My home is not a turnstile.

My home is a sacred place. The place where I recharge from draining conversations, loud noises, and traffic-related stress (my introversion is showing, I know). Home is where my child lives, where my plants grow, and where everything on the walls and on the shelves has meaning, a story. Home is where I know the food won’t have cat hair in it, and where the oat milk in the fridge is at the perfect temperature. Home is everything. Home is knowing. Home is safe. 

I recently struck up a conversation with a handsome 42-year old man who feels differently. After one agreeable conversation, he invited me over to his place to hang out. 

Yeah. Ok. 

I get what that translates to, and I get that he’s lazy and unimaginative and possibly broke. But what I can’t get over, is how willing some people are to open the door to strangers. All it takes is a woman laughing at a few of your jokes to allow her into your domain? Your home. Where you sleep, gather yourself, and unwind. I understand that he might think he has an upper hand because he’s taller and stronger and lives there, but women are serial killers, too, bro. I just don’t get it. 

The moral of this post that nobody asked for, is that if you don’t have a vetting process for who you allow into your space, I’m judging you. I can only assume your home is a cesspool of weird energy and germs. And booty juice. Lots of booty juice. 

If you extend an invitation to a stranger, you may have just given a crazy person your home address. If you accept the invitation, you’ve just entered into a potential crime scene with no witnesses. And you have no idea which drawer they keep the knives in. I’ve been this naive in the past, naive enough to hang out with someone I didn’t know very well in their home. I’m judging my not-so-younger self hard (like, girrrlll whet?), but I’m also really grateful I’m here today… to judge all of you. 

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Is this the age of Uber and Amazon In-Garage Delivery? Did “stranger danger” stop being a thing in the early 2000s? In 2021, smack dab in the middle of a pandemic, are people really accepting invites for “Netflix and chill” from complete strangers? Are we really still doing this? 

I get that my years of watching The First 48 and true crime documentaries have added a few layers to an already healthy amount of paranoia. I own that. But a healthy amount of paranoia (the first cousin of discernment) would have prevented a lot of victims from becoming victims. 

First name. Last name. Date of birth. Home address. Ask for all of it. Run a background check. Tell them you’re running a background check. Tell them you’re texting their information to your good friend or family member. If you’ve made it to the point where you feel comfortable spending time alone with them in their home, none of this should bother them. I’ve said this to a few men in the past, and I made sure I was looking right at them so that I could see how they reacted in real-time. They all understood. 

Someone told me this a while ago, and it stuck: 

“If you can’t tell your mom or best friend what you’re doing, you probably shouldn’t be doing it.” 

Photo by Asael Peña on Unsplash

Be wary of the man or woman who treats their home like a turnstile. A person who doesn’t care who they allow into their home has nothing to lose, and people with nothing to lose have nothing of value to give.

Invitations are nice, but invitations passed around like Tic Tacs should be viewed as red flags, not red envelopes. 

If you’ve made it this far down, I hope this sentence finds you whole. You are worth the kind of interaction that makes you feel comfortable. You are more valuable and more fragile than anything arriving through Amazon, so don’t think twice about asking someone to handle you and your home with care. 

You are your most prized possession. Don’t drop you. 

Featured image by Raban Schwebius on Unsplash

Candace Alike Smith is a Las Vegas-based content creator, womb warrior, and matcha enthusiast. Candace founded this site in 2015 to help women of color reclaim their vitality. Follow Candace’s content on holistic beauty, mental wellness, herbs and essential oils, non-toxic products, healthy libations, wellness travel, and self-reflection. Green is her happy color.

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