9.30.2009

Awkward.

So the other day my mom and I went shopping and had lunch at Perkins. We sat facing each other and as we were having a conversation, suddenly there was this guy playing peek-a-boo with me around my mom's head. I'm trying not to crack up or make it obvious that I'm conveying that message to my mom, because I wanted her to know why I wasn't really focusing on the conversation at hand. The dude was old enough to be my grandpa, maybe a chubby version of Steve Martin, whom I have no fantasies about at all....just to verify that. So he peeks around and waves a little, and then hides again. I take the crayons and children's menu, and scribble down that the guy behind her is being weird and peeking at me from behind her head. I slide down in my chair a little and try to stay low so he can't see me without looking really dumb. My mom decides to go to the bathroom so she can see the guy on her way back, since it would be very obvious if she turned all the way around to look at him. (like that matters, I mean after all he is drawing attention to himself with the peek-a-boo game) He takes her absence as the perfect opportunity to strike up a conversation, even though I was taking great interest in the dessert menu.

Him: "Hi...how are you today?"

Me: "I'm good, thank you. Yourself?"

Him: "Good. Did you go to the Octoberfest?"

Me: "No...we had lunch with some friends...."

Him: "We took down our pool and got that all put away. We didn't go either..but I like to go down there and get an elephant ear every year...not this year though..."
(hmm...I wonder who "we" is, because I'm banking on mentally unstable here and see no wedding ring)

Trae: "See my beepmyas?" (he pulls a florescent orange tape measure my mom gave him that morning from his pocket and holds it up for the man to see)
(great, my kids are talking to him...another excuse to keep talking to me...)

Him: "I think I have one too! Let's see..." He digs a tape measure out of his pocket. The same exact tape measure Trae has.

Me: *** thinking****....Maybe this is meant to be?

We have a very pointless conversation about the Octoberfest until my Mom finally shows back up. We (my mom and I, that is) continue our conversation as we eat our meal...and the whole time this guy is doing the peek-a-boo thing with me. At some point it goes from funny and a little weird to crazy stalker dude material. Of course I wouldn't call him out on it because it would be awkward and it doesn't really affect my life one way or the other, where it could affect his if he is mentally unstable (a sure bet) and gets yelled at by some random girl to stop flirting with her she's married and uninterested in this weird game of peek-a-boo. Besides, he seems lonely, and every time someone pauses in the same zip code as his table, he asks them if they went to the Octoberfest (no? me either!) or if the watched the Packer game (no? me either!)

We stand to leave, and immediately he does as well. My mom takes the bill and heads to pay as I gather the kids and put their coats on. (I think my mom secretly finds it hilarious to ditch me in awkward situations and watch from a distance and laugh) He nods and says "well, bye kiddo..." and then does this maneuver that I remember from when I worked at the group home. He walks toward me, but like he's going to go past me to pay for his coffee, and then makes a bee line for me as he reaches out to touch me. (the clients used to do this, and I got to the point where I could see it coming and moved to foil their attempt) I must have been rusty, because he did end up touching my hand that was across my breasts, because he made a dash for them. Then he just walked by after he got the grope out of the way, budged in front of my mom to pay...and then instead of turning and going out the door, he makes another attempt to touch me. I backed way up and gave him my best glare and he just put his head down and walked out.

Of course I was grossed out the whole day, and I was wearing jeans and a sweater so it's not like I commanded attention by what I was wearing or anything. I was even okay with the odd little games and conversation...but dude, stay out of my bubble...and definitely hands off to random people I've never met who are not my husband.

In the end, I laugh because it's funny and awkward. I do think eventually someone is going to tell this guy off or perhaps press charges against him when he successfully gropes them, though...what would you do in the situation? I mean, if he had groped my chest I would have been livid...but since I foiled his attempt, what could I say? "This dude tried to grope me, but I blocked him?" I think the thing that makes me the most mad is that he acted like he had a license to touch my body because, well, he's a man and men have needs. (you know...or whatever gave him the impression my body was his to touch) I have mixed feelings because of course his behavior is uncalled for and creepy and totally an over step of boundaries, but it would be a big hassle and embarrassment to both of us to make a scene about it...but then what if he's really a big pervert who touches "kiddos" because he thinks he has the right and is a genuine predator? What if?
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