January 11, 2007
I go in the library…and I wait for the volunteer woman to come and check me out (she was there when I walked in, but not at that moment, so I figured she was probably just shelving some books).
This guy comes out of the back part of the library and asks if I am waiting in line. I tell him I am, as I assume he works there. He then asks where I’m from and I say, “Around here” (I am still being polite b/c I assume he is making polite conversation). Then he says, “You must be a college student.” I say, “No,” and by then I’m annoyed that he won’t check out my book, so I hold it out to him pointedly. He says, “Oh no, she’s the one that’s going to check you out,” and points to the volunteer woman who is just then coming into the front room from the back.
The guy then leaves and volunteer lady asks me if I know him. I say I don’t, I thought he worked there, that’s the only reason I was saying anything to him. She says something like, he’s not the kind of person I want to be associating with. And she’s all stern and serious and she’s kinda freaking me out, like the dude’s some kind of molester or something.
I leave the library and Big Creep is sitting in his car in the parking lot so I was really glad I got to walk in the opposite direction to get my newspaper. I get the paper, walk back across the street and am almost to the library parking lot and only THEN did creepoid drive away.
Things like that make me so mad – the library (and schools and parks and places like that) are supposed to be safe, happy, fun places, not places where gross people hang around and leer.
I can remember being a little kid in the 1980’s and watching videos in school about “don’t get into the car with strangers!” and having a “safe word” so if someone tried to say, “Your mom asked me to take you home,” I could demand, “What’s the safe word???” And if they didn’t know, I could run away and find a “trusted” adult.
But those videos always made the “bad” people seem so shady – the greasy mustache and sunglasses and the smell of cigarette smoke and windowless vans. If I wasn’t a cynical adult, I probably would have just thought Library Creep was a nice man who wanted to know about my school. And if he’d been online, he could have been Creep posing as a 13-year-old boy, who “OMG, he totes luvs that same stuff I do! OF COURSE I want to come over and listen to Justin Bieber with you!”
Do schools still do the “stranger danger” stuff? It’s sad that they have to, but they definitely should. Because as cheesy as those videos were, that message is still cemented into my head, all these years later.
This looks like 90s, but it illustrates my whole point of these videos only showing “creepy” looking people.