.
The employee who was helping him went to get her colleague and this latter one seemed very pleased and thankful for the gesture. As the interaction was happening, I felt equal parts paranoid and moved. My heart warmed about how this man went out of his way to return the next day to express his appreciation via coffee. And my paranoia also made me think, what if the coffee is poisoned? Would I drink coffee brought to me by a virtual stranger? Weirder crimes have surely happened somewhere sometime. Better be safe than dead.
It seems to me that this paranoia is perhaps one of the aftereffects of motherhood. Prior to becoming a mother, I used to see the world with rosy glasses most of the time. Everyone is kind, people can do no wrong, I thought, whereas now, I can see potential threats to my safety and that of my family even in innocuous interactions.
I asked my partner whether he would drink coffee from a stranger in a similar situation, and he logically concluded that since the woman had processed his passport just the day before, giving her poisoned coffee would be a fast-track ticket to a life in prison, and therefore, the risk was minimal in this case. Thankfully, I have someone in my life whom I trust to help check my paranoia!
Discussion Questions: 1) Have you ever noticed yourself having irrational fears? 2) What are some things you can do to bring yourself out of these types of fears?