When I drop off a friend (woman, man or child), I don't just drive away. I wait until I can see that she really does have her key, and really does get inside with the lights on.
I just want to know that she's OK. And that some horror movie hasn't started in real life. I want to ensure that my responsibilities as friend and keeper have successfully concluded.
If I were really polite, I would get out of the car and walk her to the door. I do that with my mother, of course, but — if I tried that with any other women — I think she'd be uncomfortable and think me odd. (I surely wouldn't want anyone to think me odd.)
So — at least for now, maintaining my minimum standards — I wait and watch to make sure she gets inside.
Lately This Is Odd
So my beloved now works as the nurse practitioner in a facility for recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. She's helping all kinds of people face tremendous challenges.
I drive her to work, because it gives us some time together. And we both like it. And it's good practice for becoming a one-car family.
But, what's puzzling here is this: I wait until I can see that she is safely inside.
What's puzzling about that?
Just this: I wait until she's safely inside with 100+ addicts who are in opium, cocaine and alcoholic withdrawal.
And she walks into the sketchiest of communities.
NOTE: As a health care professional, she tells me nothing. Nothing. Absolutely nothing. Everything she learns on the other side of that door is strictly confidential — with no spousal exemption. (But by looking into her eyes, I can see that she sees pain and struggle.)