This one isn’t exactly baby-related, but still relevant. Did you know that I’m a terrifying beast of a man? It’s true! I know this because women are constantly terrified by my presence. Examples of this are too numerous to list, but here are a few of my favorites.
1. Back when Jen and I were dating, she lived in an apartment complex near Sugar Land. As I left her place one afternoon, I passed by other apartment doors on my way to the Jeep. At the exact moment I was walking by, a Middle-Eastern woman happened to open the door to her place. We locked eyes for a moment, just long enough for her to scream like a banshee with a paper cut and slam the door shut, immediately twisting several deadbolts into place. I never even broke stride.
2. A couple years ago, Jen and I were shopping at La Centerra. She went into Vera Bradley for…something or other…and since I was carrying a coffee I elected to wait outside. So I just stood by the door, eyes shaded behind sunglasses, sipping my coffee, and generally minding my own business. At one point a huge SUV pulls up next to me. A woman and her daughter get out of the thing, and begin to walk toward Vera Bradley. However, the mom freezes in place once she sees me and grabs ahold of her daughter’s shirt, pulling her to a halt. The two of them then back away, get back into their SUV, and sit there eyeing me warily. I’m so confused by this whole thing that I look down at myself to see if I’m bleeding or I’ve forgotten to wear pants or something. Nope. Just me. Pair of khaki shorts and a Pixies t-shirt with some low-top Chucks. They sat in there until Jen left the store, and then got out and presumably handled their accessory shopping. To this day I wonder what I did to terrify that woman so…
3. Last February, I was leaving my office late and was headed to the parking garage. About 60 feet in front of me was a woman who apparently also works in my building. She opens the door to the garage, glances over her shoulder at me, then immediately turns around and sprints away in a panic. As if I were a stalker in office casual, waiting to jump her after we’d cleared the handicapped spots. The irony here is that I actually looked around the garage to see what was wrong and, for a moment, wondered if I should go ask her if she was okay.
4. Finally, just last week, I was standing in an elevator. (Again in my office building.) The elevator stopped, the doors opened, and a woman walked through. She looked up and screamed, right in my face, when she saw me.
Seriously? I can’t even ride an elevator without being treated like a creature? At least this lady had the decency to apologize and stammer something about “grfumpdidn’t expectshmewapnobody’s ever in the elevatoburglmpn…” Although honestly I bet she only did this because she still had to ride down 6 floors with me.
As I said, there are countless other instances like these when I’ve inadvertently terrified someone, just by being me. And I’ve never been able to figure out why. I mean, I totally get a certain amount of “stranger danger.” But at some point it does start to get a little insulting.
I don’t want your money.
I’ve no interest in you. (Don’t flatter yourself.)
And I’m certainly not going to hurt you.
The truth is, I couldn’t possibly care less about you.
So please stop treating me like I’m some kind of monster, simply because I’m a man who happens to be near you.