To the Lady Who Didn’t Help Me (or My Kid) in the Parking Garage

A fsrhnninzb
rant. A true rant. I wanted to rant along! This comes to us from a mom who identifies herself as “The Non-Murderer.”
Dear Free-Range Kids: So I had a crazy afternoon that thankfully ended well, but once I was in a calm place, I had to ask myself, “What would Lenore think of this?” That, and “What’s wrong with the world?”Please excuse the ranting tone:
Dear lady in the hotel parking garage,

I’m the one who called out to you, panicked, in the garage.  I claimed to have locked myself out of my car, while a baby was locked inside. Of course, you had every reason to question my motives. I am a young female who was trembling with panic and alone in a parking garage, so why wouldn’t you assume that I’m likely to be a murderer? I bore every hallmark of a serial killer, so it was wise to deny me help or reassurance, and to run away from me as quickly as you can. Your advice to abandon my car, with a hysterically screaming baby in it, unattended in a garage, so that I could go up several floors to find a security guard on my own, was very sound advice indeed… especially from someone who is as safety minded as you are. It would have been very responsible and safe to leave my kid there, in a garage you believe to be crime ridden.
I know you heard me call you a “bleeping bleep” as you pedaled away on your bike, but I don’t think you cared too much, so long as you were safe from creepy, lurking young women rambling about babies. You seemed to have had only a slight change of heart when you heard me starting to cry and call out for help from someone–anyone–but of course, this could have been just part of my ploy to lure you into my car, so it’s good that you kept considerable distance from me. I heard you making a phone call from your car, on the other side of the lot. You were calling security asking them to come over to me–thanks at least for that, though I wonder whether you were calling them because you genuinely wanted to help, or just to report suspicious activity in section h4. I heard you give a physical description of me, and I also heard you say the words, “You might want to send someone down here just in case there really is a baby in that car.”
Because that’s rational. You could be 99.9% sure that there probably wasn’t a baby and I probably just wanted to kill you. But you simply couldn’t live with yourself if I turned out to be the rare 0.1% of people who are honest and just need help. So thanks for calling security, “just in case,” because as it turns out, I really am an anomaly. I was actually terrified of being alone in a creepy garage for the same reasons you were, though to be fair you didn’t have a screaming toddler causing you distress, and you had access to a car and a phone and could have driven over to me with your doors locked and talked to me through a cracked window while calling the police on my behalf, if you really did want to be cautious. You could have even driven away from me if it turned out I was a dangerous or even suspect person. You didn’t even answer me when I shouted to you from across the lot, begging for help or at least to tell me who you just got off the phone with. You very wisely looked in my direction, looked away, got in your car, and then drove off in the wrong direction on a one way street so as to avoid passing me, leaving a fellow young woman and (a small child who you couldn’t be sure even existed) alone in a parking garage with no phone, no car, no option to leave, and no way of helping her child. You clearly thought this garage was not a safe place and didn’t seem concerned that I could get raped or murdered, too.  So long as you were safe.
Now, it was tremendously gracious of you to drive by to view the situation up close once you saw that security had arrived. Why wouldn’t I, now with tears all over my face and a baby still screaming in the car, be interested in hearing that your family works for the police department and you’ve just heard too many stories to not be cautious? Your lack of compassion or apology upon realizing that I truly was in distress and that there was, still, a baby locked in the car and his mommy who cares about him really was worked up, was a different reaction than mine would have been had our roles been reversed. Then again, I did call you a “bleeping bleep.”
The non-murderer who actually just needed to use your phone (and by the way, was also raised by a mother who worked for years in the criminal justice system and probably has seen worse than the average police detective does in a career, and she would have called you a “bleeping bleep,” too)
P.S. The baby’s fine, thanks for not even asking.

83 Responses to To the Lady Who Didn’t Help Me (or My Kid) in the Parking Garage

  1. Really Bad Mum March 22, 2014 at 11:05 am #

    This is bloody unbelievable!!!! I can’t get over the fact she had the nerve to come back, all she had to do was say ‘ I will call security for you’. One day it will be her in a crisis and I bet she will expect every Tom, Dick and Harry to drop everything and help.
    Oh I wanna be there when karma a***f***s her with a cactus.

  2. Pam March 22, 2014 at 11:06 am #

    Not to discount your entirely justified rant, but this does seem to fall under the “some people are complete and total jerks” category. I think that most people would have helped you out — I certainly would have, by at least calling someone or letting you use my phone — so don’t let this experience sour you on all humanity.

    On a side note, you could have called your insurance company (or had someone call for you) to help you with a lockout. I have Farmers Insurance, and their roadside help number is 1-800-FARM-TOW. They’re real polite, too, and call you back to make sure the tow truck arrived. (And no, I don’t work for them.) This would have at least calmed you down a bit, knowing that help was on the way.

  3. Really Bad Mum March 22, 2014 at 11:07 am #

    @ Pam, her phone was in the car too…

  4. johnny rock March 22, 2014 at 11:08 am #

    This is ridiculous. This is your problem that you weren’t prepared. Spare key? Just break the window maybe? Give me a break – that stranger didn’t owe you anything.

  5. delurking March 22, 2014 at 11:09 am #

    The writer comes across as a lunatic. The story isn’t even plausible. The unknown woman pedaled away on her bike (and got called a “bleeping bleep”), to the other side of the parking lot, then got into her car, then made a phone call to security. The crying woman heard the unknown woman call security and say “You might want to send someone down here just in case there really is a baby in that car.” Really, from inside a car across a parking lot? Then the crying woman begged the unknown woman to tell her who she got off the phone with? Then the unknown woman drove off the wrong way down a one way street. Then she came back. Something is wrong with this narrative, and I suspect it is the author.

    Anyone, if you call someone a “bleeping bleep” within a few seconds of meeting them, don’t expect a lot of courtesy in response.

  6. Really Bad Mum March 22, 2014 at 11:12 am #

    @ Johnny Rock, so you have never forgotten anything or lost something or even panicked and not been able to think of alternatives? Must be nice to be psychic

  7. Really Bad Mum March 22, 2014 at 11:19 am #

    @ delurking, the car may have had a bike rack, I’ve seen parents drive to school pick up get 3/4 bikes from the car and go biking after the kids got out of school, and I would be going crazy too, scared s***less I was going to be arrested for child endangerment or abandonment.

  8. Jake March 22, 2014 at 11:31 am #

    Welcome to big city. People are a**holes.

    I lived for 6 years in rural South Dakota. If someone broke down on the side of the road, you stopped to help them. Why? Because if you didn’t, there is a likely possibility they could die. Especially in winter. Go off the road into a ditch below freezing, and you might not survive the night. The chance that the person flagging you down because they skidded on ice is a murderer isn’t normally a thought.

    Now I live in Chicagoland. I still stop to help dig people out of snow drifts. I am the odd man out. Most people see someone skidded into a drift, and they just drive around.

    I truly feel a bad for you. This woman has had the very humanity sucked from her soul, that she could see a crying, hysterical person, in obviously in distress, and turn her back and walk away. The comments above that “this woman didn’t owe you anything” are ludicrous. It’s not about owing somebody something. It’s being a compassionate human being. In Judaism, its called Tikkun Olam (Trans: healing the world), and it is the belief in a shared moral responsibility to make the world a better place. And that starts with helping people in need. Help isn’t just a duty for First Responders, but for all of us.

  9. delurking March 22, 2014 at 11:37 am #

    @Really Bad Mum

    OK, she has a bike rack.

    What about hearing the phone conversation from across the lot, and then shouting across the lot and begging to be told about the conversation?

    Look, the author comes across as a lunatic in something she wrote after the whole affair was over. How do you think she sounded at the time?

  10. backroads March 22, 2014 at 12:06 pm #

    Eh, I buy the story. Parking garages are often smallish and they echo. This is all plausible. I might get hysterical if I locked my baby in the car and we don’t know how long she was there. Hysteria happens. You can tell her all day she should have been prepared but that doesn’t excuse not helping someone in need.

    I really hope that woman felt bad later.

    And of course had yhecwriter gone for security herself (you do what you must!) she would have been condemned for leaving her kid in the car.

  11. Andrea March 22, 2014 at 12:22 pm #

    Yup, this definitely falls in to the category of “some people are jerks,” but it is also the reason why the argument that ‘the world is less safe that it used to be’ might hold a little water. Not because any increase in crime or accidents, but because people have become so scared that they don’t help each other like they used to.

    It’s hard to send one’s child out “into the world” when the world feels like such a cold, soulless place, thanks in large part like the woman in this story who was unwilling to help. Whether she was right or wrong not to do so, it has created a culture where we feel less safe than we used to, because we’re all irrationally afraid of each another. It has also created a culture where we believe there if is no legal obligation or requirement to help a stranger, then there is no reason help to help a stranger, let alone have a shred of compassion. The result: a country of jerks and a-holes.

  12. Really Bad Mum March 22, 2014 at 12:34 pm #

    @delurking, I get what your saying, I am giving her the benefit of the doubt because I have been in situations that when you tell people later it sound either ridiculous or completely impossible. It’s not my place to say if it happened or not, a story was told it is plausible enough except minor details that if you where panicked you may exaggerate or forget, I locked my child in the house by himself and had to walk up and down the street finding a neighbour who was home to borrow a ph to ring property manager for spare key while my 6 yr old stood by the window so I could know if he woke up and tried to escape his cot, all because the front door lock was broken and since it was owned a big mining company they took their sweet time approving the repairs.

  13. delurking March 22, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

    I’m sorry, Unknown Woman in this story DID help. She called security, who apparently arrived reasonably quickly. The complaint is that she wasn’t emotionally supportive enough to a person who called her a “bleeping bleep” when her first reaction to Crying Woman’s hysteria wasn’t deemed appropriate by Crying Woman herself.

    Crying Woman ends her story with “my mom would have called you a ‘bleeping bleep’ too”. What type of person is she?

  14. easy March 22, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

    Interesting post, since other one’s have supported parents who leave their kids alone in a parked car – which also would have diced the problem.

  15. Really Bad Mum March 22, 2014 at 1:24 pm #

    She call security after she was called a name and it was more likely for them to save her from the ‘ lady trying to lure her to her doom’ – “You might want to send someone down here just in case there really is a baby in that car.” She deserved to be called whatever bleep is. She would most prob be the sort that after telling the mother to go up to security woul then ring the cops on her for leaving her kid alone in the car. She was rude to someone in distress, she was callous and selfish. She may be a nice person who made a mistake in manners and helping others but her actions in this situation were disgusting.

  16. delurking March 22, 2014 at 1:40 pm #

    Wow, Really Bad Mum, I am astonished that you can read that rant and find the author’s story more plausible than the much simpler explanation that Unknown Woman couldn’t figure out what was up with Crying Woman so she called security. Seriously, the details don’t add up to a coherent story, and yet every single detail is tailored to make Unknown Woman look worse. And you twisted the order of events around to justify her being cursed at.

    Crying Woman wrote this rant after the episode was over, and she comes across as a lunatic even in this rant. Is it really so implausible that Unknown Woman couldn’t understand her?

    It isn’t as if Unknown Woman could have done anything about the locked car except call security anyway. Her presence would have made absolutely no difference to anyone’s safety. She just chose not to stand next to some incoherent woman who had cursed at her.

  17. Really Bad Mum March 22, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

    Delurking, that’s your opinion, I think we should just agree to disagree.

  18. delurking March 22, 2014 at 2:15 pm #

    Sure, we can disagree, though I’m not even sure what we are disagreeing about. Do you disagree that Unknown Woman couldn’t have done anything about the locked car? Do you disagree that you are criticizing her for not providing emotional support to Crying Woman?

  19. Really Bad Mum March 22, 2014 at 3:00 pm #

    Delurking, you want to keep going fine!
    First yes she could have done something, like offer to go get security so the mother could stay with the child, or she simply could have told the hysterical mother that she would call for help, but she didn’t she couldn’t get away fast enough, then after being cursed at by someone who she couldn’t be bothered helping she goes crying to security… So f*** her.
    Emotional support??? The mother was asking for a f***ing phone or for her to notify security, not emotional support, instead the unknown women- ‘You didn’t even answer me when I shouted to you from across the lot, begging for help or at least to tell me who you just got off the phone with. You very wisely looked in my direction, looked away, got in your car, and then drove off in the wrong direction on a one way street so as to avoid passing me’ a simple ‘I rang security for you ‘ is obviously too much emotional support for someone in need of help for you and her.
    And how dare the mother get upset that her child is locked in the car and distressed, the unknown women’s feelings about get called names is so much more important.
    So yeah I disagree with you, I am allowed to you know.

  20. delurking March 22, 2014 at 3:53 pm #

    Well, you are reading one side of the story, and taking the details as accurate when they obviously cannot be. What if we found Unknown Woman and asked her, and she said “Some incoherent woman was yelling and cursing at me in a parking lot. It freaked me out, so I called security, but I was worried about the woman so I stuck around long enough to make sure they showed up.”?

    In my experience the overwhelming majority of people are good. Therefore, I assume people act with good intentions. Crying Woman’s story is remarkably thin on details about what she herself said and did, yet packed with so many unjustifiable assumptions about the woman she is criticizing and so many implausible factual statements that it strikes me as quite presumptuous to blame Unknown Woman for much.

    From your own posts, you believe Crying Woman knew Unknown Woman called security, since you believe she heard the phone conversation from across the lot. Yet, you curse at her for not calling security, or something.

  21. anon March 22, 2014 at 4:07 pm #

    Johnny rock, do you carry a spare key and a crowbar on your person at all times?

  22. Amy March 22, 2014 at 4:36 pm #

    Before I had kids, I stopped for everyone I saw who needed help – including picking up hitchhikers and stray dogs – because I live in Indiana and that’s just how we roll here.

    Now that I have kids, putting myself at risk puts them at risk. I am not willing to risk my kids growing up motherless because I picked up a murderous hitchhiker. I am not willing to put them in the car with an unknown and possibly dangerous dog.

    I now do exactly what the “Bleeping Bleep” did in this situation – I call for help from a distance and go on my way, because my kids’ safety and their need for a mother who is alive and safe is more important than whatever some stranger’s need happens to be.

    I know more than one woman who has been raped in a parking lot or garage. This woman had no idea if you were legitimately in trouble, or if you were trying to lure her into some kind of trap. She did what she could do for you while protecting herself. If she had just gone on without calling security for you, I could understand your anger, but she DID help you. I assume that security came and got your car unlocked, and you and your baby lived happily ever after.

    Most parking garages have emergency phones throughout. You could have left the car long enough to call for help, then returned. If you can’t get in, neither can anyone else, and a baby isn’t going to put the car in gear and take off. Panicking rarely helps any situation. It just makes people, like the Bleeping Bleep, think you’re dangerous and therefore they’re less likely to help you.

    In the future, I hope you will learn to deal with emergencies calmly. You’re not going to be any help to your child if you panic when he breaks his arm, wrecks the car, fails a test, or whatever. You can panic later, if you must, but you need to learn to get your head on straight and deal with life as a functional adult. You’re the mom now, you can’t get the vapors when your child is looking to you to keep him safe.

    And to bring it back to Free Range Parenting, maybe if your parents had been free range you would trust yourself to handle emergencies, and you would have the experience to know that freaking out does no one any good.

  23. steve March 22, 2014 at 5:07 pm #

    If you’re uncertain about a person’s emotional stability, that’s a primary reason most people would think twice before getting involved. Then when the unstable woman yells and calls you a “bleeping bleep,” it confirms your hunch that you were right to avoid direct interaction.


    A crying baby in a locked car inside a parking garage is, from my Free Range point of view, a safe child. The mother, however, needs some counseling, at the very least. She was far too easily triggered.

    She did NOT say she had asked lots of other people to help and they all refused. The fact that this mother wrote such a lengthy rant and exposed so much about herself suggests that her life is perhaps a roller-coaster of negative emotions and fear on a daily basis. But that’s life for many people, unfortunately.

  24. J.T. Wenting March 22, 2014 at 5:16 pm #

    sorry, someone screams at me to help them break into a car isn’t going to get my help, baby or no baby.

    Don’t want to end up being accused of aiding in a car theft, especially one combined with a child abduction…

    If she’s really the owner of the car, and really locked her child inside with the keys, she can get to security on her own and they’ll help her. Child won’t mind if she steps away from the vehicle for a few minutes to get help.
    And she’d have the car open a lot quicker than standing there waiting for random strangers to pass by and offer their help in what to anyone else would seem a highly suspicious situation.

  25. Michelle March 22, 2014 at 5:30 pm #

    We don’t know anything about Other Woman, except that she DID apparently call security. She got help for the frantic screaming woman with the baby (or toddler — it changes a couple of times in her rant) locked in her car. Honestly, I don’t believe that she “owed” the woman even that much. It was a nice thing to do, but the frantic woman wasn’t in immediate danger and I’m assuming that if the baby was in a carseat he/she wasn’t in immediate danger. (I’m also assuming that if the baby wasn’t strapped in, that would’ve been part of the rant.)

    The mom who wrote this really needs to take a deep breath and calm down. What is she going to do if there ever is a serious emergency with her child and she’s the only adult there to handle it?

  26. Cassie March 22, 2014 at 5:54 pm #

    This post and these comments make me so glad I do not live in the US.

    People still help each other here at least.

    As for the comments about her sounding like a lunatic… of course she does, and the rant is reflective of her feelings. I am a normal sane person but the mother-bear comes out when something stops me from accessing my children. My job in life is to raise and protect them (yes, even free-range mums protect their children), when the choice is taken away from me I lose my shit.

    As for conflicting stories… normal in this situation, surely you have seen those setups where they ask witnesses to describe events and they all give conflicting stories…

    And yes… we get the other woman had all her own issues (maybe she was mugged in a car park by a young women, I don’t know) the rant still stands. It is okay to rant and not have to assume that the other party is the 0.01% of people who act like jerks for legitimate reasons.

  27. backroads March 22, 2014 at 6:33 pm #

    I’m sorry, but I cant fond anything in the rant to backup the idea the Non Murderer was acting like a screaming lunatic. She was trembling with panic and tears on her face. Yes, I get this is one side, but I see no justification for the assumption she was terrifyingly hysterical. She was in all likelihood a nervous young mother getting emotional. Why make up things that weren’t inthe text?

  28. SKL March 22, 2014 at 7:29 pm #

    What this tells me is that some people’s instincts have been completely annihilated by . . . something.

    I would have gone to the security myself, though. Yes, it would be scary but the chances of anyone wanting to bother the screaming baby would be probably even less than the chance that someone saying “help me” was actually a creep.

  29. Kimberly Herbert March 22, 2014 at 10:01 pm #

    The mom in this case needs to get a grip. She sounds like a special snowflake who expects the world to stop for her. If she had stayed calm and asked for help, she probably would have gotten the help.

    I wouldn’t go near a hysterical woman ranting about a child in the car. I would keep my distance and call for help, because I have no idea of how to either break into a car or break the window. In a garage, that would probably mean I leave to get good reception. Everyone should have towing on their insurance. In most cases that would include sending a locksmith to rescue a child – most do that for free at least here in the subtropics.

    People need to learn to keep their heads and handle emergencies – especially if they are going to have kids. Sis has saved 3 choking kids in restaurants. 1 was my niece. The other 2 strangers, who’s parents were screaming my baby is choking my baby is choking.

  30. SOA March 22, 2014 at 11:28 pm #

    Honestly I think this is a stretch. That woman may have been having her own problems and been in a hurry and did not have time to stop. Or she was afraid it was a scam to rob her or assault her, which unfortunately there are cases of man/woman criminal teams.

    She did call security for you and that was about all she could do. She was not capable of opening your car anymore than you were. So calling the police or security is all she could do anyway the difference is she called them from a safe distance instead of coming over to you. But the point was she still called them.

    I was broke down on the side of the road many years ago with no cell phone. I stood on the highway and tried to wave down passing cars. Nobody stopped for me but someone did take the time to call the police and tell them to come help me and they arrived moments later. I was not butthurt that person did not stop themselves. Maybe they were late for work or had 10 crying kids in the car or a 100 reasons. I was just happy they took the effort to call and get someone who is paid to help me, ie police.

  31. Maria March 23, 2014 at 12:00 am #

    I locked my keys in the car with my baby once. This was 13 years ago, and I didn’t have a cell phone. I wasn’t about to leave my car with the baby in it, but I stopped a lady who had a phone. She was nice and let me call AAA, who came within 5 minutes. This happens often enough that they have a protocol for kids locked in cars. I did get my first phone after that.

    I don’t know anyone who carries two sets of keys with them. What would be the point of that? Both sets could end up locked in the car and you’d be really sol.

  32. SOA March 23, 2014 at 12:14 am #

    They do make those key holders that have magnets on them you stick under your bumper in case you get locked out. I know when I bought one of my cars they gave me a little thing about the size of a credit card that has a key on it that will work just to open the doors. There are ways to plan around locking yourself out.

    But the main thing is what did she honestly expect this woman to do. Stay there and hold her hand? She called help for her. I think she even was sticking around to make sure help did indeed arrive. She may have been kinda brusque but that’s life. I act kinda brusque too when I am caught off guard like something like this. Throws off my mojo.

  33. lena March 23, 2014 at 1:18 am #

    my mom had a large van; it was cheap and she could drive me and my friends to activities, field trips, etc- we could even take a nap reasonably comfortably.

    BUT there were at least 5 different occasions when i saw a single woman with kids screaming and crying for help. One time i actually asked my mom “should you give that woman a ride someplace? we have allot of room.”

    My mom said “no. I’m in a hurry and you never know about these people.” I was in elementary school.

    That idea was ingrained in to my heart; you never know.

    A week ago i was at a movie theater as a blind girl (maybe between 20 and 30 yearsold) asked “is this the 3rd row?” i was not paying attention and said “what?” and she muttered “fine… never mind… ” she seemed to get upset very easily.

    later i was in the bathroom and i heard her enter. then scream. she had hit the sink so hard with her cane she broke it. She was now crying and screaming for help. I ran. — i felt ashamed but i ran, went back to my movie and changed my seat (because she was seeing the same movie and might have made contact again…).
    I’m a coward- that is how i was raised.

    This is why 1. i believe the story as posted and 2. i can see why the unknown woman didn’t help– maybe she was raised to be a coward. it’s compleatly possible. we cannot fix how we are raised.

    maybe a miricle will happen and she will be fixed. maybe not.

  34. Ravana March 23, 2014 at 1:26 am #

    Dear woman who locked her baby in the car,

    How the heck do you lock your keys in your car in this day and age? You haven’t been able to get purely mechanical door locks on a car for at least 15 years, and now with the RFID chipped keys you can’t even leave a spare in the glove compartment and lock the door with the second one. So I’m picturing someone having an insane meltdown by some hooptie car.

    I too would have walked past you without making eye contact and called security to come down and help (which the lady did–you are welcome–oh, wait, you didn’t say thank you for that, you got insulted that she thought you were a lunatic just because you were behaving like one.) Now, if I didn’t have someplace I needed to be I’d have probably sat in my car with it running (running in case you came charging at me speaking in tongues and I needed to make a quick getaway) and waited to see that security came down to help you. I’d have also given them a heads up that you were quite possibly off your meds so that they’d know to send two guards down and approach you with extra care. Understand, I wouldn’t be waiting to make sure you or your phantom baby were okay, I’d be waiting to make sure the guards were and that I didn’t have to call 911 to come rescue them. Perhaps, if you find yourself in a bad situation in the future you might try remaining calm and rational. You’d be amazed how many people will stop and help you then.

  35. SKL March 23, 2014 at 1:45 am #

    I don’t get flustered easily, especially when there is a real problem to solve. I would have acted differently from both of the women in this story. If I were Ms. Bleeping Bleep I would have locked myself in my car, driven next to Ms. Screamy, and called security. I don’t know how warm and friendly I would have been after being called Bleeping Bleep, but at least I’d give her the feeling of safety in numbers, because it sounds like this parking garage wasn’t a very safe place to be alone in.

  36. bmommyx2 March 23, 2014 at 3:43 am #


  37. Donna March 23, 2014 at 8:04 am #

    Ravana –

    Since all doors can be locked with the mere touch of button on the door or key, it is extremely easy to lock your keys in the car. I’ve accidently hit the door-lock button without realizing it while hopping out of the car to run into the house for a second, shut the door that I didn’t know was locked with the keys still in the ignition and locked myself out of the car. And no I don’t drive a hooptie.

    So, yes I can see a mother of a young child accidentally triggering the door-lock on the keys when she puts them down to strap the toddler in the vehicle and hopping out, forgetting to grab the keys. Especially if Jr. was already screaming.

    Now why the mother got so frantic over this, I don’t know. It was a parking garage in March so the kid was most likely not in danger of overheating in a short period of time so this is not a horrible tragedy in the making. Calm the heck down!! Yes,the woman should have helped rather than feared, but there was no reason that this mother couldn’t have run back into the building or found security to help herself rather than standing by the car matching her toddler’s fit.

  38. Donna March 23, 2014 at 8:20 am #

    Ravana –

    Since cars lock at the mere touch of a button on the door or key, it is very easy to lock your keys in the car. I’ve accidentally locked the doors on my car while hopping out for a minute with the keys still in the ignition and shut the door without realizing it, thus locking myself out of the car. And I don’t drive a hooptie.

    So yes, I can see a mother accidentally triggering the door lock on the key when putting them down to strap Jr. in the car seat and getting out without realizing it. Especially if Jr. was already screaming.

    Now why she got so upset, I don’t understand. It was a parking garage in March so the child was not in danger of roasting in a short period of time. Calm the heck down!! Yes, the woman should have helped instead of fearing, but there is no reason that mom couldn’t have run into the building or found security herself rather than standing by the car and matching her toddler’s fit.

  39. Katie G March 23, 2014 at 8:33 am #

    No knowing what “security” might have done, anyway. There was an instance (in 2005, I think) that I arrived into the PHL airport at about 1145 pm and I’d parked a car in the garage when I’d left. Being a 23yo woman by myself I tried to get a security guard to escort me to the car, which was met with a blank stare and “Um, we don’t really do that”. To say I hurried to the car would be a major understatement.

  40. Emmy March 23, 2014 at 9:43 am #

    I’m on the ranter’s side. Indeed, her behavior according to her account didn’t get weird until after the other woman blew her off. Why the assumption she was freaking out from the get go? She was a nervous mom asking for assistance. To demand utter calm from everyone in every situation and then condemn them when they dont have it is silly and unreasonable.

    She was nervous by her own account in the beginning-not hysterical. Her kid was hysterical. She asked a passerbyer for help. How is that not a reasonable approach to a problem? Is the Freerange answer really to avoid community? She had no phone. Why go for security when someone who by all liklihood is not a criminal is nearby?

    The ranter’s only started crying after the other woman blew her off. Ok, maybe an overreaction, but still does not make one a crazy person.

    Yes, she could have gotten more of a grip, but the fact remains that there is a social problem now of helping others.

    I’m with backroads–too many commenters made up a hysterical mom who did not exist in the text and ran with that notion. So what, there is no difference in someone who is hysterical and someone who is less than chipper? I interpreted this as a nervous (not crazy) mom asking for help but instead being considered a murderer. And everyone here says “well, we cant be too careful and she should have handled it herself and community is bad!” How’s that for making assumptions on writing?

    I’d be mad too if I were blown off like that. The other woman may have been caught off guard, but that doesn’t make her behavior the epitome of the best way to act. The Free range issue here is apparent in the assumptions made: that she was a potential murderer, that she was acting crazy, and that it was wrong to reach out for help.

    As for the key issue… I have a car less than 10 years old with a purely mechanical lock.

  41. Buffy March 23, 2014 at 9:59 am #

    I don’t understand the “trembling with panic”,”tears all over my face” (you locked your keys in the car. CTFD.)and the writer begging the Unknown Woman to tell her who she had just called, when she had heard basically the entire conversation. Did she really think that Unknown Woman called a friend, at that exact moment, to chat and by the way let me give you a full description of this woman in the garage and, my good buddy, please come and check to see if she has a baby?

    We are thinking she was hysterical because this post sounds hysterical, even though it’s written later, after all ended well and after a period of reflection.

  42. Emmy March 23, 2014 at 10:13 am #

    I personally thought the post came off as ranty and pissed, not hysterical.

    A period of reflection is hardly known for making one less angry.

  43. Donna March 23, 2014 at 10:13 am #

    “I am a young female who was trembling with panic”

    Emmy, that seems to be a bit more than “nervous” to me. I don’t think she was a raving lunatic, but I don’t think she was the picture of normal either.

    Further, it is certainly nice for strangers to help when asked and I would do so if I were in Nervous Nelly’s position, but you can’t necessarily expect others to stop their day to help you with your problems. Yelling profanities across a parking lot and then breaking down into tears, and yet STILL refusing to do anything to help yourself is totally childish.

    Also, we don’t know how long the mother stood by her car “trembling in panic” before she even ran into Nervous Nelly on her bike. If Nervous Nelly came by on her bike simultaneously with the mother locking the baby in the car, it certainly makes sense that mom would just stop her and ask for help. However, since she was already “trembling with panic” and seconds away from tears before she ever met Nervous Nelly, I interpreted a substantially longer interval between the locking and the meeting. Why didn’t she instantly seek help herself rather than standing by her car waiting for a passerby? If I lock my keys in the car, I’m going to instantly go back where I came from and ask to use a phone, not stand by my car waiting for someone to happen by to help me and then scream profanities and break into tears when they don’t. Isn’t that kinda why we choose to raise our kids free range? So that they can handle their own problems? Asking for help from strangers that happen to be near by when you discover the problem is perfectly grown-up. Standing around panicking and expecting someone to come rescue you, when you could easily solve the problem yourself, is not.

  44. Emmy March 23, 2014 at 10:23 am #

    Donna, I get what you’re saying and I agree with most of it. I do think this mother should have done more to help her situation than she did, but that’s never what I was complaining about.

    Too many people (not you, obviously) stated she was wrong to ask for help and that she was hysterical.

    And, if she was hysterical and thus not able to think clearly, does that really make her less in need of help?

    If you can’t help someone, you can’t help someone. But should the lesson really be “Don’t help people unless they are perfectly calm and smiling?”

  45. Donna March 23, 2014 at 10:36 am #

    Emmy – I don’t think anyone is saying that you should only help people who are smiling and happy, but people who are acting crazy are more likely to actually be crazy than people acting perfectly sane (I’m not saying that the mother was acting crazy, but that seems to be their interpretation). People reacting differently to calm strangers vs hysterical strangers is to be expected.

    And despite the very misleading headline, Nervous Nelly DID help; she simply did it from afar. For all we know, Nervous Nelly thought the mother was waaaay overwrought for the scenario that she was describing and THAT is what set off her creepy radar to start with. If someone is behaving way over-the-top for the situation, I might wonder if it is bad acting.

  46. Beth March 23, 2014 at 10:53 am #

    That headline annoys me too, along with the comments along the line of “what is wrong with our society” etc. The woman did help. She did (it seems) exactly what Mom wanted-called security. No, she didn’t hang around to dry tears and provide hugs, but she didn’t refuse to help and in fact, helped even after sworn at and being called names (and it sure is good to know that the poster’s mom would have done the same to someone who, you know, helped).

    So I’m really not clear on the need for all this drama.

  47. Old Shoe Woman March 23, 2014 at 12:20 pm #

    I’m confused…a young woman cries for help and there are those who believe she should be refused because she is being overly emotional and therefore she must be unbalanced and a possible threat? Aren’t we, as free range parents, dedicated to the idea that we raise our children to believe that while there are certainly some bad people out there, they do not need to live their lives in fear that every “stranger” is THAT dangerous person out to kidnap/harm them. I have trained my children from very early ages that if they see someone who needs help they are to offer their assistance immediately, starting with opening doors or helping the elderly whenever possible.
    Now of course I have also trained them to keep their wits at all times and assess if they REALLY can help someone…my young children or my 100# grown daughter cannot help a drowning man by swimming out to rescue him. A cool head and common sense must prevail over wishing to be helpful.
    So to date we have raised five grown children (and we have 9 more coming up through) who have fearlessly dedicated themselves to helping others whenever they possibly can. One daughter works helping refugees on the Thai-Burma border. One son is a paramedic who prefers to work the more dangerous night shift. Another son was soldier who served in Iraq and now that he is out of the Army heads out with his other brother during our famous snowstorms here in central NY with his 4-wheel truck and tow cable looking to help people who have slid off the road…for free. I am so proud of them all.
    So if I or any of my grown children saw a woman crying for help in a parking garage we would not only have stopped to offer a cell phone call, but I know that my mechanically-minded boys would have prolly gotten the car unlocked and my daughter and I would have at least stayed with her offering a comforting presence until someone came to unlock her car.

    Sure this lifestyle may entail possible dangers, but with heads filled great deal of common sense and a strong bel;eif that most people really are not out to hurt you, we prefer to choose helping others over the possibility of something bad happening, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

  48. Papilio March 23, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

    Wow. Judging from many of the comments here – apparently thinking this panicking young woman was really just trying to lure them closer and rape them with a baby bottle and strangle them with a 5-point harnass – I should have been killed long time ago, because I’m sure I would have helped.
    She only said ‘bleeping bleep’ AFTER the other woman reacted so heartless and worst-first thinking. The least thing Bleeping Bleep could have done was TELL her she was going to her car and call the police for her, so the young mom would have known for sure help was on the way. Deducting stuff like that (‘did she really think Bleeping Bleep was calling a friend?’) must be hard when you’re panicking.

    Glad I live in a society where people generally DO trust each other.

  49. Donna March 23, 2014 at 1:57 pm #

    “Aren’t we, as free range parents, dedicated to the idea that we raise our children to believe that while there are certainly some bad people out there, they do not need to live their lives in fear that every “stranger” is THAT dangerous person out to kidnap/harm them.”

    But shouldn’t we also teach our children to assess the situation and see if something is setting off our “this is sketchy” meter and not just charge in like a white knight in every situation? Especially in a parking garage that even the letter writer says is terrifying (“I was actually terrified of being alone in a creepy garage for the same reasons you were…”)

    I don’t know if this situation is one that would have set off my bullcrap meter or not as I wasn’t there. However, I can imagine that a woman acting far more overwrought than the situation seems to call for and being completely unwilling to do anything to help herself would set off questions in my head. Robbery would jump to mind much quicker than murder. Or it may make me think “this person is way more drama than I want to deal with right now so let me call from afar and not engage this person at all.”

    Could the woman had handled things better? Absolutely. Could the mother have handled things better? Absolutely. Can I see why the woman may not have wanted to help except from afar – which she did, even after being sworn at, despite being accused here of doing nothing!!!!!? Absolutely.

    I guess other than a quick shout-out that she called the police, I am not sure what else was expected by the mother here.

  50. E. Simms March 23, 2014 at 1:59 pm #

    @Amy “Most parking garages have emergency phones throughout.”

    I’ve probably been in many dozens, if not hundreds, of parking garages and have never seen an emergency phone in one.

  51. everydayrose March 23, 2014 at 2:12 pm #

    Incorrect Ravana. I bought a new car in 2010 and it has purely mechanical door locks. I have to lock every door manually. I also have manual windows. It’s a nice car but pretty basic. I’m perfectly content with it.

  52. Mae March 23, 2014 at 2:18 pm #

    Yeah, all I get from this rant is, “You helped me but not in the manner in which I would have preferred so I am going to tell the world what a bleeping bleep you are. Thanks for nothing.” The woman called for security to help so I don’t understand the OP’s anger. In case the other woman happens across this article: thanks for helping out the mom in the story!

  53. SKL March 23, 2014 at 3:14 pm #

    The parking garage must have been a scary place. Otherwise I can’t see one single reason for the mom to be panicked over having locked the baby in the car. If it was not a scary place, why would she not just sigh and grumble at herself and go find security and ask for help picking the lock? I get that the baby is screaming, but that is not actually a dangerous situation in itself. Normal moms don’t lose their shit over seeing their baby cry.

    So here comes this lady riding her bike into a scary parking garage. Someone starts hollering in a panicked way over something that should not arouse panic. “Hey you defenseless bike rider, come get close to me because I have a problem you can’t solve.” Mm-hm.

    Also, do we know that the bike rider had her cell phone on her? I normally would not. Maybe her cell phone was in the car so she had to ride past and go get it.

    And to me, as soon as you start cussing me out for not doing anything to you, I don’t trust you. I am going to assume you are a low-life and more likely than average to be a criminal or a loon.

    Really, this lady is lucky Ms. Bleeping Bleep didn’t simply drive away. Then she would have had to walk her own butt down to security like everyone else who accidentally locks their keys/kids in the car. Though it probably would have been better for everyone if Ms. Bleeping Bleep had not come by at all, since it seems the biggest problem here was the reactions between the two women.

  54. Mae March 23, 2014 at 3:32 pm #

    Also, she berates the woman for not caring if she was raped or murdered but then admits the woman stuck around to make sure security arrived before she left. Stories like this actually hurt our cause. Just like suing a Good Samaritan for saving you from choking to death but breaking your ribs, etc. this will only make people less inclined to help us when we need it. Look at it from the responder’s POV: she called for help, waited around to ensure safety, and what thanks does she get? She gets lambasted on a popular blog and its readers.

  55. Emmy March 23, 2014 at 4:00 pm #

    I thought it sounded ranty and passed, not hysterical.

  56. SOA March 23, 2014 at 5:19 pm #

    True that cheap even new cars still have manual locks. My Saturn from 2004 has manual locks because it was the cheapest model. But I also have an emergency key thing that fits into my wallet so as long as I at least have my purse with me I won’t be locked out but if my purse and my keys are in there, then I guess I get locked out. But it has been years and years since I have locked myself out of a car.

    SKL brought up a good point about maybe she had to go get her cell phone out of the car. I also do not typically carry my cell with me everywhere. Often times it is left in the car. Or in the house or whatever. So if someone was asking me for help I would have to go get the phone and it could look like I was walking away from them when really I am trying to help them.

    I think the woman was emotional because of locking herself out and her kid being upset which is understandable but also that she way overreacted and misread the entire situation.

  57. Jim Penrose March 23, 2014 at 5:29 pm #

    Would I stop, get out of my car and hand you my phone? No. No way. And I am a very large, reasonably well-trained in fighting skills, male.

    Your hyperbolic concern that people might think you a murderer-in-lurking is just that: Hyerbole.

    What is real is that people steal cell phones. People set up traps to lure someone over to where her partners can pop out from behind the car and mug people or steal cars.

    Or worse, some enterprising young ladies have been known to get guys alone and then start screaming “rape” or their boyfriend shows up angry and threatening violence for messing with “his woman” in a quicky extortion scheme. It’s even got a name, it’s called the Badger Game

    Would I call security or someone for you? Yes. Absolutely. I might do it from a safe distance in case you turn out not to be what you claim to be because you’re just as much a total stranger to me as I am to you. And while it’s rare, violent crime is quite real and I use the “What happens if I guess wrong” mode of risk evaluation at times like this.

    Locking yourself out of your car is monumentally stupid so I am not inclined to trust people who do things like that. It’s da**ed hard to do it these days with the car beeping or even reminding you you left your keys in it.

    So yeah, I’d not suggest someone stop, get out and hand you their phone, especially for someone who starts out apparently acting hysterical, then graduates to screaming vulgarities at me. That moves you into the nutjob class (as based on the always reliable “how to judge total strangers in five seconds” scale..grin) and no one smart stops to directly help people like that.

    But again, yes I’d call someone for you or local security. And what do you know, the person you were screaming at did exactly that despite your efforts to turn them into an enemy and drive thema way in fear.

  58. Papilio March 23, 2014 at 5:49 pm #

    “Locking yourself out of your car is (…) da**ed hard to do (…) these days with the car beeping or even reminding you you left your keys in it.”

    Actually it’s very easy: 1) return to the car with loads of heavy boxes or whatever it is you’ve been buying, 2) grab the car key from your purse/pocket to press the button and open the trunk with key in hand, 3) load your boxes in the car and accidently press the button on the key during any one of these actions, 4) put the keys down for a moment to shove the boxes to the back of the trunk to make room, 5) close the trunk – done!
    Fortunately my mother had her phone in another pocket, so she could call my father and he then biked over to bring us his key.

  59. Alanna March 23, 2014 at 5:52 pm #

    Hasn’t anybody ever heard of AAA? For about sixty dollars a year you can get an individual membership. They will come and unlock your car door for you. No need to call the police or security. Those guys have better things to do.

  60. Backroads March 23, 2014 at 5:55 pm #

    Goodness, apparently I’m a bad person for still having a car with entirely mechanical locks. Do I really have to buy a new car to make myself safe?

  61. SKL March 23, 2014 at 6:42 pm #

    Notice the irony of the ranter instantly jumping to conclusions about the character of the bicyclist, based solely on the fact that the bicyclist kept riding to her car before picking up a cell phone to call for help.

    And yet this thread is about whether the bicyclist is irrational, and uncharitable?

    I especially like the part where it says Bicyclist didn’t apologize.

  62. SKL March 23, 2014 at 6:48 pm #

    Oh, and I don’t have one of those fancy key thingies either. I do have “electric locks” where you push a button and the door locks, and if you push the front button twice it locks all the doors. Very modern.

    I don’t think it’s stupid to lock your keys in the car. That would mean I am stupid. 😛

  63. Donna March 23, 2014 at 7:44 pm #

    “It’s da**ed hard to do it these days with the car beeping or even reminding you you left your keys in it.”

    True if you can only fathom people locking themselves out of the car when the key is in the ignition. However, there are many ways to lock yourself out of the car. The most common is when loading something (like a baby) before you ever put the keys in the ignition. This used to happen at least once a month when I worked at the grocery store in college. Shopper would drop her purse in the car to load the groceries (and sometimes babies), somehow lock the doors without knowing and end up locked out of the car. Not one ever just sat in the parking lot crying. Some were more frazzled than others, but they all pulled on their big girl panties, walked back into the store, asked us to call the police and went back out to the car to wait.

    I also don’t have a mechanical door thing. I used to, but it broke and I haven’t wanted to pay the $130 to replace it. I use the valet key that came with the car. Looks just like an old school key but can’t open the trunk. Kinda a pain though so I may replace it eventually.

  64. Hazel March 24, 2014 at 8:23 am #

    “This post and these comments make me so glad I do not live in the US.”

    Carrie, I agree whole-heartedly.

    The unknown woman wasn’t busy and needing to rush off somewhere, because she came back. And the fact that she came back and tried to justify her actions means that she either felt bad or knew that she looked bad. Or both.

    It would not have been hard for her to shout across to the crying woman (from a safe distance if she was nervous) “Hey, I just called security for you, they will be down soon, everything’s going to be alright”. That way everybody wins – the crying woman would have been given reassurance and the unknown woman would have felt safe.

    The unknown woman could also have said that she’d stay there in her car (for her safety) until security got there and she’d call 911 if anything bad happened to the crying woman or her baby.

    At least the unknown woman did call security, which the crying woman acknowledges and thanks her for. The crying woman isn’t being unreasonable here.

  65. Susan March 24, 2014 at 11:05 am #

    I live in Los Angeles: Big city and lots of weird people. Would I stop to help parking garage woman? I would call or go to mall security for her or call 911. I would not get involved with breaking a window on a car. Who knows if she really owns the car? Maybe she’s trying to kidnap the (real?) toddler in car? Too many unknowns, especially if my own child is with me at the time.

  66. Donna March 24, 2014 at 12:29 pm #

    Someone said: “It would not have been hard for her to shout across to the crying woman (from a safe distance if she was nervous) “Hey, I just called security for you …”

    The writer said: “I heard you making a phone call from your car, on the other side of the lot. You were calling security asking them to come over to me…”

    The writer KNEW she was calling security as she was calling security. She wasn’t left wondering if help was on the way. She KNEW help was on the way as she heard the woman’s entire phone conversation.

    Apparently the writers only real complaint is that the woman was not warm and fuzzy while helping since I can’t for the life me come up with anything else to complain about here.

  67. SKL March 24, 2014 at 2:09 pm #

    I got the impression that the mom’s main complaint is that she was not instantly believed and trusted by the stranger on a bike.

    I understand that it was probably hurtful to hear “just in case she really does have a baby” and “I had to be careful, my folks are in law enforcement.”

    However, it was the writer’s responsibility to present herself as someone trustworthy. If it were me, and I really wanted to engage that lady in helping me, I would have put on a smile and held my empty hands up and used a friendly voice etc. I would have said something like, “do you happen to have a cell phone? I locked mine in the car and I would rather not walk to security because my baby is in the car and he’s very scared. Would you have a second to call security for me? Gosh, I feel so dumb. Thanks so much.” Somehow I highly doubt that “Bleeping Bleep” would have been part of the conversation.

  68. Havva March 24, 2014 at 4:27 pm #

    Reading the comments here makes me feel ill.

    Okay so the mom in this story didn’t handle it well. Didn’t handle it well at all. Maybe she does need counseling, maybe she is a poor problem solver. Or maybe she was just blowing off steam in this note. But the vitriol expressed against her seems more out of whack than her pissed-offed-ness/ overreacting.

    Should the writer have gotten help for herself? I honestly don’t know. People are pretty fast to call the cops over kids in cars. While you are off getting help there is a reasonable chance of someone hearing the screaming kid and calling the cops. So honestly I probably would have stood by the car and asked a passer by to kindly make a call.

    Most of all, some of the reactions here horrify me because I have been refused help at times of great need by people who, (when I could find no other source of help and I went back to them) accused me of working for/being a robber, rapist, or murder. And being a kid (in one instance) didn’t get me an exception from the paranoid brigade. In one case, the veneer of ‘help’ came only after I told the woman that if I wanted to kill her I would have smashed the windows to her house and done it already.

    And from what I can glean from this all over the place rant…this woman just went through a similar situation. For those of you who have never experienced it: It sucks miserably.

    The cyclist talked to her.. and yet even though she eventually did. She somehow couldn’t find it in her to say “I’ll call security for you.” And people here apparently ascribing magical powers to saying something helpful/reassuring from a distance think that the cyclist was wise (!) to avoid telling the mother she would calling for help.

    I didn’t expect so many people here would loudly and vociferously defend this “never trust the frightened person in need/never tell them you are doing something helpful” line of thinking. If it weren’t for the decent people who *have* helped me in times of need…all of you would have convinced me not to send my child out into the cruel world. If a person must at all times, be fully prepared to deal with any eventuality, without asking any other civilian for help; there is nothing I would ever be able to do to make me feel safe enough.

    What good does it do to teaching our kids to talk to strangers when in need. If we simultaneously proclaim to adults the value of running and hiding from those in need?

    I can’t believe I’m typing this. But apparently times really have changed for the worse, and become more unsafe, for all of us, not just our kids.

  69. SKL March 24, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

    But Havva, the bike lady did call security. The bike lady did not one thing to hurt the writer. The bike lady said not one mean word and did not leave her high and dry.

    If she’d sped off without calling security, then I could see why you’d feel so unhappy.

    The bike lady took the route of being cautious in a scary place.

    We know it’s a scary place by the writer’s own description.

  70. oldtimer March 24, 2014 at 9:07 pm #

    I wonder if the relunctant lady would have called anyone,
    had she not been made mad, from being called a bad name?
    It is sad that the only way to get help (or to call 911),
    is you have to anger them a point, to be bothered enough,
    to do something.

  71. Havva March 24, 2014 at 10:59 pm #

    I did not miss the fact that the bike lady did call security. But consider the cyclist talked to this woman, before getting to her car. “Your advice to abandon my car, with a hysterically screaming baby in it, unattended in a garage….” and then the cyclist was in such a hurry to leave she didn’t so much as say… “okay I’ll call security” and left the woman temporarily with the impression that the only remedy she felt comfortable with was being taken away,and with no idea how long it would be before someone else came by. Then yes the mom heard a call to hotel security… but since the cyclist wouldn’t say who the woman called, the mom didn’t know if it was a call to hotel security, or to the cops. And if security if she actually got through or was leaving a voice mail. What she did know is that she had been reported to someone as dangerous and suspicious, with a small possibility of being a person with an actual problem.

    So the mom went from the impression that she was getting abandoned after a long day that had now gone more wrong than she could handle. To the impression that she might have to wait to be stormed by armed men who thought her a criminal, or maybe the woman left a voice mail with security and lord knows when they would get the message.

    The bike lady did not “take the route of being cautious in a scary place.” She could have been cautious by keeping her distance and said “I’ll call security for you” she could have been cautious and responded from across the parking lot “I got through to security, they are on their way.” No she watched this person go from scared to frantic and refused to tell her what was happening. One lousy sentence, could have put mom at ease. But she said nothing. That isn’t cautious, that is cold.

    The paranoid people I had the misfortune to encounter eventually provided minimal aid. And years later the thought of them still irks me. Because I had to beg piteously and repeatedly for the smallest scrap of of human kindness. A level of kindness I would have shown to a person I hated and knew was dangerous. And because they made it clear that such minimal aid was rendered, not in the interest of helping me, but to get rid of me.

  72. Havva March 24, 2014 at 11:50 pm #

    I should add, and I hope this helps “The non-murderer,” that while still irked by such experiences:

    I feel more pity for the paranoid people who refused to help in those situations, than for myself.
    At the end of the too long day, my troubles ended. But for the paranoid their terror will never end.
    Every knock at the door, every footstep behind them, every time they step into the elevator with another person, every time someone calls out to them. Every time, they will feel the sting of terror. The women that tried to avoid helping me lived their lives behind drawn curtains afraid to open them. That is deeply pathetic. I’d rather be on the receiving end of that paranoia in a vulnerable moment, than live with such paranoia in me.

  73. SKL March 25, 2014 at 12:17 am #

    Havva, I am not entirely convinced that the ranter’s statements about what this lady did or didn’t hear or say are accurate. She herself was not rational.

    And I don’t understand why you think a person called Bleeping Bleep should display a great deal of warmth and loving kindness in return. I mean yeah, that’s what the founders of certain religions tell us to do, but most of us struggle with it at the moment we receive abuse. And there was no excuse for her to be so out of control. Her child was sitting in a car, not hanging from a balcony.

  74. Donna March 25, 2014 at 9:28 am #

    “People are pretty fast to call the cops over kids in cars.”

    “since the cyclist wouldn’t say who the woman called, the mom didn’t know if it was a call to hotel security, or to the cops.”

    Who cares? Isn’t that EXACTLY what you want to happen? Someone, ANYONE, to come to help you get the child out of the car as quickly as possible? I think we are way down the rabbit hole of paranoia ourselves if we worry about a cop arresting us for leaving a child alone in a car for a few minutes while we run to get help in getting the same child out of the same car. And failing to act in the situation over an irrational fear of arrest, thus leaving the child stuck screaming in a car for more time (we truly have no idea how long this mother hung out waiting for someone else to happen by), is no less crazy paranoid than what you accuse the biker of being.

    I don’t support the biker acting all paranoid here. I said that I thought she didn’t respond great. But I also don’t think she deserved the ridiculous rant of this mother. More of an eye roll for her silliness than all this vitriol still felt and spewed by the mother some amount of hours later. The woman DID HELP. Did she do it in an over-paranoid, imperfect way? Yep. But even after being cussed at, she got this woman the help that she needed.

    If this mother had approached this letter to Lenore with “look at the silliness of this woman who helped me today,” I would have been right there with her. But she didn’t. She is still spewing such unfocused, rambling rage at the woman who was ultimately 100% responsible for getting her child out of the vehicle that SHE seems like the crazy one and I can see why the woman didn’t really want to go near her if she was portraying even half of this craziness in the parking garage.

  75. Mike B March 25, 2014 at 9:42 am #


    I was disheartened by the cold-heartedness described in the letter, but I am drop-jawed with dismay at the outpouring of angry, ice-hearted, blame-the-victim words of so many who have commented above.

    It is surprising to me that even one reader would leap so angrily upon a new mother who (oh my) got flustered and locked the car with baby and purse inside, (gasp) panicked to find herself in one of a new parent’s most fear-inducing situations (baby locked in car) in one of a young woman’s most fear-inducing settings (lonely parking garage), and (shocking) perhaps may not have accurately chronicled every detail of what happened during the time that hellish episode. What the hell, people?

    Amy, JT, delurking, johnny, Michelle, Kimberly, Ravana, Rae, etc.: It’s terrific that you feel so self-satisfied in being skeptical, calculating, suspicious and cold; more power to you. But I sure hope for the sake of my wife or child that it is not you who is given the opportunity to help (or not) when they find themselves in need. And I hope that when your own child is in need, they don’t have the misfortune of having any of your fellow nay-sayers enter the scene.

  76. SKL March 25, 2014 at 11:12 am #

    Mike: blame the victim? Victim of WHAT?

    Did bike lady lock the kid in the car?

    Did bike lady do anything to hurt the “victim”?

    Did bike lady say anything rude to the “victim”?

    Did bike lady leave the victim high and dry?

    Just because bike lady didn’t act exactly as I or you would have, that does not justify the extreme reaction exhibited by the OP or by many commenters such as you. Bike lady was just an innocent bystander who had to make a decision in less than perfect circumstances. When you stand the two women side by side, bike lady comes out looking a lot less paranoid, cold, and mean than the so-called “victim.”

    Locking your keys in your car and having a little scare about your toddler does NOT justify the expectation that the world must cater to your every demand, instantly, exactly the way you envision.

  77. SKL March 25, 2014 at 11:17 am #

    If this article were entitled “OH NO, MY TODDLER SAT ALONE IN A CAR THAT WAS NOT HOT WHILE I WAS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WINDOW, THE WORLD HAS ENDED,” the reaction of some people here would be different.

    And that is exactly what Bike Lady encountered.

  78. Donna March 25, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

    “But I sure hope for the sake of my wife or child that it is not you who is given the opportunity to help (or not) when they find themselves in need. And I hope that when your own child is in need, they don’t have the misfortune of having any of your fellow nay-sayers enter the scene.”

    Since the bike riding woman is 100% responsible for this situation resolving – mom certainly wasn’t doing anything to make it happen – I would hope that I and/or my child WOULD encounter this woman if I needed help. Getting my doors unlocked and us both being on our way is far more important than whatever warm cuddles from a stranger this mother seems to have wanted.

  79. SKL March 25, 2014 at 1:34 pm #

    This thread has me wondering how many people accepted my help in a tight spot and then went home and ranted about what a bleeping bleep I am.

    Is anyone else a Little Rascals fan? Remember when Spud fell in the well (well well) and cried and begged for Wheezer to get him out? And then after Wheezer (and the gang) got him out, he vowed to blame Wheezer so he’d be beaten? That’s character for ya.

  80. Amanda Matthews March 25, 2014 at 4:47 pm #

    I wouldn’t assume every young female is NOT a serial killer any more than I would consider all old males ARE serial killers. If you’re oozing misandry in person half as much as you are in this (which is quite impressive considering there were no males involved), I wouldn’t have helped you either.

  81. Papilio March 26, 2014 at 8:02 pm #

    Yay Havva and Mike.

    “The writer KNEW she was calling security as she was calling security”… when she wrote this letter. It doesn’t say she knew this at the time.

    “And I don’t understand why you think a person called Bleeping Bleep should display a great deal of warmth and loving kindness in return.”
    FIRST Bike lady blew her off, THEN the mom called her a bleeping bleep. It was not like she started her request for help with ‘hey Bleeping Bleep!’

    Just saying.

  82. SKL March 26, 2014 at 11:39 pm #

    You say she “blew her off,” but how do you know what was in bike rider’s mind? Just because she didn’t come to a screeching halt the instant she noticed someone wanted attention, we *know* that she’d decided the lady could go to hell? Ever hear of a thing called “patience”?

    We don’t know how much time passed here. I got the impression it wasn’t very much time. The woman was innocently riding by on her bike and before she got out of earshot she was called a bleeping bleep. I’m sorry, that’s just crazy. I have never called anyone a foul name in public, and I’ve been in some pretty good jams. A person who had that little control over herself could very well have missed the cues the bike lady was trying to transmit, e.g., just a minute and I’ll help you.

    And yes she did hear the lady call security, because she claims to have heard the exact words spoken.

    Maybe we need an article about how NOT to lose your shit when you have a minor mishap such as accidentally locking your own kid in a car.

  83. Jay March 27, 2014 at 3:04 pm #

    Nobody owes you anything. Take Personal responsibility of you and your actions.