If you think that I am wonderful and innocent and perfect, stop reading right here because this will ruin your image of me.
No one? Okay. Let's get on with the story.
Setting: Self-Checkout at Lowe's. There is nothing around the self-checkout. No impulse purchases, nothing. Just four registers, two on each side.
Characters: Myself, Old Creeper, Jeremiah, On-Lookers.
I am checking out at the self-checkout closest to the exit. There is another one directly behind me. Jeremiah is checking out across from me. I am all alone. As I hit the "pay" button, I notice that a very tall and very scruffy old man is standing right there with me. He isn't buying anything. He isn't with the people checking out behind me. He is standing right there with me. To an on-looker, it would look as though we are together. He was almost touching me. It made me super uncomfortable. Enough that I spoke up. And I NEVER speak up.
Me: Um, Sir? Would you mind backing up while I type in my personal information? I would like to point out that I wasn't rude at all.
Creeper: Loudly GEEZ, LADY! I'M NOT EVEN LOOKING AT YOUR INFORMATION. GOD. I'M JUST STANDING HERE!
I'm pretty sure that he was trying to embarrass me and make me feel even more uncomfortable. People are staring. Jeremiah is paying zero attention to me and/or Creeper, as he is talking with the Lowe's guy. Awesome. So Creeper refuses to leave, and the two men (Jer & Lowe's Guy) that could do anything about it are deep in conversation. I finish checking out and race over to Jeremiah, who is wearing shorts and a tee-shirt, all tattoos exposed except one. Guy walks away when he sees me go to Jeremiah. Just disappears. I think he thought I was alone. As we walk out and are getting into the car, I see the old guy. I roll down the window.
Me: Sir? Have a nice day!
Creeper: F*CK YOU!
Me: Holy crap, Jeremiah. That old guy just gave me the finger, and I'm pretty sure he just told me -
Jeremiah: Yeah, he just said f*ck you.
I can only say this. I did not swear at him. But I did show my general dislike in some way. Now to the finer/scarier parts of this.
- I told a friend about this and she had a creeper, too, a few years ago. Her dad told her this, rather simply. Dad: So he could see you were uncomfortable? Friend: Yes. Dad: And he continued to stand there? Friend: Yes. Dad: Then SOMETHING was not right about this guy.
- And that is SO true. Who, seeing that they are making someone uncomfortable, would remain there, when they are straight out asked to give a little space? Only someone who was doing it purposefully.
- Also, self-checkout lines start before the little registers. So if he were in line, he should have been standing back behind all four registers. He wasn't. And he wasn't buying anything.
- Next, if someone had asked me to give them space, I would have felt awful and backed up immediately, apologizing.
- If he didn't have bad intentions, why did he leave when he saw me with Jeremiah?
So all I can say is this. In all seriousness. Ladies? Speak up for yourself. I was shocked that my friend had had a similar creepy experience. With a creepy older gentleman. I don't normally think of older people as creepy, but some really horrible people grow old without ending up in jail. I would have been terrified if Jeremiah wasn't right there. I felt stupid asking him to back up, and he tried to make me feel worse by yelling at me, but if I hadn't said anything, no one else would have noticed that I was uncomfortable. And some on-lookers did. But no one said anything. So you really need to speak up for yourself. Make a scene if you need to. If Jeremiah hadn't been there, I would have gone immediately to the Lowe's guy.
P.S. Old People Really Do Swear Bonus: One time years ago, back in Michigan, a tiny old guy in a fancy car called me a bitch at the gas station. I had been waiting in line for a pump and he swerved in, trying to cut me off and a few others. He didn't dig that I didn't back down. He hobbled over and said, "You, young lady, are a bitch." And I said, "You are a VERY mean old man." Then he walked away.
Stay on your toes, Girls.