Thursday, October 30, 2008

From the I'm so stupid I shouldn't be let loose in society files

Every week day I spend time in a large metropolitan area. I've seen it all from the smelly, the stinky and the crazy on down to the I'm-not-sure-what-the-hell-you-are-I-just-know-I-should-stay-away-from-you. And every week day I manage to sidestep most of these folks.

Except yesterday when I was cornered. Sort of.

No sooner had I crossed the street when Dude said "You are beautiful".

I wanted to ignore him, I really did. But I did just get my hair done and it had been a long taxing day and frankly a compliment, regardless of the source it came from, was right on time. So I spoke and said simply "thank you" and tried to look away.

But then he kept repeating it, and when another pedestrian walked by he tried to stop him and say "Isn't she beautiful?". It had become comical at that point and I kinda let a smile slip and glanced over at him

Boots in good condition, nice jeans and nice flannel shirt paired with a parka type vest. That's odd. Why is he on this corner notorious for the skeezy, unkempt and batshit crazy I thought.
Then I looked at his face. Particularly his eyes. His red rimmed, faraway, I'm totally hammered eyes. And then I kinda got it. He's one of those i-don't-know-what-the-hell-you-are-but-i-just-know-I-need-to-stay-away types.

"I got a momma and a sister and you're beautiful" he said again.

Uh ok, I thought.

"What's your name?" he asked.

And in true non-quick thinking fashion I couldn't come up with anything.

"WM" I said meekly hoping he wouldn't hear me.

"Well mine's D and it's a pleasure to meet you" he said extending his hand.

And what did I do, but extend my very own hand. And then, before I could move away, run, hide and/or freak the fuck out

Luckily the light turned in my favor and I booked it across the street.

Holy Hell did that really just happen I thought as I frantically looked for hand sanitizer in my bag. I.had.nothing.

I contemplated stopping somewhere ... anywhere to wash my tainted hand but there really wasn't anywhere. And so I waited until I got home, holding my hand far away from me much like one might hold a smelly diaper far from your nose.

The first thing I did when I arrived in my door was make a beeline for the bathroom to scrub my hand. As luck would have it I woke up this morning with my hand still attached to my wrist, bearing no funny marks and no sores so I think I'm ok. But dammit do I feel stupid.

So tell me, what thing have you done recently that was so stupid you wanted to kick your own ass ?

You're amongst friends now. Let it out. C'mon you know you wanna share...


ebinbaby said...

You may feel like you did something stupid, but you might have been the only person to treat him like a human being that day.
I believe if more people were able to look at individuals who have such difficulty in life and think "there but for the grace of God go I" we would all live in a better world.
Bless you for giving him a human moment.

Jennifer, Playgroups Are No Place For Children said...

You looked in his eyes and knew he was bad news. I've been in similar situations (not someone telling me I'm beautiful, though ;)) and watched myself just get pulled into someone like that.


I read a book called "the Gift of Fear" and I'm of the mindset to always, ALWAYS follow your gut.

Alex Elliot said...

One time I was in a huge hurry when the door bell rang. It was a kid selling magazines. I figured it was for the school so I ordered one and started to write a check. She corrected me when I started to right out the name of the high school. It was some weird group that hires kids to sell magazines over the summer with the incentive that the top sellers get a trip. They were featured on 60 Minutes as being a group to avoid although in my defense I didn't know it at the time. Anyhow, I had a bad feeling about it, but still went ahead and wrote the check. I don't know what I was thinking. I take that back, I didn't want to hurt her feelings. Hours later I casually dropped by the police department where apparently they had received dozens of calls about this group. The check had already been cashed.

Virtualsprite said...

Back in the day, I dated a lot of men I shouldn't, but I'd incriminate myself if I gave details. :-)

But lately I've been hyper-vigilant, almost to the point of paranoia. One of the hazards of being a journalist. I spend my entire day hearing about the worst that humanity has to offer and it's hard to get that out of my head when I come home.

well... that was uplifting. Glad your hand is okay.

Butrfly Garden said...

sometimes I think my slight hearing problem is a gift. If I responded to every noise that I hear that COULD be directed toward me, I'd be really busy. So I just ignore everyone for the most part. I'm equal opportunity, I ignore people who don't look like vagrants, crazies or idkwthya's.

I've done a lot of stupid things. Too much for this little ol' comment box. ;)

Queen of the Mayhem said...

Is it wrong that I am so desperate for compliments these days that I am not sure that was a bad thing?

Yeah...don't answer that! ARE beautiful...and it's not just the batshit crazy that think so! :)

newlyweds said...

Ha! Cute story, I do something almost daily that I want to kick my own ass, don't feel bad.

Whiskeymarie said...

I guarantee you, I would have done the same thing. I can't be mean to hobos.

Plus, he knew a foxy lady when he saw one- you can't begrudge a hobo for that.

Mommy said...

Yes indeed. Speaking from experience in riding the bus through N. Minneapolis for three years I can tell you - you are not alone.
And I try to keep my distance, but I can not be mean either.
I used to catch the bus home outside the "Skyline Lounge" - yes a strip club ladies. I got it daily there! One time I was wearing a GIANT coat that showed none of my shape, a hat with fur and flaps, and STILL a guy came up to me and told me I was "smokin' hot".

Uh, yea.

What did I do dumb? I may have thrown away my vote in this tight MN senatorial race.

Elisa said...

I don't think you were stupid, I think you were polite. Granted, the kiss on the hand would have freaked me out too ;-)