I'm Lindsay Ferrier, a Nashville wife and mother with a passion for family travel, (mostly) healthy cooking, exploring Tennessee, and raising kids without losing my mind in the process. This is where I share my discoveries with you, along with occasional deep thoughts, pop culture tangents and a sprinkling of snark.
August 24, 2018
Yesterday, I picked up my kids from school and headed over to Books-A-Million, where we often go for frozen hot chocolate and reading time. On the way over, I talked to them about a Facebook post I had read the day before — In that same shopping center parking lot, two men had approached a woman as she got into her car. While one of the men distracted her, the other tried to open her passenger-side door. Luckily, she had locked it after she’d gotten in and she managed to get away unharmed.
“I’m telling you this because this is a parking lot where we’re not going to lollygag,” I told them. “We are going to wait to get out of the car until everyone’s ready and we are going to walk quickly to the store without dawdling.” Honestly, I’ve had this conversation with my kids many times over the years — I can’t count the number of times I’ve gotten out of the car only to discover that my son has inexplicably taken off his sneakers in the backseat and needs to put them on and lace them up again before we can go inside. Or my daughter can’t find her cell phone. Or someone wants to take one last sip of their drink or finish a snack. Whatever. It wouldn’t be happening at Nashville West anymore, that was for sure.
Once we arrived, they did as they were told and we all walked in quickly together. I had to park a little farther away from the store than I would have liked, but I wasn’t really concerned because I figured all the incidents I’d read about were happening at night. Little did I know what was coming next. Here’s what I wrote on Facebook when I got home from the bookstore yesterday afternoon.
And here’s the Facebook post I reread as soon as I got home:
Obviously, I don’t know for sure that what happened to me was related to this other incident — but there were some definite similarities that made me pause. I decided to call Metro’s non-emergency number and report it in the event that the two were related and two officers were sent to our house last night to get the details. They didn’t write an official report because no crime was actually committed in my case, but they did seem concerned and promised they’d share the information with the other officers in their precinct at the next roll call.
I shared the information on Facebook because everyone I know shops at this particular outdoor mall and I want personal safety to be on all of our minds when we’re parking there, or really, anywhere. When this happened to me yesterday, I stayed pretty calm and was able to quickly decide how to handle it because it was something I had already been thinking about that afternoon. My kids were upset when I came back inside the bookstore and told them what had happened, but I’m glad they were with me because I think they learned a valuable lesson in how to handle this kind of situation, which sadly, will likely happen to my daughter at some point, just as it has probably happened to you.
I’m sure there are far more incidents like this that go unreported, so I want to encourage all of you to speak out when something like this happens. I know all too well that feeling of not wanting to cause a fuss or make a scene, but I was concerned about the store’s female employees and other customers using the lot outside, so I felt compelled to tell them what had happened. The Books-A-Million staff took me very seriously and immediately contacted security, which showed up within minutes to find out what had happened. They also kept a lookout to make sure the guy didn’t come back and a manager walked us to our car when we left.
Some people have commented that they won’t shop at Nashville West anymore and that’s upsetting to me. By and large, I think Nashville West is a safe place. It makes me mad that a few bad people can keep a woman from her Target run. That’s not right. I will definitely shop there again, but I had already decided not to shop there at night without my husband and after this latest incident, I will always park in the front row, closest to the storefronts.
I don’t want to get preachy, but since I’ve shared these things with my daughter, I might as well share them with you, too:
We can talk about personal safety devices, but that’s a matter of individual preference and I won’t get into that here. In the meantime, I think this is a good start. If you have kids, please talk to them about these things — I’m hoping my children develop some safety habits in the wake of this experience that they’ll carry with them for the rest of their lives. My daughter asked last night to take a self defense class and while I hate that this is on her mind, if it helps her to take her safety more seriously, then at least something positive will come out of this bad experience.