Made a quick run to Target this afternoon to pick up school supplies my kid has run out of. Pencils was one of them. How do you run out of pencils? You’re telling me every single one of the 24 pencils I sent him with in September has worn down to a nub? This is like the third time I’ve replenished them, too. No matter.
I could have gone anywhere to get these few items, but I decided to go to Target. Because Starbucks.
So I’m waiting for my grande mocha frappuccino, absently surfing Facebook on my phone when I hear a male adult voice say hello. It was close enough to me that I looked up. Sure enough, there’s a dude standing there. Could have been as young as 25 or as old as 45. I don’t know. “Hi,” I said, and looked back down at my phone. “How are you?” he continued. Now I’m like, ok mo’fo’, what do you want? Because I’ve clearly never met you before, you’re approaching me like an old friend, so what is this? Religious pamphlet? Are you going to try to rob me? Rape me? “I’m fine, how are you?” I say, but every alarm in my body is going off. Like, I am legitimately nervous by this approach. “Nice weather we’re having today,” he says. I am so uncomfortable I want to scream. I nod in agreement. Then without warning, he walks away, into the women’s clothing of Target.
WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?
Is it sad that when a stranger tried to make conversation with me, my immediate reaction was fright? It was just really odd. Like, maybe something was socially “off” with him. It wasn’t a bar scene. I wasn’t trying to be “picked up.” I was just standing by the Starbucks counter waiting for my drink, looking at my phone. What signal was I giving off that I wanted to be approached? And then he had zero game. Hello, how are you, nice weather, that was it. I don’t know. I can’t decide if it’s just me being an uptight bitch for feeling that way, or that there was legitimately something about this person that gave me a bad vibe and triggered my fight-or-flight response. (Seriously. I got my drink and bolted out of Target like the place was on fire, even though creepy dude was probably accosting someone else. Although if Target was on fire, I might have tried to loot the place on my way out.)
I think this type of interaction is just so rare anymore that we don’t know how to handle it when it happens. Which is kind of sad. Or, like I said, I’m just that much of an asshole that I can’t just accept friendliness when it slaps me in the face.
Although, come to think of it, he was wearing jorts. Yeah. Something was definitely off about him.