There are few of us women that haven’t had the conversation recently of ‘that could have been me’, ‘that could have been you’ and so forth. Anyone that’s been out late, had a few drinks and then made their own way home without a friendly escort has felt the shudder of what ifs?
Although we all wish from the very core of our hearts that Jill Meagher was still alive, the way to really honour this young woman violently robbed of her life is to forever remember her ‘what ifs’ so we protect ourselves from our own.
I have a lot of girlfriends who are married and now raising young families but I have an equal measure of those who haven’t found the right partner, or quite simply, have put their love and focus into other things. Perhaps their careers. Every one of these women I admire for their own paths and their own values.
As we all get older, I think we also know what we want from our friendships more than we did when we were younger, but that doesn’t mean to say we’re looking for someone who is in our eyes perfect. It just means we’re more aware of what the whole package consists of with the friends we choose to keep close.
One of my favourite girlfriends is a far more sexual being than the rest of us, and that’s her thing and at times I’ve looked to her for advice.
I’ve rarely felt the need to question her beliefs, until recently because she’s an exceptionally strong woman in more ways than one. In fact, she’s probably the last person I’d ever worry about in terms of looking after herself.
Regardless of her strength, I had a burning quandry building prior to our night out, one that had been bothering me in light of the Jill Meagher case.
My issue was, that in the past my friend had been known to have a stay-over let’s call it, with someone she’d meet out at night. Before you judge her, there are lots of women out there, in varying age brackets that might be looking for overnight love, rather than a long lasting kind. It’s not my thing but each to their own.
I kept debating in my head whether it was my place to quiz her, whether she still thought this sort of arrangement was a good idea?
Was I being judgemental? Would I be crossing the line of supporting a friend’s desires over what I now felt to be a real worry?
I decided to bring up the conversation as we started our night, and I said to her “I don’t want to sound like I’m being judgemental or a pain in the bum, but this Jill Meagher case has really made me re-assess so many things. And one of them is, I just have to say it worries me that you will allow a stranger to take you home and enter your house.”
Whilst she wasn’t dismissing the atrocity of what had taken place, she stands firm that we can’t live our lives in fear and that her intuition on her men, was enough to make her feel safe. In reference to her last overnight relationship, she said she ‘just knew he was harmless’.
It took me a while to let it go, as I couldn’t agree that one can ever really be that intuitive to know that someone hasn’t got a Jekyll & Hyde other side. But I had to let it go because she is her own woman.
So although we have agreed to disagree on this one, it was a conversation that was uncomfortable to have, but for me anyway, far more uncomfortable to not have.