Today was creep day at the grocery store. Not unrelated, it was dude day.
I went in at 4pm. It wasn't crowded, but in every isle there was a guy - in work clothes - shopping. Guys have to eat, too. That's fine. I'm not against guys in the grocery store - especially those that know they need to move the cart out of the center of the isle when deciding which pack of rice-a-roni they're going to devour in an hour.
It just felt a little odd that so many (obviously) single guys were shopping. Apparently, it was payday (Friday) and they're out getting the goods. No biggie, right?
So, I'm walking down the isle having a conversation with my 6 month old about why she was not allowed to have my shopping list to eat. I walk past one of the flannel-clad men parusing baked beans and head down the isle to the pasta. When I stop my cart - I realize the dude had to stop short to keep from running into me. He was right there. Walking silently - which a guy that big has to try to do. He instantly turns and begins "shopping".
I'm freaked. Well, freaked in the momma bear sort of way that has become my norm. Kind of the combination of my new-found agoraphobia with a side of germaphobe with a splash of crazy mommaness to add the zing. What do I do? I don't want to look scared. If you look scared, then the bad guys have already won. I continue cooing to the baby, slyly grab a hold of the strap of my purse perched beside her in the cart, and calmly walk away. I pulled it off.
Out of body reality: I'm sure I looked like a freak. Like if I'd looked up and seen one of those bulging convex isle mirrors, I would have seen a nuts woman leaning way too close to her baby, talking too loudly, clutching her purse like it just tried to escape, taking huge steps and pushing the cart super fast out of the isle - nearly tipping it as she makes the corner.
It's one thing if that happens once. Or even more than once with a really obnoxious guy, but I had 3 different men invade my personal circle. THREE. Seriously, I was not ok. I felt threatened and weak.
So I did what any self-respecting, slightly paranoid, confused and oh-so-alone momma in a grocery store would do...
I found refuge in the tampon isle.
Guys can't linger in the tampon isle. It's a no fly zone for the most part. And even if a guy is being superman, saving up sex credit for after Aunt Flo's visit ends, he doesn't go into the isle while a crazy ass mom is in there wiping her brow and snarling at passers-by.
When my Craz-dar pinging had slowed to a tolerable level, I grabbed the last few list items and shot over to the checkout. Even while I was loading groceries into the car, I saw two different men staring at me in the lingering sort of way that a cartoon prey is dotted with butcher markings.
At this point, do I hock a loogie and scratch myself? I can belch with the best of em' but I'd been nervously on edge for so long that I wouldn't have been able to perform anyway.
I sped through the grocery loading. Grabbed the keys from my purse. OB-VI-OUS-LY locked my car door (with baby inside) to return the cart to its home a couple spots down. Then practically ran back to the car - under the guise of disgust from the drizzling rain.
And got the hell out of dodge.
I later confirmed that I didn't leave a flap of my nursing bra down. No boob waving in the breeze. Assholes like that are why I don't leave my house.