Creepy Man.

July 24, 2011


At the sweaty auction on Saturday they, of course, mostly had computer things, but I think some pharmacy place got rid of things because there was a whole area of drug-related items like cases and cases of the kinds of pill boxes they fill ahead of time for hospitals.

There was really only had one table I was interested in. It had two cases of big liter-sized glass bottles that weren’t round, but bowed on the front and flat on the back, like a glass mouthwash bottle or something. There were also had a couple of boxes of similarly-shaped two-ounce bottles. I wanted them, but didn’t need them, so I just went to visit them often.

On one visit, a man with a man trailing closely behind him approached me. The first man, who will be referred to hereafter as Not the Creepy Man, asked me what the bottles could be used for. I started to wax philosophically about how you could make flavored vodkas or limoncello in the large bottles, or homemade vanilla extract in the little bottles. He lit up at that and said that you could make your own labels and give them as gifts. At this point the other man, hereafter referred to as Creepy Man, made a slightly off-color joke. (I have blanked it from my memory.) I laughed a small, polite laugh, then turned back to NCM to talk bottles. Then Creepy Man handed me a card, which I did not take. It said something to the effect of, “If you want to have sex, redeem this card. If you don’t want to, tear it up.” I smiled and said weakly, “uh…” He handed it to NCM (who I am guessing at this point that they are friends?) and said, “Try it! You can’t rip it up! It’s plastic.”

NCM and I are almost done with our bottle talk, and Creepy Man shows me a three-dollar bill that has a picture of Hilary Clinton on it. I use my preschool teacher voice (the same one I use when acknowledging that someone has just drawn a two-inch line and hands it to me to take home), “You have a lot of things in your wallet, don’t you?” and make my exit.

So here’s my quandary: I didn’t want to be rude, and honestly, I don’t think I could really do this, but wouldn’t the better thing in that situation would have been to tell him, “I can see that you are trying to have a conversation with me, but the things you are showing me are skeeving me out. This is not normal behavior. That card is creepy. Throw it away.”

I regret that first little laugh. He didn’t seem like a psycho, he seemed like a guy who perhaps thought that I would find this funny – which makes me want to re-evaluate the vibes I’m giving off. Putting the best construction on everything, I would say that he just had Bad People Skills.

Did I do him a disservice or not? Was it better to be polite or would it have been better to be honest?

About Lauren

Lauren Sommerer is a preschool teacher who likes to build prototypes, grow cats, cook things once, save money, reduce, reuse and recycle.

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6 Responses to “Creepy Man.”

  1. Brad Said on:

    I might guess, based on his persistance, that even if you hadn’t laughed at the initial joke, he would have continued trying to talk to you. And I think any normal adult should have noticed the non-verbal message you were expressing. I’d say chalk it up to him being clueless.


  2. Peggy Said on:

    First off…this guy could not have been a Nebraskian!

    And I can’t believe he would give a card like that to a total stranger(not that he should give it to anyone, but like if you found it on the ground, you might show a friend). Maybe something is wrong with him. But you certainly did nothing wrong in that awkward situation.

    But I certainly understand that ‘what should I have said’ quandry. I experience that a good bit…


  3. Kitt Said on:

    The preschool teacher response was appropriate … it sounds like he is someone who never advanced beyond that in social skills.


  4. Lauren's mom Said on:

    I like the “That card is creepy. Throw it away.” line.
    He probably couldn’t understand much more than that.


  5. Deborah Said on:

    You were all dressed up in your skirt. He couldn’t resist. That’ll learn ya’!


  6. Quiana Said on:


    Run away is the appropriate response to that. I would say gentle correction, but might that lead to gentle stabbing?

    Just saying….


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