Just in case his meaning wasn't perfectly clear, he did a little smiley-face hip thrust. I'm not sure why I didn't turn around and go home right then but instead I whispered to my roommate that if she hadn't heard from me in one hour to call me and fake an emergency to get me out of there.
It turned out to be a necessary plan. When he took me to his place (to make me a "gourmet dinner" that turned out to be cream of chicken soup poured over instant rice) and the only furniture he had was a mattress on the floor, I knew I needed out. Fast.
If only I'd had a Guardian Angel. And by that I mean a cool little piece of jewelry designed by a new company to give us an easier way out of a date gone bad. The Guardian Angel is a sleek, normal-looking pendant that can be worn as a bracelet or necklace. When you push the button on it, it immediately sends a call to your phone allowing you an excuse to bolt.
But it's not just good for creepy dates. Having drinks with a colleague who can't stop talking about the project budget? Sitting in a cafe on the most boring OK Cupid meet-up ever? Caught next to a super chatty person on the bus? Press the button and end the misery.
The Guardian Angel works in more dire situations as well. Any woman who's had to walk home alone at night or tried to find her car in a secluded parking garage knows how scary it can be. So if you are feeling really threatened you can hold down the button for three seconds and the gadget will either call 911 or text a pre-programmed number with a plea for help and your location coordinates. (Yes, it's basically a posh version of the "Help, I've fallen and I can't get up!" lanyards.)
In a perfect world we'd be able to just speak up and say how we felt. (And I've gotten a lot better at that since college.) But sometimes you just need a quick out without having to explain too much. And sometimes when we try to tell someone they're bothering us it doesn't work. So if a panic button works, it certainly can't hurt to have one handy. Plus you get a cute piece of jewelry.
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