This morning I was sitting in Starbucks (like I do) half-studying and half-texting Katie to make fun of people/things/nouns in general. I was listening to my usual study mix through my headphones (Duffy, Kate Nash, Regina Spektor, basically all angsty, girl-power, piano music available to me) and suddenly I became aware of a large woman looking over my shoulder. I thought maybe she was checking out my conversation with Katie, which makes sense, because we're pretty funny together, but I was still annoyed she just invited herself to read over my shoulder. Then I noticed she was actually looking at my notebook. I wondered, horrified, if she was looking at the doodles of babies I made while I was watching that horrible "Miracle of Life" film in christian marriage class. That would be pretty suspicious...I didn't want her to think I was one of those desperate women who snatch babies out of strollers. Then she spoke to me, and she expressed interest in...my highlighting techniques. She further explained, "I always like to see how people study, I used to be a teacher." Keep in mind she said this over my shoulder breathing creepily into my ear. Mmm Hmmm.... What else is there to say? "Whatchu studying girl?" Uh, it's for my christian marriage class. "You're in college?! Christian marriage?! Shoot that 'aint a class!" I'm sorry. Obviously you didn't go to, "how to not interrupt people while they try to get their coffee break on" class in college.
And I wish I could say this freak-occurence is a freak-occurence. But it isn't. People seem to interpret my inability to physically tackle them as an open invitation to share opinions, fears, and life stories with me. I don't want to hear them! I don't know what on earth would inspire people to think I'm a sympathetic ear or a shoulder to cry on... in my entirety I'm not that nice, let alone per body part. So anyway, I thought I'd share for you, the severely abridged list of my top-5 creepy people encounters.
5. The lady in Stein Mart:
A few years ago I was with my mommy in Stein Mart looking for sparkly earrings and/or home goods. As I scanned the racks a dowdy housewife wearing a LIME GREEN HAWAIIAN PRINT suit, grabbed me by the arm and said, "excuse me, I need your opinion." My first thought was, "Oh sorry ma'am, I don't work here," but I was rendered temporarily speechless by her loud outfit. She then proceeded to ask me my opinion on several HEINOUS purses while my mom looked at my bemused expression and laughed at my suffering. I tried to tactfully tell this woman that none of the purses that "matched" were pretty...and that maybe with such a "lively" print she out to try a neutral... which I figured was a public service to all epileptics who might seize upon seeing her.
4. The "Millionaire":
My next few stories involve airplanes. I meet the strangest people, or more aptly, they meet me, while flying the skies. I was on standby for a flight on my way home from Wisconsin, and I assumed I wouldn't get on a flight until late, because I'm unlucky like that. So imagine my shock when not only did I get the LAST seat on the early flight, but it was also in FIRST CLASS. I couldn't believe my luck! Unfortunately, when I met Paul, my seat buddy, I realized this wasn't good luck at all. Paul regaled me with stories about the supermodels he dated, his big house in Atlanta where movies were frequently filmed...and told how sexy I smelled. Also Paul was 35 and not dissuaded by the fact I was 21...and thus, creepy. Question...If you're so rich, why do you need to get dates with an average-looking 21 year old you met on a plane??
3. Serial Killer:
I don't know for sure, but if I found out tomorrow that as I am writing this blog now--this guy is chopping up bodies to put in a walk-in closet--I wouldn't be surprised. I was on an airplane reading, "American Psycho," and if the creepy novel didn't give it away, the fuck-off on my face should have let him now I didn't want to chat. YET, he asked me "is your book good?" to which I said yes. He asked a couple more questions, to which I gave one word answers. He continued to avoid the hint and leer creepily at me, asking me if I liked scary stories, where I lived, and what my hobbies where. Please don't wear my skin as a coat, dude.
2. Foot Fetish:
I was on my back to Dayton from D.C. and I came across a guy dressed as a pilot, sitting at the bar. "I hope you're not drinking," I joked. He wasn't. We chatted a bit, and ascertained he was MY pilot. I had time to kill so I had no problem talking with a guy who a) wearing a wedding ring b) showed me a picture of his daughter and c) my pilot (obviously I wasn't going to miss the flight). He asked for my number since he flew to Dayton a lot and didn't have friends there...and you can say I'm dumb or naive, but to me, if you're MARRIED you aren't flirting with me! So...imagine my surprise when he sent a text that said, "I want to take you to get a pedicure and then suck on your sexy toes all night." EW EW EW EW! (PS My feet are NOT sexy. They are gnarly)
1. Rat after Cheese:
And la piece de la resistance. This is BY FAR the weirdest and most bizarre thing that has ever happened to me. I was at Tim's with Chris, people-watching and loving the freshman in heels, just sitting at the bar. Some lovely gentleman starting striking up a conversation, asking if Chris was my boyfriend. Chris is gay. So I explained this, and with no prompting this guy answered, "yeah I got a girl, but she don't respect me. She knows how to push my buttons, (obscene gesture to indicate buttons was withholding sex)." I nodded. He showed me a picture of his lovely girlfriend in a three-sizes too small bikini top via his cell phone. I was HORRIFIED. He also showed me a picture not his girlfriend, but his "baby mama," similarly inappropriate in pose. Then he said to me, "Girl, you better lock up your monkey. N****s be after that shit like a rat after cheese." And by monkey...he meant my no-no place. He told me men would be after my lady parts like rats after cheese. Charming.
So there it is. The top 5. HORRIFYING EXPERIENCES. Don't say I bring it on myself. That's victim blaming.