Saturday, March 11, 2023

Memory Lane

A comment left by DrumMajor/Linda in Kansas that "You should apply for a job on Perry Mason with all of your observation skills", sent me on a path down memory lane in a quest to determine if I am a natural curious and highly observant entity or just plain nosy.

After thinking about it, I've determined the former, and offer up as evidence the fact that being naturally curious/highly observant has always been in my DNA as far back as I can recall.

In my preteens, I played Nancy Drew — walked around the neighborhood with a pad and pen, took down license numbers of cars parked in the area so, if there was an incident, I could tell the cops which cars were in the area at that time.

Later in life, as a young mother looking for a way to supplement my income, so I could do better for my girls, I looked into becoming a Private Detective — figuring I’d be good at it because I didn’t stand out, blended in. Or so I thought.

I now know I’d have stuck out like a sore thumb wherever I went because, for some odd reason, people did and do notice me.

Twin 2 recently told me how proud she and her twin were that I was known as "The hot mom, all the dads had crushes" on me.

Say what!? It would have been nice to know that back when I felt I was invisible, didn’t count for nothing.

At any rate, that private detective certification never got off the ground because the school I was looking into was too far away to get to.

The desire never left me though, because it was just two years ago when I looked into Private Detective training online, but decided I now do not have the time or inclination to work the course or do anything with the training had I completed it.

Several times since then — more recently just a few weeks ago, I looked into online courses in cold case crime solving genealogy.

But again, it’s a pipe dream because I don’t have the time or inclination to do the course work.

I did get to play Private Dick for real one time back in ’72, when I worked for the elected City Attorney of a small city who was up for reelection.

His opponent was running a campaign that included having enlisted a bunch of college students to pick up and work with a campaign strategy dossier at a location that turned out to be someone’s home.

The attorney I worked for wanted to see that dossier and asked if I thought I could pose as a student, get him a copy of it.

Challenge accepted.

I dressed down for the assignment and a little sexy as a distraction, went to the location where I found a lot of people milling around, going in and out, someone issuing the dossier, crossing off names of those picking up their copy.

Thinking fast, I said I was picking up for my boyfriend, gave a fictitious name for the boyfriend and, though there was a roster with a list of names, no one checked to verify — probably because of the hustle bustle of the place being so busy at the time or maybe because my short skirt tight blouse distraction worked, LOL.

Of course, I was prepared to play it off as a mistake if they checked but didn't find my fictitious boyfriend's name, play dumb that he'd sent me on a wild goose chase, even run if things went really bad but, with no further questions, no problem, I walked out with the paperwork.

My attorney and his Assistant Attorney laughed their butts off when I returned to the office, paperwork in hand, and regaled them with my outfit and undercover adventure.

I also later received a dozen long stemmed red roses from my attorney with his thanks.

He won reelection.

Thinking about that attorney as I typed out this post, I looked him up and found he passed away of Covid this last December.

Taking advantage of an offer to move up to a higher paying job, I moved on from small city attorney, ended up working for a big city attorney who was having trouble getting proof of service on a complaint. The respondent refused to accept mail coming from the law office, and the attorney could not move forward without proof of service.

That attorney didn’t so much as ask me to help as he made his problem my problem by ordering me to "Get him served".

Didn’t appreciate his tone, but no problem I.

In those days, one did not have to have a return address to get mail through the post office, so using my own personal violet colored envelope, sprayed with my perfume, I mailed the complaint off to the respondent’s address.

I figured no way he, or a wife if he had one, could pass up finding out what was in that perfumed envelope and from whom, as there was no return address or name.

Sure enough, the respondent accepted service. We got the necessary proof.

I never so much as got an atta girl or how did you manage it from the ungrateful attorney.

No matter because it was fun outwitting the respondent and, after only working three months for Mr. Ingrate, I applied for and was promoted to Administrative Legal Secretary to Mr. Ingrate’s boss.

I recall more times than a few when, out and about, I observed activities of a criminal nature that no one else appeared to have observed — multiple instances of shoplifting, some long ago, some more recent.

I've seen pickpockets in action, with no one else seeming to notice.

I saw a man surreptitiously taking photos of a little girl at a farmer's market, wanted to alert the parents but had a feeling they'd not believe me, which is why I rarely get involved, mostly just observe.

People believe what they see AND if they don't see, then I'm the one whose crazy, making things up. So it's best most times to keep my observances to myself unless it's something egregious, like if he'd touched the child.

Then there was the time, before I realized people either did not believe or did not care, when I spotted a pervert standing between two houses, watching the preschool across the street as he played with himself.

I called the cops.

They didn't care, didn't see the danger I saw, told me to call the next day if he was still there.

I've seen drug buys right out in the open, one just last week as I was leaving the Pain Cave.

Then there was last year when I observed a suspicious looking person targeting a shopper's purse, unattended in the market's shopping cart with her back turned, and thwarted the theft by warning the shopper.

Though she thanked me, I got the impression she wasn't concerned. She'd not noticed the individual, didn't see a problem, was too busy shopping to realize or care she'd been in danger even after being warned.

At any rate, I'm sure there have been other Perry Mason instances, but those are the ones I easily recalled.

Bottom line, it's in my DNA to be an avid people watcher, naturally curious and highly observant — a combination of Sherlock Holmes, Perry Mason, Dick Tracy, Nancy Drew and Miss Scarlet.


  1. None of this surprises me about you. Not even the fact that you had no clue you were the hot mom.

  2. Isn’t it sad, and stupid, that so many people choose to ignore good information that would keep them and their kids safe, not robbed, etc? The bad guys are so bold and seem to be everywhere. I love your work stories even though you worked for and with some real jackasses.

    1. People who ignore/don't listen make it really hard for well-meaning folks to make the decision to risk themselves by doing the right thing.

  3. That was so clever how you got that guy to accept service! Too bad your ingrate attorney was an asshole to work for. Some lawyers are jerks to everyone, except to anyone whose ass they're kissing trying to get on the bench. Ugh. Seen it a million times.

    1. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall, seen the look on that guy's face when he opened the envelope.

  4. I cannot imagine you not standing out! I totally can see you as the hot mom. I am also an observer, although I think you have me beat!

    1. I was a shy browbeaten child, an insecure late bloomer, and did not come into my own until late in life. Very late, LOL.

  5. Cold case crime solving genealogy sounds like it would be right up your alley. You could be CeCe Moore II.

    1. That field really interests me, but the work is incredibly time consuming and detailed oriented. I no longer have the patience for putting that kind of thought and energy into anything other than needlepoint but, once I finish this never-ending needlepoint project, who knows.

  6. Ask your apartment complex owner if they'd like "live-in" detective services! You've already got the start of a book or TV show. Linda in Kansas

    1. Management and the owners would be Chapters 1, 2 and maybe an entire book in and of itself.

  7. I love it. You might be a detective but I know I'm just nosy. I want to know what's going on without actually getting in the drama. I want to watch it go down and document it. As long as I'm not part of the drama it's interesting to see what happens. That news story you found about what happened on my street the other day was so wrong. lol Me and some of the other residents that live on this street commented on their fb page where the story was and told them they didn't have all the facts. Of course they didn't respond.

    1. Fake News, LOL. Maybe the reporter counted only the hours starting from when they found out about the standoff. Doesn't seem like they actually showed up at the scene, interviewed witnesses.