I also offered to drop Sylvie off at her place, of course, as I had done so on previous occasions. By the time we were off, however, her friend had unexpectedly changed her mind, as she was asking how late the BART trains ran and when the last bus might leave. I told her it was really no trouble for me to take her, but I came to realize that wasn't actually the issue. I tried not to take it personally even though I was a little hurt that Sylvie's trust in me wasn't enough for her. And besides, I had taken a ride with a woman I'd just met a couple weeks before. But I knew that was just the way the world was. Plus, she could have had some bad experiences of this nature.
Muni had shut down early, so she had no choice but to ride with me a little while longer after I dropped Sylvie off. I took her to the nearest BART station on my way to the highway.
I considered writing a post about the experience, but it's just as well as I didn't because it may work better in this context.
Tonight, I went to a Rice Alumni Happy Hour, the most well attended I'd ever been to. After the drinking, those of us who remained went out for our traditional burritos.
Emily (tigeremme) had BARTed in, and she asked me for a ride across the bridge before I had a chance to offer it to her. Outside, the group were determining which direction they were heading, BARTward or anti-BARTward. Ryan was talking to a girl I had seen back at the Skylark and throughout the night; I didn't recognize her and had not gotten a chance to introduce myself, but I assumed she was a Rice alum who knew someone, possibly Dave, whom she'd sat next to at dinner. I had noticed her iPhone a few minutes earlier, and that was the extent of our interaction. Ryan noted that I was heading toward the East Bay, so she would have company on BART. But then he realized I wasn't taking BART. I said I could still take her across, however, and asked where she needed to go. Her car was in Berkeley, Shattuck and something-or-other. I could do that, sure. Sometime during this conversation, we introduced ourselves.
So she, Emily, and I walked to my car. On the way, I discovered that she wasn't a Rice alum at all; she was a friend of Ryan's from work. So she didn't actually know any of us, but she said we seemed like good people, and I agreed. She and Emily talked music during the drive, and I learned that she had taught herself how to play the accordion, which I thought was awesome. I dropped Emily off at Rockridge and then attempted to find Shattuck and something-or-other. Ryan's friend thanked me for the ride, and I said that people had given me rides for years and years, so now I took every opportunity to give people rides as a form of repayment. What else did I have a car for?
I followed some random streets and found my way without her having to bust out Google Maps. I dropped her off at her car, and she thanked me once again.
Now, she hadn't even met me when she accepted a ride from me, and she didn't know I was also taking Emily (I don't remember the exact timeline of when I brought that up, but I honestly don't think it made a difference, based on her reactions and behavior, especially in comparison to the earlier woman). But I assume she thought I was safe enough based on Ryan's trust, or perhaps she was just incredibly naive.
Which is the more common reaction, then? Do you routinely accept rides from people you hardly know based on their association with people you trust? Are you automatically suspicious of anyone (especially a man) who offers you a ride? Do I look like a serial killer rapist?