Why is it that I attract creepy men like iron filings to a magnet?
Today started out as a typical Monday. Phones ringing like crazy, people screaming at each other… . Then Mr. Creepy came in. This particular customer is actually a relative of someone I know, so despite the fact that he makes my skin crawl, I’m nice and friendly.
Now, Mr. Creepy hasn’t been in to the office for probably two years, but you don’t forget someone like him. So when he came in, I recognized him and called him by name. That was mistake number one.
“Hi, Mr. Creepy. Haven’t seen you in a while.” I smile and wave him into my office to see how I can help him.
“Yeah, been a while. I need to get a couple of catalogs,” he says as he rounds my desk to stand as close to me as possible.
“Sure. I don’t have any in here though. Let me get them from the warehouse.” I stand to leave my office, but he won’t budge, so I squeeze past him. Unfortunately, he’s not content to wait for me. Instead, he follows me into the warehouse.
“Yeah, I gotta have two catalogs, because sometimes I buy stuff for my kids. They make more money then me, though. They should be buying mine.”
His eyes are burning holes in my back.
“Ha, ha. Well, I suppose that’s the way things go.” Just be friendly and it will all be over soon.
I grab two catalogs and hand them to him. “Here you are. These are the most current.”
“Thanks.” His eyes run slowly up and down me like a sleazy human scanner.
“Um, sure.” Once again I’m forced to pass him so that he can follow me all the way back into my office.
“So, how long have you worked here?”
“Ten years this summer.” I use the fake cheery voice that says ‘I’m being nice cuz I have to’.
“Do you live in this area?” He’s still eyeing me.
“Yeah, my sister and I grew up here.” I gesture toward Angel as we pass her office.
“Oh.” He ignores her office and keeps staring. “So where did you go to school?”
“CPRS, a local private school.” I’m trying to make my answers curt without losing the fake cheery.
“So what year did you graduate?”
“Uh, ’95.” We’re back in my office now and I hide behind my desk.
“Oh, so I’m about 20 years older than you.”
“Really? Well, you don’t look it.” I say to be nice. And that was mistake number two.
“Really?” His eyes light up. “Thanks! I just went to my 20 year class reunion and no one there recognized me until I showed them my old school ID. Here, wanna see?” He rounds my desk and pulls the picture from his wallet.
“Oh, well, the mustache makes you look different in the picture, but other than that, you still look pretty much the same.”
Mustache makes you look sleazier.
“Thanks.” He puts the picture back in his wallet. “Areyourmarried?”
It takes a second for his quiet mumble to make sense. Are you married?
“Ha, ha, ha…” I’m laughing because I’m stumped for any other response. You can make anything a joke if just laugh it off, right?
“You’re sweet. Wannahavedinnerandtalkaboutitsometime?”
My brain translates his latest mumbled sentence. Wanna have dinner and talk about it sometime? Crap.
I chuckle again and he laughs with me, but I see him blushing.
Aw, dangit. I didn’t want to embarrass him.
“So, did you need to order anything while you were here?” I’m trying my hardest to keep up the friendly tone and change the subject.
“Nah. I just needed these.” He picks up his catalogs. “It was really nice seeing you again. I’ll see you around. Probably soon.”
“Sure, nice to see you again too.” And that will probably be mistake number three.
He left and I shuddered. I don’t know how to explain it. It’s not that he’s nasty looking. I suppose he’s average. I don’t really care, because it’s not his looks that creep me out. It’s HIM. There is just something oily and creepy about him. And despite that, I still have a hard time being mean. I suppose laughing could be considered mean, but I wasn’t laughing at him. I was laughing it off as if I thought he was joking. Which I know he wasn’t, but I honestly didn’t know how else to respond.
Actually, I’ve found laughter is my knee jerk response when I don’t know what else to do or say.
Anyway, I was complaining to Angel that I can count the number of times I’ve been seriously hit on, and they were all creepy. What’s the deal?
There was Mr. Blockbuster who wanted me to go see Romeo and Juliet with him. Which, in essence should have been a great thing for a Shakespeare buff, but I just chuckled and left. (Note: I’m not sure, but I suspect this type of laughter may sound slightly hysterical.)
Then there was Mr. Shoe Store. He zeroed in on me while I was shopping and kept asking for my number even after I told him I didn’t give it to strangers. He just kept coming back. I finally gave him my business card with my work number. He didn’t call – Thank goodness.
There was Mr. Destiny. He was the not quite divorced nephew of a friend. I walked into my parent’s house and he was there with his aunt. The minute I stepped through the door, it was like seeing Pepe LaPew with hearts zooming out of his eyes. I could actually FEEL those little hearts coming off of him. The next day his aunt told me he couldn’t stop talking about me. He said I was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen and did she think I’d date him? I was saved the embarrassment of having to turn him down in person because she told him I wasn’t interested. (Most beautiful woman he’s ever seen? Does he live in a cave?!)
There was Mr. AMC, a complete stranger that started talking to me in the theater and before I knew it was seated right next to me, laying his head on my shoulder and trying to buy me popcorn and a drink. He actually got up in the middle of the sold out movie climbed out over everyone to get popcorn after I told him I didn’t want any. Then climbed back in, tripped, landed in my lap, apologized, then offered me popcorn. I again said, no thanks and he responded. “You should have said you didn’t want any, I wouldn’t have bought this big bag.” Nuff said.
There have been others as well, each one creepy in their own way. The thing is, most of them look normal until they start talking, then it’s like, “Whoa, what planet are you from?” And my downfall is, I just can’t be mean to them.
Do I have “Desperately seeking Loser” stamped on my forehead? I’m not even LOOKING. I mean, if I met somebody that I was interested in, I’d be totally open to pursuing a relationship, but I don’t date just to date. Unfortunately, all the normal men are apparently hiding under a rock somewhere.