I was alone this weekend again.
Mark attended his grandfather’s funeral
in Ohio. We decided it was too long in the car (7-hours each way) and too much of a whirlwind (two days) for the girls, so he and his brother road-tripped together.
On Saturday, I met my sister-in-law, who also has two young girls, at a big indoor play area for kids. The girls spent nearly four hours playing in the mock, child-sized grocery store, fluttering around the baby doll nursery and digging in a huge sand pit.
At one point, I had to change Loaf. The facility had women’s and men’s bathrooms, plus a co-ed baby changing room with a toilet and sink. I headed there. The door had a latch lock, but I guess I didn’t push it through all the way because as I was setting up the changing table, a man walked in. But instead of saying, “oh excuse me,” and leaving, as any NORMAL fucking person would do, he just came right in and proceeded to wash his hands. Really. Really. Slowly.
By this time, I had Loaf on the changing table, but there was no way—NO WAY—I was going to take her diaper off her while this guy was there—it was too fishy. And creepy. He was standing at the sink with his back to us, but there was a large mirror over the sink that would give a clear view to my baby girl’s naked lower half. And I just had the feeling he was lingering. It was more than a little disturbing.
My mind was racing. Why did he come in at all?
Part of me wanted to just turn to him and say, “Excuse me dude, but WHAT THE FUCK? We’re in here. Go use the men’s room. Or just go back outside and wait your turn.”
But I didn’t. The polite, timid side of me, the side that doesn’t like to make a scene, the side that doesn’t want to draw attention to myself or look like a bitch, overruled. So I stood there, quietly stewing and waiting for this guy to leave on his own. When he finally did (it seemed like forever), I raced over and pushed the latch lock firmly through to the other side.
When I left the changing room, I looked for him. He was sitting with this family in the doll nursery. He was a very normal looking guy in a navy-blue v-neck sweater with a white t-shirt under it. He had two little girls and his wife—a cute redhead with long curly hair—was pregnant. They looked like picture perfect all-American family. And maybe they were, but I still say his behavior was odd. He is either completely oblivious to social mores, or is a pervert. I’m voting door #2. Sicko.
And yes, I'm completely pissed at myself for not speaking up and saying something. That is exactly
the attitude that gets women into trouble. Everything you read tells you that if your instincts tell you something is weird, you should speak up, be direct, yell. But I had no voice in that bathroom and I am completely disappointed in myself because of it.
At home that night, we made grilled cheese and soup for dinner. I was still turning the episode over in my head a bit.
Now you must understand that when I’m alone in the house, I’m a huge wimp with an overactive imagination. I live on a rural, dark street where the homes are quite spread out. On the nights when Mark is out, my imagination has, at times, gotten the best of me.
There was the night, during a windstorm, that a huge tree limb fell on the roof and I called the police because I swore – SWORE – the loud thump on the roof could only be made by a serial killer preparing to drop down the chimney and kill me. Oy.
So there we were, sitting round the kitchen table eating our dinner, when Peanut says, with nothing but sunshine and light in her voice, “Mommy, I see eyes looking in the window.”
The hairs on the back of my neck stood up and every muscle in my body froze. My mind flashed first to the scene in The Amityville Horror
when the bright red demonic eyes appear in the little girl’s bedroom and then quickly to the even more famous I see dead people.
Or worse, was it the creepy guy from the bathroom? Did he somehow follow us home?
As Peanut sat there smiling, I slowly turned my head toward the window. Of course, there was nothing there but the inky, pitch-black night. I got up and flipped on the outside light. Nothing. The yard was empty. The gate closed.
“Spot still sees eyes, Mommy! Bright pink eyes!”
Spot is Blanket’s
pet. An imaginary friend for both Peanut and Blanket who likes to hop along the side of our car when we drive and also apparently gets a rush out of scaring Mommy half to death.
Labels: Adventures in Parenting, Fear and loathing