My mother raised me to be paranoid. Which is why I am probably still alive despite growing up in (name of town censored lest I receive hate mail for speaking the truth).
What mom did not foresee was the consequence of teaching her airhead daughter to lock the door every time I leave the house. Mom now has a daughter who cannot get back inside the house, even if someone was chasing me... because the keys are inside.
I have met every neighbor on my street because I am too ashamed to use the phone at the same house more than twice (in a week).
One neighbor felt sorry for me when I was expecting. "Oh, it's just pregnancy-brain," she said. Another (who smelled distinctly of marijuana) withdrew his offer of a funny looking rolled up piece of paper after he realized it wasn't just a tumor growing in my stomach (medical relief, he said).
I think I'm inadvertently teaching my daughter to be paranoid, too. We always lock our doors and never talk to strangers... unless they have telephones or can remind us which rock our spare key is under.
Q4U: What funny or helpful habits has your mom taught you?
Bekah Hamrick Martin is a local writer who can be reached at email@example.com, unless she's accepting a ride from the neighbors.