Stranger Danger Never Goes Away
Monday, April 18, 2011
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My Internet, My Internet, no I have not forsaken you. 

That's my little shout-out to Lent. Sorry if I've offended anyone, especially you, God. 

Because that would be bad. 

Anyway, I'm still here, still revising and I'm alllllmost there. Sorry to keep you waiting so long, but I promise it won't be much longer. 

I took a break from revising because I have a cautionary tale I must tell you. And brace yourself, because it's a doozy. But I'll tell you ahead of time, it comes with a happy ending. 

When I had my daughters, my perspective of the world was rocked to its core. My eyes were wide open to all the dangers out there the minute my little girls entered my life. 

I have raised my girls to be brave and fierce and strong and smart. 

But I have also taught them that the world isn't always filled with rainbows and sunshine and I have done my best to teach them how to protect themselves. 

When my oldest girl went away to college, I made her take a self defense course. Her father armed her with the best mace on the market. I preached safety constantly. Always lock your doors. Never go out alone at night. Always be aware of your environment. And never, ever sit on the public toilet. Always cop a squat.

It was easy enough to protect my girls when they were still small, when their hand still clutched mine every time we ventured out into the world. But then they let go and walked away into their own world and I could only hope and pray they would stay safe every time they left my house. My final words to them, these days, are always, always, "Be Careful. Please, be careful."

A blog friend of mine said safeguarding daughters is a constant process that is utterly exhausting. 

I think she summed it up perfectly. 

My oldest, Olivia, has a job at Victoria's Secret up in her college town. She loves working there. 

It's been challenging for her to learn how to balance her good grades (necessary for her scholarship) and work, but she has done an admirable job. 

Her store has extended hours and so quite often she works until midnight. 

I was none too crazy about this. But when I asked her about walking to her car late at night, she said she was never alone, they headed out in groups. 

It slightly eased my worry, but I told her she could call me, no matter the hour when she walked through the mall's desolate parking lot. 

Just a little extra insurance. My hubs is in the insurance business and I've come to understand you can never have enough protection. 

Especially when it comes to beloved daughters. 

This past Tuesday, my phone rang a little after midnight, startling me out of a sound sleep. 

I answered immediately because my phone now sits on my bedside table since the day she left our nest two years ago. 

I place it there every night before I climb into bed —my last prayer before I fall asleep, for God's protection over her as she learns to live her own life away from us. 

I answered the phone, groggy with sleep and she said, "Hi Mom. I'm getting ready to walk to my car."

Instantly awake, I stayed with my girl in that dark parking lot in the middle of the night. 

We were just talking about inane things, when she cut me off and started talking to someone else. 

Her words sent chills down my spine. 

I heard her say, "No. No. No. Because I don't know you."

There was a sickening tinge of fright behind her words.

Every motherly neuron in my brain fired off and I screamed into the phone, "STOP TALKING TO THAT PERSON! STOP TALKING TO THEM RIGHT NOW! GO TO YOUR CAR! GO TO YOUR CAR!"

I heard her say, "My mom." And then she asked someone, "Do you know him? Does he work at VS?"

I had no idea what was going on. I just knew with all my heart that she was in a dangerous situation. I screamed into the phone again for my girl, my precious girl, to stop talking and run to her car. 

She came back to me and said, "I'm almost to my car, Mom. This is kind of scary."

My instinct told me not to ask her in that moment what was happening, but to get her focused on getting in that car. 

It was only seconds, but for me, sitting on the other side of the phone, helpless against the danger my daughter faced in that parking lot, it was a horrifying eternity. 

She made it to her car and locked the doors and looked around before zooming off and that's when my interrogation began. 

She said a man in a car had approached her and said, "Come here." Insisting over and over again that she come to his car. At some point, as he tried to lure my daughter to his car, he must have heard my insane screams and asked her who she was talking to. When she said her mother, he stopped asking her to come to his car. I think for once my drama queen skills, the one this family constantly rolls their eyes over, came in handy. 

When I asked her if she'd been walking with anyone else, she said one of the store stockers was walking near her and when she turned to ask him if he knew the guy in the car, the stocker just smiled and walked to his car. 

I was outraged until Olivia informed me that some of the guys stocking the store don't speak very much English. 

And since I've played the sickening scene over and over in my mind, I realized the stocker probably thought this assbag was a friend of my daughter's. 

It's my only explanation. It's what I want to believe, that no one would purposefully walk away from a girl in trouble. 

As my daughter drove through the night, still a little shaken, I quizzed her. Where were the groups she'd told me about? Where was the manager? And why wasn't there security? I'd even take a Paul Blart mall cop on a Segway. 

My daughter told me they tried to walk out in groups, but oftentimes people were parked in different areas. 

And she said the manager did watch them walk to their cars . . . from the store door. 

Of course, none of these answers sat too well with me, but I didn't say much. I was just utterly grateful she was safe and on her way home. We talked and as she drove, her fright quickly wore away and was replaced with something else, something that alarmed me. All of a sudden, she assumed this false sense of bravado that all 20-year olds have, that nothing bad will never come their way. 

She started telling me that it wasn't a big deal, that the guy might have worked at the store since there are so many employees, she doesn't know all of them yet, that nothing would have happened to her, that the manager could have screamed and called 911, that I was overreacting, that and this was the one that got me the most, that she could have handled herself. 

Now. 

I told her that it was, in fact, a big deal, that it was a huge deal. And thankfully this time, it was only a scare. This time. 

I told her that if the guy by some remote chance did indeed work at that store, he should be ashamed of himself. 
Normal guys know better than to call a girl over to their car in a dark parking lot, late at night. There was a reason he wanted her to come to his car and I am absolutely certain it wasn't a good reason. 

I told her that as much as I wish I could draw a magic circle of protection around her, that yes, something horrific could have happened to her. I told her that a manager calling 911 after the fact wasn't acceptable and I told her that at 98 lbs dripping wet, that guy in the car could have picked up her with one hand tied behind her back. 

And of course, she's not sure where her Mace spray is. 

She made it home safely and we said good night and for the rest of the night, I lay there awake playing out the scene and all the horrific possible outcomes in my mind. 

The next morning, it still haunted me. 

So, I got on Twitter. 

And I wrote this:

My college girl was approached by a man in a car last night after leaving her shift at 12 AM @Victoria's Secret. I was on the phone with her. Brutally scary. VS, u can do better. Get security 4 these girls walking in the dark.

And then I went about my day. 

Olivia came home that night because of a dental appt the next morning. We smothered her with love, happy to have her safe with us, if only for the night.

We cooked up her favorite foods and lingered over a long dinner where her dad and I told her, that after that unacceptable incident, we wanted her to quit. She protested, telling us she loves her job. After a bit of discussion, we decided she could stay if she told them about the incident and asked for an escort anytime she had to work after dark. She agreed, but something inside of me told me she was just appeasing us. 

The next morning, I hugged her with all my might as she went to leave and I reminded her of her promise. She rolled her eyes at me and that's when I knew. 

20-year-olds hate to be singled out. 20-year-olds don't want to look anything less than capable or dependent. They've just strapped their training wheels on and ridden out into the real world and they certainly don't want to mess that up by telling someone they're afraid.  

After she left, I said to my Hubby, "She has no intention of telling them and the thought of her walking out there alone is going to kill me."

And my Hubs said, "Oh, don't worry, I'm planning on calling the store tonight and speaking to the manager."

She was going to hate this. She was going to hate us. For meddling in her world, this brand new adult world she'd claimed for herself.

But I didn't care, if it meant she was safe. 

In the middle of the afternoon, I checked my Twitterdeck and was shocked to see a tweet from Victoria's Secret. 

It was an urgent message, telling me to phone them. 

And so I did. 

And that's when I met Bob of Victoria's Secret. Bob is one of the Big Cheeses at Victoria Secret. 

Bob and I had a lengthy conversation where he reassured me over and over that Olivia's incident was unacceptable and would never happen again. 

He went into great detail on how he planned to ensure the safety of all VS employees. 

All I heard was, he was promising me he would keep my little girl safe.

She might be 20, but she is still my girl, no matter how many years there are between this day and the one when that squalling bundle of love was put in my arms. 

After Bob filled me with promises, I said, "Bob, can I ask one more favor?"

I told him Olivia would be mortified if she were to find out her scary night was the catalyst for all these new security policy changes.  

Bob said he would be completely discreet, that he understood having children of his own. He then added, but no daughters. 

I wanted to say, "Oh Bob, you sweet, innocent man. You have no idea. Teenage girls are a whole different shrieky, irrational animal." But since I was trying to convey a modicum of professionalism, I didn't tell him about the lunacy that is a teenage girl. 

Bob flooded my worried mother's heart with such relief. I could tell from our conversation he was a man of his word. He told me to keep his digits in case I ever have any more issues.

It was only after I hung up that I remembered all the other things I should have said. 

I should have told him about that stupid Angels Secret Embrace line they carried a few years ago. How they touted their softness and how I fell in love with that incredible softness and how I spent entirely too much money on every color and design bra that line carried. And how within a few months, each one of those bras had ripped in various places because there are certain things that can be too soft like cantaloupe or American's waistlines and clearly Angels Secret Embrace bras. And how my lingerie drawer is still filled with those stupid broken bras, because I never take anything back because I hate standing in lines and filling out forms. And how I can't bear to just throw them away because they're really pretty and so I always have to dig through all the broken bras to find my good lingerie. And being Bob and all, what could he do about that?

And I certainly should have filled him in on the fact that they need to rethink the models who represent them. How about a catalog filled with normal girls with, you know, curves? Their commercial with all the beautiful models proclaiming they love their body is not empowering to other women. It's just plain depressing. Of course they love their bodies. They're just boob jobs on toothpicks. 

And mostly, I should have told him they should have NEVER hired Gisele Bundchen as their main model since every single female on the planet hates her for the ridiculous slew of smug verbal diarrhea that comes out of her plumpy lips on a regular basis. I should have told him that I've never believed a single one of her claims, especially this last whopper that her son was potty trained at six months. I'm not sure if you know this Gisele, but you can't be potty trained if you can't walk yet. I mean, I know his father's a famous quarterback and all, but still there are some feats that are just damn plain impossible. And I don't care about this kid's super genetics, there's no way he was weeing in the potty at six months old. This lie goes along with her other statements, most of them outrageously condescending towards other women, like labor didn't hurt, not even a single bit. That labor was so effortless, she plopped out that baby and got up and did some dishes. I have a hard time believing she's ever done a dish in her life, much less right after giving birth. And that she gained very little weight during pregnancy, unlike most women who  use their bodies as human garbage disposal machines. And yes, that's what she called the rest of the female race, human garbage disposals. 

I should have tipped Bob off that truly if he wanted all of us human garbage disposal machines to buy his lingerie, he might want to rethink the Gisele thing. 

I got off the phone from Bob and called my Hubby to let him know his phone call would not be necessary.

We agreed not to tell Olivia. See above reference, about the shrieking and irrational behavior. 

I went back to Twitter to publicly thank Bob and Victoria's Secret for ensuring my girl's safety. And for the first time since that terrible night I felt a sense of peace. 

At 12:30 that night, my phone rang. It was Olivia on her way home from work. 

Olivia-"Mom? Did you call Victoria's Secret?"

Me-"Uh, what?"

Olivia- "Or was it Daddy? Which one of you called Victoria's Secret?"

Me-"Daddy didn't call and I didn't either . . . technically." 

Olivia-"You called them! OMG! I can't believe you called Victoria's Secret!"

Me-"Well, no. I didn't call Victoria's Secret. I called Bob."

Olivia-"Mom. What did you do?"

And so I explained the Tweet and the phone call and how I didn't care if she was mad. She was safe. 

She then told me how they'd called a big meeting at work that night and every employee was required to attend. She said it was filled with security officers from the mall and VS managers and they had announced that VS was making their employees' safety their number one priority and their new policy ensured that every employee would have an escort to their car when they worked the late shift. Olivia then said, "I was sitting there listening to all of this. And I turned to the girl next to me and said, 'I have a bad feeling my mom is behind this.'"

And even though Olivia was a mite mortified, I think she was actually pretty damn impressed. I also suspect she was secretly relieved to be walked to her car that night by two security officers. I know I was.

After she'd simmered down and gotten beyond her outrage that her mom was indeed, the force behind her store's new security policy, she suddenly exclaimed, "Get this. We had a guest speaker in our Economics class today. He talked about the power of social media, specifically how we can change the world for the better with the forces we have at our fingertips. Mom, he talked about Twitter being one of them."

I smiled into the phone and simply said, "How about that."

I've taught my girls a lot of things in their life, but I hope one of the brightest things they will remember about my lessons is how very much I loved them.

Thank you Bob and Victoria's Secret for keeping my girl and all of the other employees of your company safe.

Today's Definite Download: Adele's "Make You Feel My Love."

For Olivia and all my girls.

When the rain is blowing in your face. 
And the whole world is on your case. 
I could offer you a warm embrace to make you feel my love. 


I'd go hungry. I'd go black and blue. 
I'd go crawling down the avenue.
No there's nothing that I wouldn't do. 
To make you feel my love. 










61 comments:

Jeanette said...

acck! my heart was pounding while reading this - so glad it has a happy ending. being a mom to a daughter IS hard.
with boys, you worry more about them hurting or killing themselves with their ridiculous shenanigans. :)

Kristi said...

So scary! I also have a 20 year old and I can only imagine how you felt. Acckk!

But I must say, I got tears in my eyes at the end of your story. Your daughter DOES know you love her and I am so impressed with VS's quick action on this matter. Very impressed indeed.

Funny in My Mind said...

I saw your FB post and wanted to email and get the story. I am so glad VS took this seriously. Too bad they took Gisele seriously.
I have a 20 year old son and I worry about him on his own all the time.

Kate said...

This is so cool, JoAnn. I mean, it's awful and scary, but the fact that you were able to make a difference not just for your own daughter but for ALL of the girls who work for VS is amazing. You'll never know what lives you touched. And kudos to Bob and to VS for making that commitment to their employees. I hope they honor it. I'm proud to be wearing their handiwork. :)

It's not just teenage girls who are foolishly assured of their own safety, either. A few weeks ago, I ran home from a funeral (long story, but it was the best way to fit in my training run and no, I wasn't still in my funeral clothes). My husband made me call him as soon as I was through the first part of the route because, as he said, "That's not a nice area". I thought he was being pretty silly bc I was running in the middle of the day, but I called him when I got through. See, it's all fine.

Except that a woman was attacked and sexually assaulted while jogging right along my planned route this past week. And that's the second attack on a solo female jogger in our area. Might be time to find a place to carry mace with me.

TesoriTrovati said...

Oh goodness. I have a 10 year old Olivia who is growing up more each second. I don't think I am ready to handle this, much less the signs of puberty that we have just started to discuss. I am so thankful that your Olivia is alright and that you did what you did. And I am amazed at the power of Twitter. Maybe Bob is now a regular blog reader and he will hear your pleas about Gisele. I had no idea how asinine she was... I usually just block those 'angels' out of my mind.
Stay safe, Olivia! And be proud of your mom for helping legions of other girls stay safe as well.
Enjoy the day!
Erin

Mrsblogalot said...

OMG Joann, I am so relieved (even though you did tell us there would be a happy ending) at the outcome of this-on all parts. It scared me to read it just the same!

That beam me up button on our car remotes would sure come in handy these days.

Are ya listening genius-maker people???

Michelle Saunderson said...

WOW, great job mom! Way to take care of your girl and all the other young women out there. Kudos to you!!!!

Tracey S said...

Kudos to you AND to Victoria's Secret. I am glad it didn't have a tragic ending. May your daughter learn that there are times you have to rock and rock and rock the boat. Thanks for writing the story.

Cheryl said...

Good job, Mama. Good job.

Mom of the Perpetually Grounded said...

This is the kind of thing that preys on my mind daily as a mother of daughters. Great Job Mom! I'm very impressed with VS's reaction too. They win my respect for that.

Yuliya said...

I went the entire gamut of emotions with you, when I first heard it from you on Twitter and now with this post! I am so glad things worked out the way they did. Happy your girl and all those girls are safe and sound.

Rebecca Grace said...

I worked at Tricky Vicky's when I was in college, too -- I remember being worried about leaving late at night, too. Especially when it was just the manager and me closing the store and I had to follow her to the bank down the street to deposit the money. I always worried that we would be robbed or something. It's true, if you're the afternoon or evening shift, you park where you can and it's not like the mall has all these employee spots reserved right up in the front row. I'm glad to hear that good old Victorian Secretions is making an effort to keep employees safe -- I just hope it isn't a temporary thing.

Noelle said...

I even knew how the story turned out...minus Bob...and I still cried when I read it.

The love you have for your daughters melts my heart a little bit.

lvankuiken said...

First...I'm so glad you're back (even if only briefly!)

Second, YIKES! This story scared me to death. I'm going to have both my kids read this (yes, even the boy). It's a great cautionary tale about how parents DO know best!

I'm so glad this had a happy ending!

Desperate Housemommy said...

Good for you.

This is our job, is it not?

My daughter is 10 and rolls her eyes when I insist that we cross the street together. But it is our job to insist on our children's safety to the best of our ability.

Thank God that this had the outcome that it did. On behalf of moms everywhere, thank you for doing what you did.

ps - good to "see" you! :)

Anita @ GoingALittleCoastal said...

Way to go Joann! Good to know VS is out there and listening. Who would have thought they'd be scanning Twitter. Glad it all worked out. Kids don't like to be told what to do but they really like the feeling of security. Both from their parent and from the guards walking them to their car.

With 3 boys I still go through scary stuff with them too. I'm always preaching to them to travel in groups and always trust your instinct.

And I really hate Giselle right now. She really said all that crap? Ugh, Hate her!

Bossy Betty said...

You go get 'em, Mama Bear!

Sparkling said...

that is sooooo awesome. i believe that is what those stupid security officers are for and yet this is not what they usually do. and how smart to have them go out in pairs so that one security officer doesn't do something inappropriate or get jumped himself/herself.

i laugh at the "big employee meeting" and the "groups" who work in that VS. we must have the smallest VS in the world because there are at most 2 people at a time who work there and at night, i would doubt if there were even 2.

great job!!

Liz said...

This post made me smile, gave me tears and gave me chills.

I'm so happy you did what you did, and the VS came through.

And I'm so, so happy you joined Twitter. :)

middle child said...

You are an amazing woman. I applaude you.

Ostriches Look Funny said...

this post almost made me throw up.
It was SCARY but you were like Liam Neeson in Taken. You rocked. And good for VS for taking care of their employees. And good for you for making it happen.
YEESH! This was an adrenaline pumper. EEK!

Eva Gallant said...

What a great story. So glad your daughter is safe at the VS stepped up to the plate!

Ami said...

Best part? Your daughter is safe.

Deidra said...

Ah, see, I'm a 20-year-old woman, so I definitely can identify with her wanting to be independent. I can easily imagine my parents freaking out just as much as you did over a situation like that...

Unfortunately, I can totally see both sides. Of course you want your daughter to be safe, and of course she doesn't want her mother calling her employer to change their policies because of her incident. It's almost a lose-lose situation.

On my part, I always fear that parent interference and over-involvement will stunt my growth and maturity even more than it already has. Because of their we'll-just-take-care-of-that-for-you attitude, I didn't learn how to change wiper blades or oil in my car until this year, and I hate that feeling when I realize that there's something new I need to take care of that I don't know how to do yet because of them. It's embarrassing to try to learn these things at a late age, when anyone you ask for help is going to look at you strangely for not already knowing.

Sometimes, parents interfering makes things much less safe, because when their child finally does get out from under them, they don't know how to take care of themselves. I suppose it all depends on the situation. In this particular case your decision seems appropriate though, because you aren't making things more difficult for her as much as you are legitimately making them safer.

By Word of Mouth Musings said...

Know we tweeted about this, but had a feeling you would get around to putting it all out here on your blog ;)
So came to check ... and had goosebumps reading even tho I knew the outcome.
You go mama, you use that power anywhere you can, you work it, you make it happen!
So super proud of you tonight!

Cathy Webster (Olliffe) said...

Now is only Bono would see your tweets and leave his phone number...

Lula Lola said...

Oh my gosh!That had to be the most helpless feeling ever. I know it'll be a while before you quit reliving it.
But, yay you and your mad tweeting skills! And yay VS for listening! I think I'll go buy a bra in honor of this new policy! And the fact that I could use a new bra!

Meg at the Members Lounge said...

So glad your daughter is safe! Social networking can be used for good; no company wants to see their name in the mud - hooray for you and getting someone at the top to recognize what a scary situation they put their employees in.

PS. Glad revisions are almost done - we miss you!

Sue said...

Ahhh, you made me cry!! I was right there with you - feeling all that cold knot terror when you can't do anything about it. I have a 20 yr old son & a 17 yr old daughter. My son doesn't live with us anymore, but I still worry about him all the time. My daughter still lives at home & we can sorta control stuff that goes on in her life - but not all the time. Bravo to you. You ARE the 'Mama Bear'.
PS... once read a blurb about how bras are made to only last 6 months! SIX? Sheesh...

MommaKiss said...

While I'm grateful your daughter is OK, even if mortified, I must chime in that the Adele song? Been on replay for me for quite a while. I love it. So

Julie said...

You rock.


On every level.

The music, the bras, the motherhood gene, the Gisele commentary...

I've missed you here!

But.

Carry on and I'll be waiting when you're back for reals.

XO to you and your girls.
All of them.

The Random Blogette said...

You are awesome! I would've done the same thing. it really is amazing the power of social media. It is good to know that VS is one of those companies that looks out for the safety of their employees, even though they don't make bras for my size of boobs... They are still cool though.

Rae said...

Oh! I was on the edge of my desk chair just reading this! I had a similar experience while riding my bike at age 18. It was a rural, yet friendly neighborhood. Some guy in a car kept pulling up and trying to get me to come over to him! I raced my bike to the nearest house, rang the doorbell and asked to step in. Luckily the owners were home, welcomed me inside and the guy took off fast when he saw the man of the house step onto the porch. I always wonder what would have happened if I had been gullible enough to approach his car...I'm sure it would have turned out badly.
Glad your daughter is now safe.
And Wow- we sure have missed you!

randine said...

I'm so glad Olivia is all right! That must have been terrifying, for both of you. Parking lots always creep me out, even in broad daylight. I think I've seen too many episodes of Law and Order SVU that start off with a scene of a woman walking to her car in a parking garage. Glad she won't be walking it alone anymore.

The Furry Godmother said...

Wow. And all Dooce got was a washing machine. Way to go, Joann!

Connie said...

I suspected that once I had children the danger thing would never go away.

So impressed with Bob and VS. I've always liked that company.

Two Normal Moms said...

Kudos, Mom. Very scary, followed by very impressed. And even touched at the end, as that's a fav song of mine.

Anonymous said...

In 2003, Dru Sjodin was abducted outside the mall in Grand Forks, ND, after her shift at Victoria's Secret ended. Her body was found months later and a level 3 sex offender has been sentenced to the death penalty for her sexual assault and murder. This was the biggest story of 2003/2004 in our community. Your daughter's story brought chills to me, it's very similar to Dru's story which did not have a happy ending. The person convicted in Dru's case is still in jail. The Victoria's Secret, cell phone & parking lot are all similar. For additional details, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dru_Sjodin.

Glad your story has a happy ending.

Rachel
in Grand Forks, ND

Jen said...

I'm so impressed and so glad your Olivia is safe. I had to stop reading in the middle of this to hug my daughter who is too young to work anywhere yet. Kudos to Bob for being a stand up guy.

Stephanie said...

Like I said to you on Twitter, it is so AWESOME that you were able to affect (effect?) change and that your daughter is safe and sound.

You do know that the reason VS did something so quickly is because of social media? I find that amazingly cool. In the days before social media took over our lives Bob the bigwig would never have heard about your daughters scare, even if she had told her store manager it would be unlikely to go further. She may have been walked out to her car and kept safe but some girl at some other location would not.

Thank God for Twitter :)

From Tracie said...

I went from freaking out to wanting to proclaim my love for Bob. Bob...rocks my face off. As does twitter. As do parents who love their kids (no matter how old) enough to do whatever it takes to keep them safe. You all are awesome.

I'm so so happy that her story had a happy ending. That was a truly scary and dangerous situation.

The Empress said...

I canNOT even imagine.

I canNOT imagine being scared for my child like this and

I canNOT imagine Joann Mannix doing nothing about it.

It played out, as it would, with you being the mother.

Shell said...

I was glad that I knew she was okay as I was reading this, but I still got chills.

And then happy tears, knowing how you are protecting her.

And felt love for Bob.

MrsJenB said...

You are so good at pulling me into a post fraught with tense emotion and then making me laugh. Genius.

I am so, so glad this was worked out and that your girl was smart enough to not walk to the car. I can imagine that there are girls out there who would, and do.

Cheeseboy said...

That was me. I hang outside of Victoria Secrets on weekend nights and ask girls if they know my friend, Larry. It's perfectly harmless. Even ask my parole officer.

Cop a squat? Really? So glad I don't have girls.

Hulk (Who hopes his ten-year-old daughter will appreciate said advice...someday.) said...

I will be coming here regularly for advice on dealing with Hulkette in the years to come.

Is that plagarism? ;-)

Mom vs. the boys said...

Twitter is going to change the world! that is an amazing story and I'm glad that you said it had a happy ending first!! It is amazing who you have access to when you tweet!

purplume said...

What a great story, not that it happened but the ending. If we had VS here, I'd go buy a bra. XD

Kristin @ Meanbean said...

holy cow. I have goosebumps and chills...my heart was pounding until you said she was safe. Her reaction is totally how I was at that age, and what I fear from my daughter when she gets there. You are SO effing smart, and good on your hubs to be about to call the store manager.

Massive hugs to your girls, so thankful they're safe.

FranceRants said...

I am copying this and pasting it to my email so I can show my girls, over and over.

Kudos to you and your daughter too.

xoxo - F

FranceRants said...

BTW - did the mall security camera get a picture of the guy?

Judie said...

Well, I'm glad you came out of hiding to deliver this very important message to your readers! My granddaughter worked at Victoria's Secret for a couple of years before her semester in Spain. It was located in a mall in the middle of the campus. I'm glad she made it through that job safely!!!

Sandra said...

I'm so glad you wrote this post Joann, not only because it's extremely empowering, but also because I just so happened to have been creeping your twitter profile (to see when you'd be reappearing in the blogging world and when I could attend your book signing!) and I saw the tweet from VS to you. And being that I'm nosy, this post clears it all up for me. So glad your daugther is safe and so glad VS does actually give a shit, even if they're push-up bras suck and my boobs do not look bigger. At all. Just thought I'd add that. You know, to get it off my chest! bahahahaha!...forgive me, it's late, I've had too much sugar. Joann, come back, I miss you! xoxox

Baby Sister said...

It's a good thing you have Bob's digits, you can let him know all of this stuff. :) I'm glad your girl is safe, and I'm glad they changed things up. And I love that song.

Erika said...

Bone chilling. Every mom's nightmare.

Way to go for the twitter thing. Ahhhh the power of twitter. And kudos for the changes they made.

Sorry I am super late commenting. Found out Sarah has to have eye surgery and I have been immersed in that.

-Erika

Ash said...

I'm crying with relief for you and your precious girl. And for the fact that when you become a mother, worry never leaves.

Damn it.

Erin I'm Gonna Kill Him said...

That's scary, J. I've had some weird incidents occur in mall parking lots.

Can I call you at any hour when I'm a little scared? Like when I see pictures of Bethanny Frankel?

The Chicken's Consigliere said...

I'm glad she's ok Joann. How scary for all of you. Oh. And now I totally strongly dislike Giselle. Wow. Twitter on, Mama.

Shawn said...

Way to go! Now all we need to do is get our 16 year old daughters, who are friends, to realize that they too still need the help and protection of their Momma's!

I'm glad everything turned out ok and that you can rest easier knowing that O is under a greater level of protection.

The next time you speak to your good friend Bob can you tell him to bring back the laser cut thong...I miss them so!

By the way, I love T, she is awesome!

Nicki said...

So that's how it's going to be with you? You go away for 14 and a half years and finally come back and make me cry my guts out 2 days before my damn period is due? Have you no morals, woman??

I am reading this blog to my beautiful baby girls (who is 17) because she needs to see that us moms are not just big bundles of crazy. A month ago, she went to Buffalo for a dance competition. Her CHAPERON GOT DRUNK AND ALLOWED HER OWN DAUGHTER TO DRINK TOO!!! My daughter was annoyed enough to tell me and I was furious! Long story short, she got pissed at me for saying something to the owner but then realized I wasn't so crazy when the owner replied that that woman was already banned from chaperoning on future trips. I tell my kids all the time that I only have one wish and that is when I am gone, they will say, "Ya know, mom was nuts and she could be such a bitch at times but we never doubted how much she loved us." Oh my God, I would have gone completely insane if I was on the other end of that phone. I am not sure what I would have done but I hope that I would have done exactly as you had! Thank God for Olivia's safety and for giving you the guidance to do the right thing!

Not Just Another Jennifer said...

I love you for being the fighting mama bear you should be and for adding funny comments about VS and for using social media for good and for causing such great change!

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