Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Matter of Trust--What would you do?

HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN:   It happens to me at the airport. I'm by myself, and waiting in my very good seat in the waiting area, and, um, I have to go to the bathroom. DO I give up my good seat, and lug all my stuff with me? Or do I look for a likely trust-worthy looking person and say--could you just watch this for me and I'll be right back?

Now, obviously, this is FRAUGHT. This is asking someone to do exactly what the security announcements say not to do. But in this case, I'd be the dangerous one, right? And I'm not. Of course that someone could steal all my stuff. So, sigh, I NEVER do it, but I always think of it.
Another time, on the airplane, I was having trouble getting into my 11A window seat--because I had a bag, and a latte, I couldn't navigate myself over the passenger in 11B. "Could you hold my latte for me?" I asked 11B. She looked at me like I was CRAZY. "No, I'm afraid not," she said. 

What a terrific photo of Diane Vallere!

So how do you know who  is trustworthy? That's what the fabulous (you know her,right?)  Diane Vallere is asking--

                        Diane Vallere

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about trust, which I think is a very scary subject. Specifically, I’ve been wondering what it is about trust that makes us willing to gamble our emotional well being? Is it a currency with which we shop for people who become our closest confidents, or is it a measure by which we rule out wannabe friends and partners?

Not terribly long ago, I was talking about a mutual friend with some coworkers. “I like her, but I wouldn’t trust her as far as I can throw her,” said one. We all agreed. But on principle, it seems silly that we could acknowledge liking someone who we all know we wouldn’t trust. I couldn’t tell you what that person had done to make us all agree so quickly, but there it was: unanimous votes on untrustworthiness, cast in a matter of seconds. It would have taken longer to get us to agree on lunch.

It seems that every day we encounter strangers to whom we grant our trust: the mechanic who tells us that our car repairs are going to cost $900, the sales associate who says we look good in yellow, the Trader Joe’s employee who tells us we’ll really like the Malbec/Merlot blend. So we have the work done on our car, we buy the outfit, and we drink the wine. We trusted these strangers for no reason other than we wanted to.

But maybe the car didn’t really need that much work. Does it hurt as much to learn that the mechanic lied as it does when a loved one tells us they read our private journal? Not really. 

So why does it bother us so much when a person we’re close to violates our trust? Because it tells us something about that person, or because it tells us something about ourselves?

I think a lot about trust when I’m working on a book. Everybody in a character’s life can’t be trustworthy; it goes against the laws of real life. But in a mystery, where characters often aren’t what they seem, does trust play the same role as coincidence? Is it a plot device to move a scene forward, or is it an honest-to-goodness reflection of our own desire to believe the best about human nature when surrounded by the worst?

No actual teddies were loaned for this blog
When we trust someone, we become vulnerable. It’s like extending a valuable part of ourselves in the hopes that the person we trust will treat it with the respect it deserves.

It’s kind of like loaning out your teddy bear. Scary subject, indeed!

HANK:  Would you ask a stranger to hold your latte? Would you ask a stranger to hold your baby?  Have you ever trusted someone you shouldn't?

And trust me on this--one lucky commenter will win Diane's new book!


Diane Vallere lives in a world where popcorn is a breakfast food and Doris Day movies are revered for their cultural significance. After over twenty years in the fashion industry, she now writes full time, juggling the Mad for Mod series, the Style & Error series, and the upcoming Material Witness series. She launched her own detective agency at age ten and has maintained a passion for shoes, clues, and clothes ever since. Find her at

When interior decorator Madison Night receives a five thousand dollar bill in the mail, she knows it's a message from her past. But when she discovers a corpse while trying to learn of the bill's value, Madison suspects her former lover wants more than a reconciliation. His actions belie his intentions, and even a gallon of daisy yellow paint can't hide the writing on the wall. Madison follows a circuit of rare dollars and common sense and discovers a counterfeit operation, a jealous lover, and the true value of her independence.


  1. I'd ask a stranger to hold my drink (don't drink coffee, but some other drink) because the consequences if they weren't trust worthy would be small. Same with if I were asked to hold a drink for the person right there.

    The rest of it? Probably not so much. I need to know someone to trust them.

  2. I would never ask a stranger to hold my drink. My step-son once had his drink spiked that way. Nor would I ever trust a stranger with my child. It's funny, before I started to think this over today I always considered myself a very trusting person, but perhaps I'm not!

  3. I'd never ask someone to hold my child, and having heard what happened to Lacey Dearie's stepson, I wouldn't ask someone to hold my drink, either!

    Because my mechanic has talked me OUT of expensive repairs, I do trust him with my car.

    Never having had a good experience with a plumber when a big job was needed, I don't trust plumbers. At all. (and one of them later on used my credit card# to pay a personal bill that cost more than the repair he did for me.)

    I don't trust my dentist to tell me the truth, as in "this won't hurt a bit." He's never told the truth about that. He laughs when I tell him that something hurt.(And I can handle a LOT of pain.)

  4. I'll ask someone sitting next to me on, say, Amtrak to watch my bag, but I'll take my wallet with me...

  5. I was scammed at an airport... not because I offered to hold someone's latte but because a distraught young man's car had been towed (so he said) and he didn't have the cash to retrieve it... and long story involving sick father. It would just be a loan, he said. And of course I thought, suppose this were my daughter... He even gave me his card.

    I was annoyed but it left no scars.

    Diane is talking about a much more deeply emotional kind of "trust" where instead of feeling scammed you feel betrayed. Yup, I've had it happen.

  6. I have been trusting clients to pay me for 40 years. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. Why I hate being a lawyer (NO, we are NOT all wealthy-- especially when we don't get paid!)

    In other circumstances, I am far less trusting. I don't even like to leave my car for valet parking (it always develops a problem after I do).

    Reason not to leave the bag, aside from the fact that it could be stolen: you could miss your plane while TSA investigates whether you are a terrorist. Don't ever let a stranger watch your drink, but holding it while you climb over them? They should GET UP or risk having said drink (accidentally, of course) poured on them.

    Something I see on TV all the time: characters having a one-night stand and leaving the person in their bed/apartment when they go to work. Are you kidding? They deserve whatever happens afterwards (and I'll be watching a different program, or reading a different book).

  7. Welcome, Diane!

    Yes, you're talking about a much deeper kind of betrayal. I've had my share of interactions with narcissists, so I tend to be wary when people are charming and "too good to be true." What do they want? One of the nice things about middle age is that a lot of your friendships are 10, 20, 30 years old. Those friends I trust.

    (Not that you're all not lovely people — I'm sure you are...)

  8. Terrific piece, Diane!

    Oh my. I could write reams about this particular topic.

    Have I ever had my trust betrayed? hahahahahahahahaha.
    oh yeah. In the worst possible way. More than once. When you're betrayed by a best girlfriend it stays with you forever (or it has me).

    Hank, I'm sorry, about that person who refused to hold your latte! What did you say? I have the oddest reactions to that sort of thing, and I "think" I would have gotten tickled. Getting the giggles when someone refuses to do you a favor - wrong reaction, huh? Can't help it.

  9. Great subject! I have asked people to watch my suitcase in the airport--it's such a pain to drag everything into the stall...another miserable thing about traveling.

    But the latte--they couldn't very well spike it while Hank was crawling into her seat, could they?? And I like Kaye's solution to "no"--giggles....

  10. I don't know that I'd ask a total stranger to hold a drink while I walked away somewhere, but for a second while I put up a bag? Sure. I've been at tourist attractions, like Niagara Falls, and taken pictures for people with nice phones or digital cameras - and asked others to do the same for me.

    Leave my laptop? Probably not. Too much money invested, too much time (all my writing). And time used to be when my laptop was the banking laptop, so I never left it anywhere.

    My child? No way, not with a stranger. Not these days.

    Have I had my trust betrayed? Sure. But I figure I can either let it make me cynical or move on. I choose to move on because I don't have the energy to live a bitter, cynical life these days. It doesn't stop me from trusting others - but neither will I trust that particular person without a LOT of evidence that he/she has changed.

  11. An interesting quandary.
    A drink? Sure, no big deal, unless I'm walking away, out of sight.
    A baby? For how long and where will I be during that time?
    I think the "out of sight" point is key. I'd be more trusting if I were still in sight.
    Does that mean I'm not actually trusting?

  12. Oh, so funny--I mean, we've all handed our phones to strangers ,asking them to take a photo. Ever thought they might just steal it?

    As for deep trust..well, sure, I've been betrayed. It's so--surprising, right? You go back over all the conversations you've had, wondering--why didn't i SEE that?

  13. Lacey--that's terrifying.

    HAllie--those scams are TERRIBLE> Because they rely on our good will. Is there any solace in that it mens you look like a nice person? NO? :-)

    And Susan, yes..because on AMtrak, they can't go anywhere, it feels like, at least.

  14. Kaye--I said "Really?" And put it down on the floor.

    (SHe was on a kindle, I remember, and I tried (but failed) to see what she was reading. I also remember she got on with the flrst class passengers, but she was not in first class.)

  15. Wait a minute. Are you saying I DON'T look good in yellow? Hi, Diane! You look good in all your retro fun clothes.

    I rarely ask people to do things for me. It has nothing to do with trust, it has to do with being raised Catholic. :-) But I find I offer to help--I'd be the person asking if you want me to hold your drink while you put up your bag. However, I'd probably say no to someone asking me to watch their stuff at the airport, although I'd probably lie and say I was about to get up and go to the potty myself. Then, even if I didn't have to go, I'd go and lose my own good seat, because I just told a lie. See, it all comes back to being raised a Catholic.

    I trust people, until they give me reason not to. But ask someone to hold my laptop? For a second, even? Are you insane?

  16. Ooooh, we've got to talk about people's behavior at airport... another day. But if I see another chihuaha "therapy dog"...

  17. That is tricky. I do trust people to watch suitcases and hold my place in line and take my photo, but I don't trust any stranger not be a serial killer! That is, I won't be alone with them in a non-public place. Hmmm, what does that say about me?

  18. On the day we discuss airport behavior, can we also discuss elevators? I am trusting generally, but I hate being alone in an elevator with one other person. Male, female, Jedi knight, anything. HATE.

  19. There are so many reasons these days not to be trusting:

    "Your call is important to us.."

    "A customer service assistant wil be able to help you in..three..minutes.."

    "Your car will be ready tomorrow--"

    "That should be covered in the warranty.."

  20. But in the different meaning of trust--do you instantly decide whether a new person is trustworthy? Do you think you can just--tell?

  21. To a limited extent, I assume everybody on the street is trustworthy unless given a reason to believe otherwise. As I get to know people, the level of trust goes up - or down, as the case may be.

  22. To a limited extent, I assume everybody on the street is trustworthy unless given a reason to believe otherwise. As I get to know people, the level of trust goes up - or down, as the case may be.

  23. this is a wonderful post - and the comments are giving me a real lesson this morning - I have not recently really tested this concept of when to trust or not... but believe me, I'm going to turn my interior closet upside down now --- thanks for all the suggestions!! We live in a wild world!! Thelma in Manhattan

  24. The latte - being known as the klutz in the family and not liking to talk to strangers or ask for help, I would have had to work up a bit of courage to ask her to hold my drink, and when she refused I would have gotten flustered. And while juggling my things would probably would have accidentally dropped it on her and of course she would have thought it was on purpose. The inner me would have been happy, the clumsy outer me mortified. Which is why I probably wouldn't ask in the first place. But I like Hank's response. You can say a lot with "Really."

    Trust - my grandmother taught us to carry our purses under our arms and "hold tight" so nope, probably not too trusting with people I don't know. And I hate to be wary of businesses but too much trust can equal lots of money down the drain. I tend to go the other way once I feel I can trust someone/something though. Hasn't always worked out but feels better to try and be optimistic.

    My child - not for a second.

  25. Look what our Ramona just posted on

    Question: You (a woman) are alone in an elevator. It stops and a man gets in. You immediately get a bad vibe from him. What do you do?

    Ah HA! What do you think??

  26. (So nice to see a fellow Mysterista here!) Holding a drink, if I'm right there? Yes. Baby? Not unless I was at a playground full of parents. Bags? Maybe. I've learned that I am a HORRIBLE judge of character, I always trust people to be honest. And even though I know this, I can't help doing it, and it still surprises me every time I'm wrong about someone (I'm really not a complete moron, honest). Perhaps this is why the protag in my WIP trusts no one; she's my opposite! (Hallie, I'm still laughing about the chihuahua therapy dogs.)

  27. I think we develop a gut feeling of whom to trust. At the airport on Saturday the young woman sitting next to me asked me to watch her bag while she went to the bathroom. I had no problem with that even though we are told not to. I had seen her reading a kindle, talking on the phone and judged her to be the sort of person who wouldn't leave explosives in a good looking bag.
    It's all common sense really, like who to pat down going through the detectors. Not an 87 year old frail Jewish guy as I saw once.

  28. Hallie, at O'Hare on Monday, I saw a standard poodle, female, in full show trim with bows, wearing a service dog vest. Who knows? No law says a service dog can't go to the beauty shop, but...

    And Hank, one of my flights back from CA last week--no, wait--the week before--I ended without an AISLE seat. I'm a good flyer, as long as I get to sit on the aisle. You might guess I'm a wee bit claustrophobic. So halfway through the flight when I had to get up, I asked the lady on the aisle if she would let me out. She said "No. Just climb over." So what a quandary. Do I climb over facing her and end up straddling her if the plane bumps? Or do I climb over backwards and risk sitting in her lap? I chose the latter. But, REALLY??? I have never, ever, ever refused to get up and let someone out on a plane.

    Would I ask someone to hold my latte? If I could see them, sure. Would I hold someone else's while they got situated on a plane? Sure.

    The luggage thing when you're traveling by yourself is an issue. I have asked, when the person next to me was obviously a traveler in the same situation. Should I have? Now I'm going to wonder...

  29. Wow--being on west coast time means I'm behind! Thanks to Hank for hosting me on Jungle Red. Now, on to these comments...

  30. I love how the comments went off into the direction of the airport. Really, aren't we taught to be suspicious of every single person who goes through security?

    Lucy-it would have been very easy for someone to spike Hank's latte if they wore a poison ring. One little twist...

    Ramona! I hear you on the Catholic thing. Try being a Capricorn too--you almost never ask for help!

    I admit, the issue of trust goes to something far deeper and more emotional, those people we want to trust, who we think we can trust, who tell us to trust them, can we be sure? And what if they've already violated our trust in the past? Can we ever get past that nagging concern over being burned a second time?

  31. Recently in an airport, a young soldier in uniform asked if I would watch his duffle bag while he used the rest room. I said, "I'm sorry, but you know I can't." I just thought that as a member of the military he would understand that I was referring to the security issue. I've traveled a lot, and I've never had a similar request in an airport outside the US. The soldier glared at me, obviously angry, and made a big show of dragging the duffle bag off with him. There were many other military personnel in the waiting area, and he didn't ask any of them -- why not? Holding a drink for someone getting into a seat is entirely different -- not a problem. But a bag? No. I don't ask anyone to hold mine, and I won't watch anybody else's.

  32. Deborah, you're making me rethink my plan to get around the no-pet policy of my building by adopting a service Shih Tzu. Maybe if I avoid bows in his fur?

  33. Does age matter here ? I tend to trust people my age. Never really thought it through till now.
    And I never thought twice about going up to someone's car if they asked for directions. Now after too many Criminal Minds episodes and/or John Sanford novels, I decided I can be helpful from a distance. Still I would hate not helping people when they ask.

  34. I try to travel light, and schlep the bag with me (Capricorn, but not Catholic...). Would I hold your drink? Yes, unless you had a service chihuahua in your other hand. Would I get up on the aisle seat? Depends on the amount of space and who's trying to pass. I'm not very big, sometimes I can swivel efficiently and everyone is accommodated--but for the elderly, person with a baby/child, person of a particular size, I'm up! But hand over my child? Never.

  35. Hi Diane! You bring up a good point about our fiction. We do tend to trust people in our everyday interactions. Don't we? I do ... Maybe I'm gullible. In any case, my characters tend to reflect that attitude.

    However, that said, I back away from overly charming men (like you mentioned Susan) -- been bamboozled in the dating dept. one too many times. I'll take a socially awkward guy any day of the week.

  36. I must give off trust vibes as strangers ask favors of me a lot. I have kept an eye on someone's laptop at the dog-friendly outdoor patio of our local coffee/wine/beer place. I've watched carryon luggage for ladies who didn't want to haul it into the restroom at the terminal. I've taken pictures with cell phones and cameras. Given directions. Even kept an eye on someone's dog at the before-mentioned place while they got a refill. And I have helped strangers out with a little money even knowing they probably don't really need it. I draw the line at the professionals though, who have their spot at certain intersections. I don't tend to ask for help though. Occasionally someone will jump in and offer it. Like the nice guy (who was a customer) at Lowe's who helped me load mulch in my Jeep. When I travel, which isn't nearly enough, I try to carry only what I can handle and still have one hand free.

  37. One more thought. Hand over my child? Please, take him! He's 36!

  38. Hank, I would definitely ask someone to hold my latte in the getting-into-my-seat situation on an airplane. The fact that the woman said "no" is rather shocking, and I'm not sure how I would have responded, probably sarcastically. I can imagine going with your response, Hank. I'm guessing the two of you didn't have much conversation after that. However, the "good seat." Never give up the good seat in the waiting area. Of course, I wouldn't ask someone to watch my bags at an airport either, so then you're faced with how bad do you really have to go. I try to avoid bathrooms on planes at all costs.

    Diane, I actually do understand liking someone but not being able to trust them. Heck, I'll go one step further and say that I understand loving someone but not being able to trust that person. I trust fairly easily, and I even forgive and move on easily, but there are limits that I have reached with some people close to me that destroyed trust, and that's a gut wrenching feeling indeed. However, I don't spend time being bitter, either. As I've said, I can even have people in my life I don't trust, but the shield has gone up on the trust issue and won't be coming back down. Not a matter of ill feelings or ill will, just survival.

    On a lighter note, Hank, you made me laugh about the possibility of the camera being stolen. I have often envisioned the scenario of having to chase down someone I stopped and ask to take my picture with a family member or friend.

  39. still laughing at the chihuahua therapy dogs.

    Elevators! I would so much rather be on a crowded elevator than just me and one other person. SO awkward. And yes, discomfiting.

    "Really?" was a very good response to the person who refused to hold Hank's latte. Sort of the northern equivalent of "bless your heart," maybe.

    Hallie, I got taken by that EXACT same scam. In Baltimore. The guy said he would leave the money at the front desk of our hotel. Donald was with me and when he rolled his eyes at me when I handed the guy a $20, I actually got perturbed with him for being so cynical about people. (that should have been a big clue, because he is so far the opposite of that). When the guy had not shown up by the time we left 3 days later, I had to finally admit I had been taken. i hated that.

  40. Yes, Kaye, "really" is just like "Bless your heart." and there are so many wonderful inflections..

    VIrginia, just because someone has a duffel bag doesn't mean they are a real solider. Hmm, that is such a great disguise, right? and you are so clever to have seen right though it.

    Debs, really? CLIMB OVER? That is so rude, and makes it so awkward for you. I would always get up. (And Im an aisle girl, too...its a tough call on a long late night flight because it's easier to sell at the window..but hen you have to trample over the potentially sleeping or pretending to aisle person to get to the bathroom.

  41. Pat D: that made me laugh!

    Kathy Reel: I find "forgive and forget" great in theory but I've never been able to perfect the forgetting part. But then, I've had a trust broken repeatedly--why didn't I learn?--but I think it reflects a desire to see the best in people.

    Hi Lisa! Funny to be a gullible mystery writer, isn't it?

  42. What a thought-provoking post, Diane! I'm like Lacey, I thought I was trusting, but thinking about this, I wouldn't ask anyone to watch anything. Though I've been on the other end at the airport and said yes to watch a bag. Of course, twenty seconds in, I panicked and started to sweat. What have I done?! Who is this stranger? Do I report them to security? Is it a test? What if my flight gets called and they don't come back? Do I just leave it? Oy! (The person came back, nothing exploded, and I didn't get scolded by security forces.) But if I were writing the scene, hmmm...

  43. I read that culturally as Americans our bias is to believe what people tell us. If they say they're from Connecticut, or an account, or went to NYU, we believe until we're given hints or evidence not to.

    Other cultures have a more cautious, prove-it type of approach to strangers.

  44. Kendel--so funny! Is that because, as crime fiction authors, we always play out every scene to the most dramatic ending possible?

  45. I'm still stuck on the climb over thing too. How weird!

    Kendel-You crack me up! I always think of Alias and how Sydney Bristow would infiltrate different places by pretending to be what they expected. And, as we all know, Alias was 100% real.

  46. I would have held your latte, Hank. You were in a logical situation to ask for help . You weren't asking for anything that might have put the woman at risk.

    I had a great flight from Denmark once, because I asked two rowdy guys from Iceland to please not ask the flight attendant to move me to another seat. They said they would never do that, even though I must be asking for it. They shared their vodka, and we had a great time swapping sea stories. I think they cleaned theirs up a little..

  47. I would never make someone climb over me on a train or plane! This reminds me that someone INSISTED that I get up and let her family sit together in a train seat - and I was walking with a cane at the time! She said "oh, sorry" but she still wanted me to move - which required a lot of painful gathering together of bags, etc. If thoughts could kill...

  48. Hallie, I am shocked that you were taken by that scam...I've had that tried on me at least 10 times with slight variations. They must use it because it works. I am usually very gullible and trusting, but this one doesn't work on me.

    I will, however, hold Hanks's latte or watch little old lady's bags any time.

  49. Thank you for all the latte holding. I appreciate it.

    And truly--I mean--I'd OFFER to hold someone's latte. I have, in fact.

  50. Hank, you need to report in if all of a sudden all kinds of strangers start asking you to hold their lattes!

  51. Oh, I absolutely WANT to trust everyone! But just yesterday I was at lunch and could not find my phone that had just been sitting on the table--and I became convinced that the woman at the next table who had recently left had walked off with it. Of course, when I had my husband call it, it was in a deep purse pocket!

    Airports always make me worry now. I always tote everything with me to the bathroom, and never leave a drink unattended. (Roofies! Arsenic! Toilet Bowl Cleaner!) But unlike wise Virginia, I always agree to watch others' stuff.

    My most ridiculous experience: Traveling with my 12 month old daughter (in 1993), hustling through the airport, carrying her, her car seat, my purse, her diaper bag. A twenty-something guy starts walking beside me, chatting. Then he tells me that I look like I could use some help, and would I like him to carry... my daughter!

  52. I am slow to trust, it must be earned. Probably due to my trust has been betrayed in the past. While I would never ask a stranger to watch my stuff at the airport I have asked if they would hold my seat for me while I run to the ladies room. Most say yes and I have returned the favor.

  53. Since I can't tell the difference between a hungry person and anyone else asking for money, I give.

    Debs... service dogs have all kinds of owners. God knows Kendall does his best to keep me from acting on my histrionic impulses, but I still like him to wear turquoise booties with matching collar and silver studs. Hahahahahahahah!!!

  54. Wow Hank - can't believe she wouldn't hold your coffee while you put your bag up or stand up to let you get to your seat - rude !
    I always got up to let someone in or out of their seat if I was in the way

    Hi Diane and Welcome

    Look forward to reading THAT TOUCH OF INK

    I love Doris Day movies - TCM ran her movies on her BD last week - she was in a few I didn't care for they didn't seem to "fit" her personality.

  55. Trust - OMG I have been burned so many times, you would think I'd learn by now to not trust people until I really get to know them

    Having someone near and dear break trust is the worst.

    I have never understood the "forgive and forget" thing when it comes to someone you love or thought loved you majorly breaks the trust you had in them.

    I have a very hard time forgetting when someone hurts me deeply and forgiving, also a toughie

    I was brought up that you do for everyone - I'm with Ramona on the Catholic upbringing and maybe the era I grew up in, you always help others

    In Hank's situation I would have held the drink and stood up

    As for asking someone to watch my bags, never occurred to me, just always tugged them alone if I was traveling alone

    I never had anyone ask me to watch their bag(s) , maybe be cause I was always buried in a book and didn't look approachable

    trusting a stranger with a child NEVER

    I love dogs, so probably would watch the dog if it didn't look like it would bite my hand off, while it's human went for a refill, but I would not ask someone to watch my pooch, all my dogs rank up their as a child when it comes to trusting other

    Great topic

  56. Have I ever had my trust betrayed? Sadly, yes . . . someone that I believed was a good friend turned out not to be one at all, and proved it in the most dreadful way possible. It troubled me for a long time.
    It’s probably not a better way to be, but these days I am far less trusting and much more cynical than I used to be.

    Hank, I would definitely hold your latte; I would probably hold a drink for anyone who asked and I would get up for someone to move past me if I was sitting in an aisle seat on an airplane [or a bus or a train].
    However, it saddens me to say that I would not ask a stranger to hold my baby or my coffee because there’s a part of me that thinks somehow the answer should be different, that we ought to be able to trust others to help us without worrying about our drink being spiked or our child being hurt or stolen away. Still, experience has proven that trust should not be so easily given --- it’s a truly sad commentary on the state of the world . . . .

    That said, it’s amazing how many truly wonderful people there are that somehow crop up in your life at the moment you need them the most and proceed to simply make your day shine . . . .

  57. Laura Benedict--oh, that is TERRIFYING! (so wonderful to see you..come do a guest blog, okay?)

  58. Joan--as always, the voice of love and optimisim.


  59. Diane, I'd trust you as far as I could throw you but then, I know where your parents live! ( or I used to!) which is not as creepy as it sounds since Diane and I went to high school together. :)

    I get scammed all the time. I give money to the guy in the Publix parking lot, and the lady under the overpass. I am super suspicious of airport people, though. But I would have held your latte, Hank. Because really, if it was a bomb you'd have been blown up, too. And Deb, I would have gotten up for you. That's just courtesy; not trust!

  60. Thank you, Lora! See you all tomorrow--and we will announce the winner of Diane's book! Love you, dear Diane! xooo

  61. Reine, I was thinking of Kendall, and this was a gorgeous dog. Just unusual--have never seen a Standard Poodle in a service vest, much less a fully groomed one. But why not? They are in the top half dozen of best working dogs (along with Goldens and GSDs:-)) Although even this girl in all her poms and bows didn't hold a candle to Kendall!

    (It's late--I made a nice alliteration!)

  62. Oh, Debs... you are so dear! The photo of you hugging Kendall—as he is reaching out to plant a big wet sloppy kiss on your cheek—is now the background on my iPhone and iPad. All I have to do is click on my phone, and I have to smile, no matter what. Thank you! xoxoxo

    PS: I knew what you meant about the poodle. I can't comment. :-)

    In case anyone is seriously interested... any dog that can be trained to a very high standard of reliable behavior can be a service dog. Some breeds have traits that make them better candidates to assist humans. Most dogs do not make the grade. Wonderful pets do not usually make good service dogs. Some of these lovely pets, who cannot assist themselves out of a gunny sack, give well-behaved and properly trained assistance dogs a bad reputation. So if you are considering getting a service dog don't risk getting one of the very deserving dogs from the shelter to train yourself. It probably won't work out well. Then what do you do? Get a professionally trained dog. There are scholarships and grants available for qualified applicants.

  63. Hallie, Reine is right about service dogs. I knew someone who had a dog (mutt) who could tell if he was about to have a seizure. That is a service dog, even if it doesn't LOOK like one.

  64. Debs! I missed your alliteration— "... the poodle didn't hold a candle to Kendall"! xoxoxo

  65. Terrific interview, Diane! Trust is a big issue in my novels for the reason you pointed out - trusting someone makes you vulnerable. It's a scary thing to trust.
    And that is so funny, Hank. I think I would laugh if I asked someone to hold my latte and they said, "I don't think so."
    I sooo wouldn't be worried about someone doing something to my drink and I wonder why she was so snippy about NOT holding it. I guess you never know why someone is crabby or what problems or concerns they have at that moment. But such a little thing to ask - she could've at least reached for it and rolled her eyes or something. lol

  66. Hank--Thank you SO MUCH for hosting me! This was tons of fun!

    I like to think I've resolved some of my trust issues, at least with the people close to me, but the next time I'm on a flight I'm going to pay particular attention to those around me. Might even ask someone to hold my drink as an "experiment."

    Thanks to everyone for the comments!

  67. Interesting question about trust. If I ran into Hank or one of the contributors of this blog and you asked me to hold a cup for you, I would say Yes, since I kind of know who you are. Unless I have a cold and was worried that I would sneeze into your cup, I would have to say No.

    I wonder if I have the kind of face that people trust. I was living abroad (Oxford, England) when I was walking near Boots. This young mother asked me if I could watch her baby in the pram while she went inside Boots quickly. I was surprised that she trusted me with her baby since she did not know me.

    I watched the baby for five minutes then she came back and said thank you.

    On the other hand, I would trust someone only if I knew that person really well and Knew that person was reliable.

    - hmdt