>One of the discussions I attended at BlogHer was about understanding your audience. (Obligatory self-deprecating joke here: Since I sat next to Maren at the panel, I had direct access to understanding what approximately 25% of my audience enjoys about CUSS.) I asked Twanna Hines from Funky Brown Chick about how she deals with creepy readers, and she recommended a book called, "The Gift of Fear," which basically advocates for listening to your gut instincts when assessing potential threats.
I have yet to check the book out (I'm still working my way through "The Liar's Club," which reminds me that I should update the quote about Republicans that I paraphrased on Wednesday), but it became relevant on Tuesday during a subway ride. As usual, I sat on the train, spacing out. A slightly homeless-looking guy got on the train a few stops before mine and plopped down next to me. I paid no attention.
Then, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed him fidgeting. I turned my head slightly. He was manhandling a pair of scissors and the corners of his mouth were turned up into a strange grin. Maurice (the hamster who runs on the wheel that powers my brain) went ballistic, and thoughts shot through my head:
-OH MY GOD! Those scissors look sharp.
-I should move. He could stab me, and my reflexes are very slow.
-If I get up to move, will it enrage him, thus encouraging him to stab me?
-Maybe I should sit really still.
-No, you should move. ASAP.
I stood up and glided toward the door. He didn't look up. I breathed a sigh of relief, but continued observing him from afar. At the next stop, I changed cars. As far as I know, he didn't subsequently stab anyone, but better safe than sorry.