Saturday, September 13, 2008

Curse Shakespeare!

I really wish they would stop teaching Romeo and Juliet in high school. I may remember incorrectly, but doesn't Romeo see Juliet at a party, follow her home, and then start declaring undying love beneath her window? And this is held up as romantic? Let me tell you, if some guy I only saw at a party followed me home, the drama would end in the time it would take me to dial 911. Anyhow, my point is [and I do have one -] I think this play is responsible for stalker behaviour.

Indeed, I met some sort of would-be Romeo on the subway last night. It was about 11:30 and I was heading home from visiting friends. I was out-of-my-mind fatigued and just wanted to crawl into bed. Alone. There was a guy sitting near me. He didn't seem crazy or anything. Just another person on the subway. We barely made eye contact. I noticed that he was also getting off at my stop. Again, no red flags, no overtly strange behaviour.

We were walking towards the stairs when he complimented me on the belt I was wearing. It is a fantastic belt so this didn't phase me either, although I did find it a bit odd when he followed the compliment with "Is it a weightlifting belt?". Um, okay. No. It's wide, but hello? Suddenly I was thinking, "Oh my f-ing Christ - does my funky awesome belt look like a weightlifter belt?" Like I said though, I was tired and focussed on getting home.

He kept walking beside me. I believe he was still talking about weightlifting, but I wasn't paying much attention. He was still beside me chatting away when we reached the level below the final escalator to the exit. I didn't want him following me onto the street and seeing what direction my apartment was, so I stopped and turned to give him my attention.*

He was back to talking about what a great belt I had. This time he added, "And those jeans! They're great too. You're very... what's the word I'm looking for?...curvaceous ." Now suddenly the conversation was going in a way I wasn't comfortable with. At this point defensive tactics started to percolate in my slow, tired mind: must get out of this conversation as soon as possible and try to ensure that dude will not follow me and will not get upset in any way.

I was still getting a vibe though that he was lonely and had no idea how to talk to women not that he was violent.

I can't remember the order so I'll list the highlights of the ensuing chat before I managed to extricate myself from the situation.

  • He spoke a mile a minute without pause
  • He asked me my sign and then proceeded to tell me that it's a party sign. It's not
  • He told me his sign (I didn't care. I'm not into astrology)
  • He got me to touch his hair. I did briefly and regretted it. Don't ask strangers to touch your hair and if you do, make sure it's very clean
  • He offered to let me touch his beard. I declined with, "Gross. No." I had gotten over the shock of being asked to touch his hair
  • He told me how long he had been celibate for. Again, I didn't care, didn't want to know
I finally interrupted and made a hasty retreat when he surmised that I would 'really rock a two-piece swim-suit'. At that point I had decided that I would grab a cab if he kept walking next to me. I only live a block from the subway, but cabs are useful for quick getaways and round trip confusing tours.

As I walked away, I noticed that he went to go back on the subway, in the opposite direction. I realized that he had been watching me on the subway, waiting to see what stop I had. This unnerved me. However, the over-all incident didn't freak me out. He didn't seem dangerous. He was only lonely. He walked away saying something about how nice he was to women but how they never wanted to date him. If I hadn't been so tired, I probably would have enlightened him as to how creepy and wrong his approach was. Not in a mean way, but so he could gain some sort of insight into how counterproductive [and in fact repugnant] his pick-up moves were.

*I am always hesitant to walk away from someone if they aren't being blatantly rude or offensive. I feel like I should listen. This policy is now being revised.


Lesley said...

Creepy!!! I wonder if he was planning to follow you home and then wait for you to call "O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?" from your balcony.

CoffeeDog said...

I'd follow you home :-)

BTW the belt, you crack me up, your belt, the shoes. Too cute.

Dantallion said...

I can't believe you touched his hair. Next time a crazy person starts to follow you late at night, get yourself the heck out of there. Your spidey sense might have told you he was harmless, but really, is it worth the risk that you're wrong?

tornwordo said...

You have to learn the line. "Please don't talk to me." It usually works for me.

Roxrocks said...

This freaked me out.
When he made the comment about your jeans, I would have replied "Yes, my husband bought them for me, he loves them!" And walked off.
Or ran.
Be safe! There's a lot of kooks out there!

Freak Magnet said...

I always think someone's following me. I'm schizophrenic like that.

eroswings said...

I used to have the same problem as you when it comes to ending conversations with people I don't know; I've just learned to lie and say, "Excuse me, I have to go."

Count yourself lucky you're still alive and not in a hole in a basement somewhere, while the rest of us make contact with a cannibalistic psycho to determine your whereabouts!

Stewie said...

My beard is nice, my hair is clean and I don't appreciate your blabbing of our first meeting for the entire world to read. >:(

Susan as herself said...

UGH! A stranger touching me in any way freaks me out---but the touching of head or facial hair? Ewwww.

Yeah, I usually say this in this sort of iffy situation, "I don't want to offend you, but I am not in the mood for talking. Thank you." And then I turn far enough away to signal the conversation is over, but not so afar that I cannot watch what they are doing.

Hmmm. Maybe I am a b*tch!

Snooze said...

Lesley: The most he would have heard would have been me calling the cats home

Coffeedog: I would invite you! And yes, I am completely shallow about the belt in addition to the shoes.

Dantallion: I tried to extricate myself in the safest way possible when I realized how odd he was. But you are so right about the hair.

Torn: I was worried that directness would set him off, but that probably would have worked.

Rox: I was going to mention a husband but I wasn't wearing rings.

FM: Better safe than sorry

Eros: Agh! I am safely enjoying R&R at my parents' home. I will practice my 'ending conversation' skills

Stewie: lol. I was kind of discreet. I didn't mention your name at least.

Susan: I think that will be my new line.

madamerouge said...


I'm against Tasers in general, but I want you to start carrying one.

Snooze said...

Oh that would be too funny.