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"This is the most exciting day of my life...and I was pulled on stage once to dance at a Bruce Springsteen concert."
30 Rock


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Friday, February 25, 2005

The Lights Are On But Nobody's Home

Let me start off by saying I love my parents. I love my parents despite their quirkiness which I will only briefly elaborate on here.

Witness Exhibit A: Ever since I was little, my dad has had a bit of a paranoia about privacy. That would be fine if say we lived in a bad neighborhood, or even in walking distance of a bad neighborhood. But we don't. We live in just about one of the safest neighborhoods in America. Here's an analogy for you. If The OC met NJ, we would be it.

Although I've lived in Mr. Roger's neighborhood, (sans the nice people and colorful array of sweaters), for over 20 years now, my parents did not always live in such a nice place. They grew up in a much more urban area of NJ, an area where my grandmother still lives to this day. So, this in itself might contribute to a well deserved paranoia. For them growing up, things like locking the doors weren't a precaution, they were common sense. I suppose some things just stick with you. My old boss used to live in a tougher part of NY. After living in NJ for years he still put The Club on the car as he made his 2 minute walk to his suburban office which also, I might add, had a huge picture window that faced...his car. I guess old habits die hard.

But what people like this don't understand is that being overly precautious can actually have the reverse effect. Instead of flying just under the radar, you are actually drawing more attention to yourself.

Here's my biggest protectional pet peeve. For as long as I can remember, my dad has had a habit of leaving a few lights on when they go out. The rationale? It looks like someone is home at all times, even if they're not thus giving potential robbers the message: "Back off buddy! We ain't leaving anytime soon!" Of course this doesn't cover the intruders of the "I don't care I'm gonna kill you and take your big screen tv anyhow" variety, but you know, we all do what we can.

But here's the part that gets me. Say my parents are going out for an all day affair, leaving sometime in the morning. My dad will still go around and leave on random lights throughout the house. Here's the thing: Lights on when it's already dark out? Ok. Good. Solid. Lights on when it's daylight out? To me, instead of covering one's ass, this screams: "WE ARE NOT HOME! WE WANT YOU TO THINK WE'RE HOME, BUT WE'RE SO OBVIOUSLY NOT! COME, STEAL FROM US NOW!"

I've tried to explain this to my parents numerous times, but they are getting up there in age or as nice people politely put it, their more set in their ways.

Suffice it to say, I really need to get my own place soon. And, as it turns out, I think I might know a good joint to scope out for the cash.



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