Today I tweeted: “Do I have a light-up sign that says “Calling all creeps”? As my dad used to say, I am a bum magnet — if there is some kind of weirdo within 50 feet of me, they’re going to have a chat. I think it’s because they know I’ll entertain the convo. I’m the type of person who finally stopped giving homeless people money after I watched some guy on the side of the street with a “disabled vet” sign roll into a parking garage, fold up his wheelchair and hop into his BMW after I gave him $5.00. It was a miracle outside of the Beverly Center if I had ever seen one.
Los Angeles has tested my ability avoid creepy men. Unfortunately, I have failed miserably. In the City of Angels, I’ve found most people are single and have trouble finding love, mostly because everyone is pretentious and superficial. However, I’m starting to think it’s because most of the guys here are obsessed with themselves and love Ed Hardy and Affliction tees too much. (Sorry to anyone who actually likes those brands… but it’s an instant red flag for a Texas gal such as myself.) It’s so bizarre how some guys here have the balls to approach some women when really they shouldn’t. I’m not saying they shouldn’t approach women, I’m saying they shouldn’t approach women in the circumstances that they do. I was explaining to my roomie, Makenzie, tonight: there is a reason why girls like guys who take it slow — not the ones who are trying to buy you dinner without even knowing your last name.
Let me break it down for you: everyone here knows I’m from Texas based on three things: 1) I say y’all (not going to change), 2) I like big hair, and 3) I am unabashedly friendly to everyone, including strangers that walk by. I might not speak to them, but I will smile and if we make eye contact I might even throw in a head nod. You never know whose day you might make just by giving a smile! This is probably why I’m excellent at networking. I digress. Anyway, I’m starting to rethink this strategy of mine because it has lead me into some interesting situations.
Scenario #1: Brea Shallory (name has been changed… just in case he found my blog. I wouldn’t put it past him.)
In April, I was on my way to The Grove to reserve seats and get tickets for my roommates and myself for Date Night. I had gotten there early so I could grab a bite to eat and then get the tickets. Upon leaving my car and approaching the escalator to the main concourse, I saw a guy who was kind of circling around the escalator entrance but didn’t think anything of it until he was smack-dab in front of me.
“Hi!” He was very perky. “My name is Brea! What’s yours?”
“Awesome! Like the video game?”
(I haven’t heard that one 60,503,382 times before...) “Kind of… it’s spelled different.”
“Oh really? How is it spelled? Oh wait. Let me guess! C-U–“
I stop him immediately. “No, not exactly. But that’s not the point. I really have to get going.”
I’m really proud of myself for diverting this situation almost immediately.
“Really? Where are you headed?”
“To the movie theater, gotta get some tickets for my friends.”
“NO WAY! What movie?”
“Date Night.” (I know I am giving away way too much information at this point, and I’m starting to visualize him coming at me with a knife in the dark theater.)
“Shut up. I really want to see that! I’m going to call you to see how it is. Let me get you number. Get your phone out so I can call you and make sure you get mine!”
This is a classic move, one I have fallen for one too many times. By calling you immediately, they can verify if the number you gave is correct or not. I have yet to find a decent excuse. I could say “You’re a bloody stranger, leave me alone.” But then I get back to my Pollyanna syndrome and think that I might be making his day. He doesn’t seem to have a lot of friends, especially if he’s standing in a parking garage talking to me.
I give him my number and sure enough he calls.
“Great. Now you have my number! So, Kirbie, I have a question for you. When are we going to make babies?”
I’m floored. He has his arm around my neck. “My boyfriend won’t be too happy about that.”
“Why not? He can watch!”
Having a boyfriend is always great, but especially great in situations like this. If you don’t have one, I recommend pretending you do. Making up a name is easy: a celebrity crush, a co-worker, a pet. I’ve used “Harley” (my dog’s name) a few times because it makes it sound like I’m dating a bouncer or a 250 pound motorcycle junkie. Also, if you can, buy yourself a fake engagement ring. I’m lucky enough that I have a ring my parents bought me for my birthday that resembles an engagement ring — barely — but for guys who don’t know about that thing, they think I’m married. Clearly Brea did not think so.
I decide to get some gonads.
“Brea, it’s been real, but I gotta get going. I don’t know you so I don’t feel too comfortable right now. But good luck with whatever you’re doing out here.” I start to walk away.
“Hey, one more thing. I saw you have a cross ring on. That’s really beautiful. You have really pretty fingers. Anyway, I’m really trying to find a good church out here. I was an atheist but then I moved to LA and found God! Isn’t that bizarre?”
I was touched that he went from a non-believer to a Christian, but I was also concerned about his authenticity.
“Oh, well, if you need a good church, there’s a good one in Hollywood called Reality.” More like a reality check. Get one.
Sure, sounds like a huge joke, but the church I go to is called Reality and it’s truly fabulous. Ironic how well it fit into this creeper situation. He was practically a stage five clinger. However after giving him some info about the church and congratulating him on finding God, I told him I was running late and had to get to the movie. He did call me three days in a row afterward, and I didn’t answer.
Scenario 2: Adir
Oh Adir. Why did you think it was a good idea to ask me out at The Coffee Bean, while I was waiting patiently for the coffee tray I was supposed to be delivering to work? Standing there innocently, I wasn’t going to be a snob when a man, sitting at a table and playing on his laptop, said hello.
“What’s your name?”
“Kirbie? How is that spelled? Like the video game?” (Seriously? Seriously.)
Guys, please get original conversation starters. This one is getting ridiculous.
“No, it’s spelled different, I do get that a lot though.”
“Oh, how did you get your name?”
“Well, there was a show called Dynasty in the 80s. My mom loved it and there was a girl on there named Kirby. I think her name was spelled differently but my name changed it so it would be a ‘girl’ version… and voila. My name is born.”
“Oh. That’s cool.” Don’t sound too enthralled, Adir. By the way, why aren’t you making eye contact with me? And why am I still talking to you?! “My dad named me Adir because that was the name of a prince, and my dad felt I looked like a prince, and it turns out I act just like one too.” Um… definitely not Prince Charming, or my personal fav, Prince Eric from The Little Mermaid.
“Oh, that’s fun. Well I gotta get back to work.”
“So you work around here?”
“Oh. Do you work close to here?”
“Have you ever had the cotton candy drink?”
“No, from the SLS hotel.”
“Nope. Never been.”
“Perfect. Give me your number, I’ll text you right now and then next week we can get a drink.”
I was about to give him a fake number until he says, “Actually, I’m going to call to make sure you got my number.” Drats.
I give out my number (like a damn fool) and he calls, he texts, and I don’t respond. And then tonight he had enough gumption (gotta give him credit) to call and ask me out to share a “cotton candy drink,” which I have now equated with the date rape drug. I explained that my boyfriend, Harley, wouldn’t be too thrilled about that. And that was that, except he said “Okay, next week then?”
I hung up.
I know a lot of guys will read this and say, “This is why guys have a tough time talking to women.” False. These stories are not the rule, they’re the exception (well, in my case, they might as well be the rule). If you are a single man with good intentions and you don’t act desperate, you might get away with asking a girl out at a Coffee Bean. However, you would go about it differently than asking a chick out while she’s standing in line waiting for coffee, not even bothering to offer a handshake, and not making eye contact. Not to mention not knowing a darn thing about me — I could be Charles Manson’s love child for all he knew. Furthermore, why do men think all women are looking for a date? Doesn’t it cross their mind that perhaps a woman is focused on her career or not emotionally available to date at that point, or, shockingly, doesn’t want to date? I guess I should have made it clear that I am not looking for date and therefore should have not even given out my number (I was tricked!!!). Alas, I have a lesson to learn as well, and it’s called being a hardass and not giving out my number like it’s free contraception. Stupid Pollyanna syndrome.
Also, you (aka creeper male) might have a better chance if the woman you had creeped on didn’t return to the exact same Coffee Bean to witness you pulling the same old trick on another innocent victim a few days later. Again, the word desperate comes to mind, and women like confident men. That’s a fact, not an opinion.
While I’m still going to be nice and friendly, I plan on using, “Do I know you?” and “I don’t give my number out to strangers” in the future. Put your foot down, ladies. Don’t be a victim of a creephole.