Creeper Magnet /ˈcrēpər ˈmagnət/ n. One, usually female, with a tendency to attract creepy people.
I am a creeper magnet. It’s true. No matter where I go, or who I’m with. I am approached by creepers. It happens even more often now that I’m a mom. People love babies. Especially creepers. So, if I wasn’t a strong enough creeper magnet before, Avery has increased the attraction.
The first rule to avoid “creeper confrontation” is “DO NOT MAKE EYE CONTACT” I fail at this. Every. Time. Yeah, I’m the girl walking through Times square with 537 fliers for comedy shows in her hands. Why? Because I’m incapable of ignoring those guys, and just walking right on by. I make eye contact. I smile. I take their fliers. I do the same thing in the shopping mall, or the grocery store. Thank god I don’t take public transportation (can you imagine being trapped on a bus, or a train with a creeper? There’s no escape.
Let me give you a prime example of the type of Creepers I attract. While at the mall with some girlfriends and their little ones, I was approached by Creepy McCreeperson. A white male in his mid to late 50s. Heavy set, with white hair and coke-bottle glasses. Stained t-shirt (that he got while on vacation, I later learned)tucked in to his dungarees. Belly hanging over his belt. Do you have a clear picture in your mind? Good. OK, so I saw him from across the store, and clearly he saw me as well. He made a beeline towards me and cornered me against a rack of greeting cards. I couldn’t get away. But the time my friends rescued me (Thanks to McCreeperson making one of the other babies cry) I had learned these person factoids:
1. He met his wife on a singles cruise.
2. He had two cats. (One a black cat named Shadow, the other a calico. I don’t remember the calico’s name, but I did see a blurry cell phone picture of her.)
3. He owns an old school Motorola flip phone (He showed it to me before showing me the photo of the calico)
4. He had horrible sun poisoning on a cruise, and now makes sure he stays in the shade.
5. He’s Scotch-Irish (The reason, he claimed, for factoid #4)
6. He believes that Avery’s birthmark (an “Angel Kiss” on her forehead) is not a birthmark at all. It is heat rash.
7. He is an expert on heat rash.
8. He has worked as a mall Santa.
9. He could tell that Avery clearly had never seen a man with facial hair, based on her uneasy reaction to him. (Dave has a goatee, and my dad has a mustache)
10. He loves kids. And cats. And Cruising.
Other recent creeper encounters included:
-The man at the bookstore, reading, alone in the children’s section. I turned away to grab a book and when I looked back he was leaning into the stroller, tickling Avery. “Wow, she sure quieted down quickly when you gave her that bottle, didn’t she!” (Avery had started whining a bit, and I fed her. Apparently SUPER Creepy-to-the-point-of-being-criminal dude had been watching us. He gave me a creeptastic wink and scampered back to his corner.
-The older, pants-too-short, bad toupee creeper who caught up to us in Target and kept saying how much he “loves babies” and calling Avery (dressed in a pink flowery outfit) a “He”
-The woman in the cat tee-shirt who ignored me and was just talking to Avery in what I suppose was baby talk, and preventing me from leaving the JC Penny bathroom. (yes, women can be creepers too!)
So, yes. I am a creeper magnet, and unfortunately I have passed it on to Avery. I apologize to everyone who hangs out with us in public.