Out of the numerous episodes of Beverly Hills 90210, only one has stayed in my mind. In Season 5, episode 23, Donna’s stalker breaks into her house and tries to rape her. When David comes by to talk to her, she is being held captive by her stalker and tells him to go away. But he doesn’t, because he catches on that something is wrong when she calls him “Dave” instead of David.
At the time, my teenage brain was reeling that such a small thing could be a signal for help. I remember being given a code word as a kid, by my parents. In case anyone tried to pick us up from school, we WERE NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES supposed to go with them if they did not know the right code word.
Some of my progressive parent friends have code words for their children to use which means they need to be picked up from a sleepover or school because something is not right. This is pretty smart and makes me wonder why adulthood stymied my use of code words. Let’s bring code words back!