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I Blame the Dutch mpoetess
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Dear Guy In The Kroger Parking Lot:
I am not sorry that when you pulled up next to me in your car as I was loading mine with groceries, and said you just had to come over and give me a compliment, then asked if I was single -- pardon me, if I was a 'single lady'-- I said, "No, sorry, I'm not." (Hee. It just now occurs to me that I could've been answering the 'lady' part, quite truthfully.)

Nor am I sorry for following that up with a "Yes" when you said "So I take it that you're a married lady."

This is what you do when a man pulls up to you in a parking lot in his car at night in my neighborhood, even when he's friendly and polite and compliments you on your haircolor and says you should tell your husband he's a lucky guy, then drives away. (Unless you actually happen to be in the market for a guy who pulls up in parking lots at night to ask women if they're single. I am not in the market for same.)

However, I am regretful that even if you asked right at this moment, I would tell the same lie(s), given your subsequent rescuing of my wallet/phone from the cart where I'd left it (admittedly because I was totally flustered by the conversation with you), double attempts to call me at home via my cellphone to let me know you had it, and eventual return to the parking lot to hand it over to me just as I was pulling into a parking spot and panicking because I'd already checked the cart corral and it wasn't there and it has my driver's license and birth certificate and everything I'd actually need to leave the country as I'm planning to do in two weeks.

You, sir, are a genuinely nice guy. And I would totally tell you I'm married again if it would get you to go away and stop making me feel awkward. But now I'd feel bad about it.

kita0610

2005-09-13 07:03 am (UTC) (Link)

Woah.

You had a night.

mpoetess

2005-09-13 07:06 am (UTC) (Link)

I did. (Though it wasn't as late as the timestamp on the post would make it appear. It was only 8-ish or so. I just did a 'Oh yeah, should post about that before I go to bed' thing, then kinda forgot to follow through on the going to bed part. *g*)

beadattitude

2005-09-13 07:05 am (UTC) (Link)

Yeah. No easy way out of that one, for you, hon. ::hugs::


mpoetess

2005-09-13 07:09 am (UTC) (Link)

OTOH, I have my wallet, and he has a lot of repetitions of "No really, thank you so much" to take away. :)

(no subject) - beadattitude, 2005-09-13 07:14 am (UTC) (Expand)

xanphibian

2005-09-13 08:27 am (UTC) (Link)

I love you! I'm sorry I never comment. I'll try to do better, k?

mpoetess

2005-09-13 01:46 pm (UTC) (Link)

*smooch*

Dork.

(no subject) - xanphibian, 2005-09-13 04:58 pm (UTC) (Expand)

minitrog

2005-09-13 09:26 am (UTC) (Link)

I really think it's automatic to be totally suspicious of a bloke who approaches you and compliments you (Hi, I don't know you but I'm being creepy), asks if you're single (can I fuck you?), calls you lady (yes, I'm being really creepy) and then assumes you're not available because you're married (Ah, someone else's property then!).

If they then turn out to actually be nice, and just socially inept - which actually is usually the case, they are just gonna have to learn better signals.

On the other hand, if they turn out to be genuinly creepy, I don't want them to learn better signals.

I wonder if that shit ever works?

Am I being far too cynical?

mpoetess

2005-09-13 02:02 pm (UTC) (Link)

Nah - definitely not being too cynical.

This is possibly more of an inner-city (or maybe just midwestern inner-city) African-American cultural thing than an individual lack of social skills, though. A lot of Black guys in my area seem to think this conversational approach (granted not always in parking lots at night) is attractive and not nervousmaking - the smooth voice and uber-polite language that sounds really respectful until you realize how fast he's getting way too personal with a complete stranger. And maybe to women who grew up in the same culture/neighborhoods, it actually doesn't seem weird and intrusive. I do keep in mind that I'm the transplant there - it's a deeply African-American neighborhood, and I'm the very very white girl who grew up in a bizarrely colorless pocket of land sandwiched between Gary and Chicago.

(no subject) - mpoetess, 2005-09-13 02:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - mpoetess, 2005-09-14 06:30 pm (UTC) (Expand)

swmbo

2005-09-13 11:21 am (UTC) (Link)

heee!

That made me laugh and while i am glad he turned out to be a good guy and you got your wallet back, I still am all weirded out by the parking lot approach to dating.

mpoetess

2005-09-13 02:09 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yeah, me too. See above comment to Minitrog re: neighborhood/culture making it not completely unfamiliar to me, but I still have to think "Does this guy ever actually score dates this way? Are even the dudes he grew up with going "Points for sincerity, but yo, at least stick to using that line during the daytime?"

geeky_dani

2005-09-13 11:52 am (UTC) (Link)

Dude, since moving to NJ, this sort of thing happens to me all the time. I have never been the type that men will randomly hit on without provocation, yet suddenly there are scary sleezy men left and right approaching me in parking lots, gas station, grocery stores, and pulling over as I am walking on the street to ask if I am single (or sometimes ever skipping that and just asking if I wanna go out this weekend). It totally freaks me out. *clings*

I am very glad that you were able to get your wallet back. That would have been horrible otherwise.

mpoetess

2005-09-13 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)

Indeed. I was so freaked by the possibility that I'd have to try to get a new driver's license and birth certificate in the two weeks before I'm supposed to go to Canada, since I have no idea if my renewed passport will show up before I leave or not.

(no subject) - geeky_dani, 2005-09-13 02:54 pm (UTC) (Expand)

ladycat777

2005-09-13 12:39 pm (UTC) (Link)

1. Your wallet is, in fact, not lost.
2. You had compliments, which are always of the good, particularly since you are lovely :)

I'd say that balances out the creepy. Although yeah, I'd still lie. Like Trog says, they're mostly just socially inept but ... um ... safe is better?

*snuggles*

mpoetess

2005-09-13 02:15 pm (UTC) (Link)

:D *smooch*

Yeah, even before the wallet thing I was still happy about the compliment.

searingidolatry

2005-09-13 01:19 pm (UTC) (Link)

Could be worse, whenever I've tried the old 'I'm seeing someone/engaged/married' line I've gotten 'I won't tell if you won't' as a response, because yeah, that makes you a real appealing suitor!

mpoetess

2005-09-13 02:12 pm (UTC) (Link)

Dude, seriously! "So this would be you telling me upfront you're looking for an open relationship, huh? Or would it be different with me?"

(no subject) - searingidolatry, 2005-09-13 03:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)

spartan5000

2005-09-13 09:58 pm (UTC) (Link)

Sigh.

I do not want to make you paranoid, but are you sure you left your phone and wallet in the shopping cart or are you assuming that was where they were because he told you that was where he found them. If he drove away before you did, did he then park his car to go into the store, in which case he might have passed the cart and seen them, or did he drive away as if he was leaving. Because it strikes me as a little too coincidental that this stranger who approached you in a parking lot at night, where any woman alone would be wary and distracted, was also the one to find your things. He could now know where you live and, if you're like the rest of us in what you put in your wallet, quite possibly a lot about your life as well. I'd be very careful for the next few weeks and I would also check with my bank and any credit card companies about getting new numbers, everything. If you had lost your wallet, you would have reported the loss automatically. But because things worked out well, you didn't, you wouldn't even think about it and if he or a confederate picked your pocket at some point, they could have weeks before you noticed they were using forged cards to loot your accounts. Check out any personal information in your wallet carefully and, if you had personal information stored in your phone, check that as well. If your Social Security number, or any other ID number if you're not an American, was stored anywhere, keep a very close check on your credit for the next six months or a year. Maybe more. While your memory is still fresh, I'd also write down anything you remember about the man physically, and about his car, including the license plates if you remember any of it.

It's possible he was just a good Samaritan, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

mpoetess

2005-09-13 10:26 pm (UTC) (Link)

I thought about these things in passing too, but a) I say wallet; it was actually a small organizer-sized bag with a strap. It wasn't in my pocket; I left it in the child-seat of the shopping cart, in the outdoor cart corral. And once I realized I didn't have it, I knew that was where I'd left it. b) he actually did call, twice - admittedly not leaving a message, but it was almost immediately after he could've possibly found the bag. c) I have no credit cards in it that actually work, and no personal info in my cellphone beyond my home number, which is publicly listed anyway. There's really not much that could be done with anything in there, except my bank card, which admittedly could be used online as a credit card, but only to the tune of what's currently in my checking account, which ain't much.

Plus bottom-line, I left my purse myself, so that would require this guy to have jumped on the random chance of seeing an abandoned purse to gather up all the identity info within it for use in some scam or other, after engaging in an awkward and therefor memorable conversation with the intended victim, while driving a car whose plates could identify him, and then returning the purse which would make him even more memorable to the victim. If he really planned on using the info for something, he'd have been much safer turning it in to the store's service desk, than coming into contact with me again.

(no subject) - spartan5000, 2005-09-14 01:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
I AM SO SORRY!!! I THOUGHT YOU WERE SOMEONE ELSE!!! - Anonymous, 2005-09-14 09:04 pm (UTC) (Expand)

viveydoll

2005-09-14 02:42 pm (UTC) (Link)

Creepy guys can still have good taste...take what you like and leave the rest!
Also realize that at some point it will be:
1) Not in a Kroger parking lot.
2) Not a creepy guy.
3) Interesting not to lie.

mpoetess

2005-09-14 06:31 pm (UTC) (Link)

Hee! This is true.

Someday it will be in a Marsh parking lot!

(no subject) - viveydoll, 2005-09-27 05:42 pm (UTC) (Expand)