DEAR ABBY: I'm a police officer with a large metropolitan police department. I have been dating a wonderful woman I'll call "Jamie" who was raised in -- and still resides in -- a small town where everyone knows everyone, and many people still leave their doors unlocked. I'm frustrated with her because she's so trusting of everyone.
The last time Jamie came here to visit, she accepted a ride from a complete stranger while walking to a nightclub. Because she thought he was "nice," she also gave him her name and phone number. Jamie frequently picks up hitchhikers, and last week after she finished work, she let an intoxicated male come to her barber shop at 10 p.m. and gave him a haircut. When she was finished cutting his hair, she told me he took out a bag of marijuana and asked her to smoke with him. Jamie does not use controlled substances. She says she gave him a ride back to his hotel so he would leave the shop.
I constantly tell my girlfriend to use common sense with strangers and stop assuming everyone is nice. I see violence, misery and mayhem every day, and I tell her about it. I'm afraid unless she starts using common sense that one day she'll be a victim. Please help me get through to her. Jamie is a wonderful person, but she won't listen to me. -- WITS' END IN THE WEST
DEAR "END": While I admire your girlfriend's optimism, I agree her naivete is dangerous. So far she has been lucky -- but any one of the incidents you described could have ended badly.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Because you have been unable to convince her verbally, consider showing her photographs of what has happened to some of the individuals who became victims because they were in the wrong place at the wrong time, or because they trusted a stranger. If that doesn't wake her up, nothing will.