Thursday, May 14, 2009

like honey for creepazoids


I should be creep repellant. I wear my wedding ring. I have two kids. I nurse in public. If i'm alone, there's a big ol' book in front of my face. And when i'm confronted with a creepy guy, or anyone annoying, I put on a stony demeanor that Dr. Krog lovingly calls Bitchface.

And yet.

My life is peppered with Close Encounters of the Creep Kind. Not nice, normal guys with pleasant openers or silly one-liners. No one ever says, "Hi, what's your name?" No, i'm the girl who gets approached with, "If you could kill one person in this bar, who would it be?"

He didn't get my number.

My favorite though, is what I call The Perambulator. Let's get out my Writing Box and traipse down Memory Lane, shall we?



I was in Barnes and Noble one day when I was 23, and this dude approached me. Late teens/early 20's, short, looked like a gamer geek type. I suspect my dark hair, librarian bun and dork glasses caught his eye like a nerd lure flashing in the sun.

"My lady, a word," he said in his most courtly voice.

Amused, I responded, "Perambulator".

He wasn't expecting that.

"I'm sorry?" he said, confused by my response to a line he'd probably rehearsed for 20 minutes behind the calendars.

"You asked for 'a word', so I said 'Perambulator'," I replied.

"But what does it mean?"

"You're in a BOOKSTORE. Look it up."

"I'll be back," he said, and disappeared to the Dictionary aisle.

2o minutes later, he returned, handed me this paper, and left.


Here's how it goes. Misspellings, capitalization, spacing and grammar are all his.

Parambulator

Beginnings and Ends,
fascinate to no...end,
as it were...

But each moment is both,
to the knowing mind...

I am not yet of that constant
exultation...

A moment of two of grace, I have
from time to time, however...

Helped by the occaisional
end between the beginnings,
I realize that perhaps the cause
of my error...

Remembering that time
where joy still graced me with it's
presence...

Remembering the wonder
of love,
Whether it be that lay between others,
or that which began before the sojourn in a
Parambulator.



***

I kept a straight face, thanked him, and hightailed it out of there. I Photoshopped out his name to protect the geekily innocent, but not before Googling him and confirming that he is, in fact, a confirmed RPG gamer geek to this day. Not that i'm knocking that (she says, as Dr. Krog commands minions on his XBOX). But would I have responded more favorably if he had been cute? Maybe. But the misspelling of the original word was definitely an enormous strike against him.

Why do I bring this up? Because I was approached by a creep today, at a coffee shop created especially for mothers and children, while nursing my baby and reading.

It was surreal.

This guy sat down in the reading chair next to mine. Mid-twenties, dark hair and glasses, black sneakers with velcro, not at all cute in any form, not even if the Queer Eye guys adopted him for a day. I nursed t.rex to sleep and enjoyed my book, holding it up between me and this dude, just in case he wanted to chat or sneak a peek at the ol' bosoms. He played on his laptop with his enormous headphones on for about an hour, then the following discussion occurred.

him: Excuse me, ma'am. I am sorry to bother you. But can I ask you a question?
me: (inwardly groaning) Um, I guess...
him: Can you recommend some music for me? What kind of music do you like?
me: Oh, um. I like Ben Folds, Weezer, The Cure, Guster, Deathcab. Mainly alternative stuff.
him: Have you ever heard of PANTERA?
me: Yeah, not my type of music though.
him: PANTERA is AWESOME. What about SLAYER?
me: Heard of them, don't really like 'em.
him: Do you like any bands like that?
me: I like some older Metallica, black album and earlier.
him; METALLICA ROCKS. What about AC/DC?
me: Eh.
him: What about METALOCALYPSE?
me: Nope. (book creeps upward to halt this ridiculous exchange)
him: Do you know any other bands like that?
me: No, but you could always go to pandora.org, type in Pantera, and see what it recommends.
him: I'm on LiveWire. I love LiveWire.
me: Well, you should try Pandora. It's called the Music Genome Proj-
him: I'm on LiveWire!
me: Oh, that sounds nice. (book is firmly planted in front of my face)
him: But do you like PANTERA? Or GODS OF WAR?
me: Oops! I hear my daughter calling! Good luck with that!

And then we left. Luckily, it was time to go, anyway. But honestly-- does this guy just not get the whole ring-kids-book-utter-disinterest thing? I wanted to be polite, but I just don't want to spend my "me time" listening to a catalog of heavy metal bands by a guy who gives off a creepy vibe. And likes Pantera.

In any case, I find it really amusing that i'm attracting the same sort of creeps in my 30's that I did in my teens and 20's-- socially confused gamer geeks.

I begin to suspect that I may be some sort of Helen of Tron

9 comments:

The Artistic Blogger said...

this is totally hilarious. I will have to tell you MY creepy Barnes and Noble experience---about 6 years ago, Lexington KY perusing the magazine section. I see this guy OPENLY just sitting there looking at a porn magazine. WTF--there are people everywhere including kids. Seriously--it was disturbing. I go tell the clerk--"ummm....there is a guy, in the magazine section...ummm...reading porn..." the girl says to me...

Now get this---"I know..he is in here all the time. Barnes and Nobles policy is that if we sell it, he can openly read it"

WTF. Weird ---- O.

Virginia Valerie said...

He he! Helen of Tron! Yeah, that's you baby. It's a given that you're beautiful, and that's probably what he was drawn to. But a good second guess would be the fact that you were READING... Next time lie and say you love Yanni - and you're just waiting for a chance to kill off Linda Evans.

jarvenpa said...

Poor guys.
My daughter gets approached a lot by the hopeful geek crowd, but then she is a very pretty 20 something who works at a restaurant when she is not doing what she adores, which is being a quirky artist.
When she complains, I point out that when a pretty female says anything, the male ear hears something else.
Thus "would you like more water, sir?"
gets translated to "she really wants to jump my bones"
And "is everything okay?"
is heard as "let's go someplace quiet and do kinky things".
Just one of those gender things.

J said...

Face it, D. You are one hot mama to the nerd set. BTW, I LOVE the impromptu poem. Misspellings and all!

katiri said...

Why did he not act interested in the music you mentioned? Why, Great Lords of Kobol, did he not give up on the Pantera shit?! I mean, why didn't he just say,

"Look, you are hot, haggard (I'm presuming, no disrespect, D), and sorta weird--you should expose yourself and your spawn to more heavy metal. You should also expose yourself to me, or vice-versa. If you aren't into me, would you and your babydaddy make a video for me, with a heavy metal soundtrack? Everyone wins!"

I wish I had kept the letter from a boy named Chuck, who, after having one meal with me in the dorm cafeteria, fell deeply in love. the line that still haunts me, in a section whereupon Chuck expounded on my physical beauty was: Even if you were maimed in some terrible accident, you would still be beautiful.

merlu said...

HAHHAHHAHHA!
That poem is worth a million bucks. Oh man. I wish my encounters with creeps were that funny. That Pantera dude, though? Just creepy. Yikes. It's not like you were in a regular cafe!

Caroline D. said...

I am beyond creeped out by this. I'm sorry we weren't there- I've come down with the mother of all sinus infections and could barely move- I would have protected you from this guy.

In all your posts I always have a favorite line, in this one it is:
"I suspect my dark hair, librarian bun and dork glasses caught his eye like a nerd lure flashing in the sun."

dude, you are a brilliant writer.

delilah said...

Caroline, you would recognize him, as he offered us a ziploc baggie of chocolate cookies last week when t.rex was getting frachetty. Because a 5 month old baby needs chocolate.

So he's so very, very odd and out of it that he thinks babies eat cookies. What a weirdo.

MindfulMama said...

My babies eat cookies FWIW. i Like to get them started early on their eating disorders.