Posts Tagged ‘ creepers ’

The Journal, Stranger Repellent

Since I’ve been living in Lake Oswego, I’ve been riding public transit more and more. This is fine with me–  Trimet does well getting me to the few destinations I pursue that I can’t access on my feet or scooter.

Riding at night, however, is another matter entirely. I have yet to brave Trimet after dark. I’m not sure my reasoning is rational, but I just have a gut feeling that creepers are more prone to blatant creepage after the sun has gone down. A few weeks ago I posted a status on Facebook whining about this fact. My friend Andrew Gross had a great piece of wisdom– he suggested that the key to bus safety was to be the guy that no-one sits next to.

“Brilliant!” I thought, “I’ll grow a nasty beard!”

Jests ensued, including the suggestions that I stop bathing and let my hair revert to dreadlocks, or wear this in lieu of the beard I cannot grow.

Today though,  I made a startling discovery.

As I rode the 35 into downtown, I cradled my moleskine journal in my lap, drafting a blog which I may or may not write on Wednesday.

I wrote vigorously as the thoughts freed themselves from my brain through the escape route of my pen. Every few sentences I looked up from my black and white world to observe the people who came and went from the bus, as is my habit. Also by habit, I moved my purse from the seat next to me to the floor as the bus began to fill.

However full the bus got, though, no-one took the seat next to me. The young man across the aisle stole furtive glances in my direction.

Suddenly intrigued by the empty seat beside me, I watched the next batch of passengers board. A few people walked my way, toward the back of the bus. Each of them glanced at the notes in my lap and chose a seat somewhere else. I’m sure I imagined it, but they seemed nervous.

I smiled to myself, then picked up the offending book and scrawled (for I do scrawl) a few more sentences cursing daylight savings time (for there were four people napping on the bus today as opposed to the usual none.)

It may have been my admittedly slightly hipsterific attire, or the admitted pretentious attitude known to go along with Moleskine notebooks (don’t judge me, they’re so awesome,) or maybe today was just a lucky day.

But I like to think that people assumed I would write judgmental things about them if they sat next to me. (Which I might.)

The judgmental look on my face isn’t on purpose, though.

Also included in the strenuous drawing is ugly bus seats!

As long as the people sitting behind me don’t read over my shoulder, I should be good to go.

 

Creepers.

Hello, my name is Bethany and I appear to be a creeper magnet.

Okay, not really. But seriously.

One of my best first impressions of my new job is that, although the overall mood of the customer base is much more dour than I’m used to, there weren’t any regulars who were particularly annoying like 20 oz mocha guy.

For the most part, I was right. However, it has come to my attention that I have a new 20 oz mocha guy in my life. Sort of.

Let’s call him WM guy. (WM being short for White Mocha, which he orders a 20 oz of [no whip] every morning around 10:30.)

Well, WM guy was the first regular I recognized at my new job. I didn’t connect that he was the same guy who my co-worker had warned me about. The co-worker in question was given a cupcake from the bakery down the block by WM guy on two separate occasions.

Awkward, right?

That’s what I thought, especially as my co-worker informed me that the first regular who I introduced myself to was the creepy flirty one.

Okay people, there are two kinds of flirty– cute, harmless friendly, like when the 75-year-old regular named John told me I have a pretty smile. That was a day-maker for sure. Then there’s the creepy overly-friendly brand, like maintaining eye contact for too long, talking in a voice that’s too soft and intimate for the setting, and a habit of eye-scouring t-shirts with graphics to the point of almost setting them on fire.

The most uncomfortable part about WM guy is he is literally old enough to be my father (and the father of all of my similarly-aged co-workers.)

The other day the forecast for the area was saying snow in the afternoon, and WM guy expressed concern that I couldn’t make it home on my scooter. I brushed it off, saying I’d be fine, but he still insisted upon telling me where he lived (“right around the corner”) in case I couldn’t make it home. Right, sir, like  I’m going to come to your house in the evening when  I get off work because I can’t make it home.

Today, while I was attempting to make businesslike yet vaguely friendly conversation (you should try it sometime) WM guy mentioned  that he’d seen me the other day riding my scooter. “You looked cute,” he said. I felt slightly sick. “Thanks, ” I replied, tamping espresso, “That’s what my dad says, too.”

I did put a little unnecessary emphasis on the word dad. I thought that mentioning that I had a father who is involved with me might help make the situation better, and I was partially right, because WM guy’s next statement was that he was trying to talk his son into getting a scooter like mine to take to college next year.

Riiiiiiight

Anyway, do you have any particular tactics that work to disengage creepers without being totally rude? This IS my work environment, after all, and with all his faults, WM guy is a very loyal customer who tips well (especially if you’re wearing a graphic T, which I don’t anymore because I thought my chest was going to combust under his gaze.)

Also, what is with the strange romantic fascination a lot of males seem to have with baristas just because we smile and serve you delicious coffee? It’s like they think we go out with anyone who’s willing to sling their number at us. We’re not.

Sound off in the comments!

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