02 August 2008

What should ido?

I need some advice. Here is a little story of a very odd/creepy encounter I had yesterday.

I was having lunch yesterday with my best oldest friend, Heather, you know, the kind of friend who you've never not known.
Our parents were friends before we were born. Anyway, that morning I had bribed convinced Ethan to try something new and promised him I would stop by the Dollar Tree and get him a blow up shark water toy if he would try said food. He was all over that (alas, he did not like the food,) so after lunch I stopped by the Dollar Tree on the way back to my aunt's house (she was keeping my kids.)

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I should say that this Dollar Tree is not in the best part of town.
It's very close to where Glen and I lived before we moved out here, and it's not bad, it's just not that great. (Why do I feel as if I'm digging myself into a big hole of snobbery?)

So, I walk in and I'm standing in the aisle, and all of a sudden, out of the blue, there is a well dressed man standing right next to me (as in too, inappropriately close.) He says, "What'll it take for me to buy you dinner?"

Excuse me? Did I really hear that correctly? This has not happened to me in years! So I said, "Huh?" (Great grammar, I know. I was just completely caught off guard, not to mention he is very much in my space.) He repeated the question.
I started laughing, feeling quite flustered, and tried to coherently put together an answer that came out something like, "Um, I am happily married and have six children." Right after that, his phone rang, and I promptly fled to the rear of the store (still looking for the shark toy.)

A few minutes later, I'm standing in front of the dinosaur toys, in the very back corner of the building, and here he comes again. At this point, it would be obviously rude for me to run away as he's heading right toward me, so I brace myself. At this point I'm not really scared, just very uncomfortable and slightly nervous. (Remember, I'm in the back corner of the building. If he had just asked me once, no big deal, but now he's obviously following me around and he's been told I'm married with a large family.)

So he comes up, inappropriately close again, and says, "Whadja think it matters if you have six kids, I like kids." I nervously mutter something about not thinking my husband would like that very much. And to his credit, he laid off asking me out anymore. He still attempted to make conversation though, talking about tax free weekend and how he wanted to buy a GPS. Finally, I just had to walk away as politely as I could.

Very awkward. Very uncomfortable.

Now, I'm no prude, but this guy was obviously 15ish years my senior. Plus, people tend to think I'm much younger than I am, so that only added to the weirdness.

Okay. So, weird crisis (?) averted. I hurridly find the shark toy, nervously glance around to see if he's still in the store, and go out to my car.

As I'm getting into my car (I should probably add that it's pretty obvious which car is mine. It's really big, plus it has a cute little family sticker on the back that shows six children.) he is in his car parked right next to me! I hop in, drive away, making sure he doesn't follow me. He stays put, just sitting in his car.

In any other situation, this probably wouldn't have been a big deal. Very occasionally, I get hit on, but this guy's eyes were kind of red, he was very much in my space, he did not get put off by my saying I was married with all my children, he followed me to the back corner, and just basically gave me a very nervous feeling.

I call Glen and tell him the story. He gives me a nice compliment about saying how pretty I am :o) but as we talk, it occurred to him this guy may be a con artist. I don't know.

I arrive back at my aunt's, and promptly tell her the story. She says I should have asked for an escort to my car (I don't really think that was necessary as it wasn't really weird until I noticed he had pulled his car up next to mine.) She says I should have told the manager. As I'm telling her, it occurs to me that it is a little odd he was just sitting there in his car in the parking lot. It didn't look like he was getting ready to leave, he was just hanging out. He also approached me very quickly after I arrived in the store. Maybe the "con artist" thing is spot on. Maybe he just hangs out in the parking lot of this strip mall watching for women to follow into stores. Even now as I'm thinking about it, I remember that the last time a really scary thing happened to me was in the back parking lot of the Chinese restaurant that is directly next door to this strip mall and I was obviously harassed by a panhandler. (Like, he came up to me in my car, knocked on the window, practically leaned in, would not go away when I rolled the window back up and started yelling at me. Shouldn't have rolled it down in the first place, I know, bear with me, I'm learning.)

Anyway, what do you think? Should I call the store manager and just advise him of the situation so he can be on the lookout for this guy if it is a habit? Or should I just be strangely flattered that an older man maybe found me attractive?

My aunt said when he asked me what would it take for me to go dinner with him, I should have said

"Table for 9."

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Kohana said...

"Table for 9" is hilarious!

Okay, that is seriously creepy. I would call the store and tell them that you were harassed and that they should be aware of anyone meeting that description. I would also pray through it with Glen to make sure there's no icky residue.

BTW, I love the new look!

julianalovespy said...

Creepy! I say if something like that ever happens again, ignore him completely and tell the store security that you are being accosted by another customer and would like an escort to your car. Hopefully, that won't ever happen again, though. Yuk.

Your blog is so pretty! I like the colors and patterns. Lovely!

Rachel Lee said...

I agree, it certainly won't hurt anyone to call the store. They probably already know??? I would think. Hopefully! So sorry you had to go through that!

Love the new look - I too prefer black text.

"How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about arithmetic, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone? No; a woman’s function is laborious, but because it is gigantic, not because it is minute. I will pity Mrs. Jones for the hugeness of her task; I will never pity her for its smallness." ~GK Chesterton

2012 November

2012 November