I am woefully behind on my blog reading. Seriously. It's pathetic. I miss you all so much, it makes me sad inside, like guava-filled donuts. I can read maybe a post or two a day, and I usually don't end up commenting, which makes me even sadder, because I LIKE commenting. I am full of how wonderful I am and expect everyone to be hanging on my every word. Right?
I was reading Grace at ThatsRightISaidIt.Dot.Mom's post and Lizbeth's Four Sea Stars' post on crazy creeper guys, and it got me thinking about just how fucking creepy guys can be. Not just the usual standing too close thing, but that unhinged moment when you realize that this guy? May be ridiculously dangerous. I'd like to share my story [thanks so much, Grace and Lizbeth, for the idea - I was in a blogwriting funk. How many times can I tell you about how much I hate nature before you all desert me? One more? I'm not taking that chance.]
I went to a pretty big university for undergrad. It sits in a college town that leaves you feeling pretty invincible - people are friendly, there are a lot of kids your age, and LOTS of opportunities to go out and have fun. And by have fun I mean drink. I'm not sure where you went to college, but I think that was an extra-curricular at mine. Or maybe just an extra-curricular for me.
I would go hang out with friends at the bar, at restaurants, at houses, and not really think about walking home later. Sometimes there were groups meandering down the road, sometimes there was just me.
One time, it was really late, and I was a little drunk [probably a lot drunk] and I had a face off with a raccoon. Now, as we know, I am no fan of nature [this does not count against me as a post about hating nature, since it's only tangential to my real post. Right?]. However, I do have a healthy respect for something that may be carrying rabies and most definitely is carrying some sort of disgusting garbage germs. Anyway, even though I was on a main business street, surrounded by buildings and the accoutrement of civilization, I let that raccoon have its space on the sidewalk and crossed the street to avoid it, all the while carefully keeping it in my sights, and warning people who were walking toward me about it. [Whether they heeded or understood my warning, I do not know. I'm guessing it depended on their own blood alcohol level.]
You'd think that incident would have given me an inkling that maybe I shouldn't be walking home alone at night. You'd be grossly underestimating how dumb I can be.
Later that summer, I was hanging out with friends at the restaurant where one of my roommates worked. At closing, they were headed in a different direction and I didn't want to wait the extra hour for my roommate to be ready to leave. I decided to head home.
I was again on a business street, walking along and minding my own business. The walk was maybe 15 minutes from the restaurant to my place, all but a block on busy streets. I had done it before and didn't really think about it. Granted, this was in the dark ages, before cell phones and the pseudo-safety they give you, but still - a few minutes walk by myself in the city I'd lived in for a year? I figured I'd be fine. And I was.
Until I heard some guy start yelling at me from his car. I glanced over, didn't recognize him, and kept walking. I ignored him, or tried to, until I realized he was slowly driving along at the speed I was walking.
Which was starting to weird me out.
He kept telling me how beautiful I was, and how much he liked me and how he wanted to take me out and be my boyfriend. And I kept walking a little bit faster, wondering when the hell he'd give up and leave.
Instead, he abandoned his car and started walking with me down the sidewalk.
Now, the things that still stun me are these:
1. Why would he do this and think it's o.k.?
2. Why didn't I start screaming?
3. Why was I even answering any of his questions?
Because he was still peppering me with questions. Where was I going? Do I want to go out with him? Did I know how beautiful I was? Did I have a boyfriend?
My one-word non-committal answers were not deflecting his attention. He seemed older, maybe late 20s, and was probably drunk. I had reached the end of the street and realized I could either turn right down a main street toward home, or turn left down a main street, and hopefully find a business that was still open. There were [and still are] those emergency phones all over campus, but my great fear at that point was that if I stopped walking, I'd be done for. He was really freaking me out.
I turned left.
I walked along, ignoring him, hoping I'd find something open when I realized I knew someone who worked at a pizza place up ahead. Someone who was a guy, who would hopefully scare this douchebag creeper away.
It pissed me off that I had to rely on some guy, because I think of myself as a very, very, very strong woman, I always have.
But at that point? I was weaker than this guy. I was smaller and the streets were quiet. And I didn't think my strength of character or pithy ability to make a cutting remark was going to do the job.
I went into the pizza place, with creepazoid following me in, and saw my friend. Who was actually more the brother of someone I knew. I mean, we knew each other, but weren't pals. Anyway, I quickly explained that creepy guy was not leaving me alone and was really freaking me out.
So my friend's brother shooed the guy away - I think we said he was my boyfriend - and drove me home. I thanked him for the ride and went into my apartment, glad to be safe at home.
And I wish I could say I was more careful about where I went or walking alone, but that would be a lie. I did a lot more dumb, dumb things, and it wasn't until my panic attacks and anxiety kicked into high gear that I really thought that walking around by myself in the middle of the night was probably not a good idea. It pisses me off that creepy guys have that innate ability to pen women in, like polite veal.
What about you? Crazy creeper stalker stories?