Creepiness Intensifies

creepi

Someone I am in an online community came up with this phrase: Creepiness Intensifies.  It perfectly expressed a situation that so many of us have experienced in our lives.

It’s when you’re just, you know, going about your normal life and then someone (usually, but I guess not necessarily, a bloke) makes things weird by getting overly personal or unexpectedly sexual.

For example, the last time I ever used Uber:

The driver started asking me personal questions about my love life and then asked did I still “give my ex some sugar”creepi_tweet

**creepiness intensifies**

and then would I give HIM some sugar ho ho only joking I have daughters

**creepiness intensifies**

and then wanted to know why I was going to my destination, how long I would be there and would I be alone

**CREEPINESS INTENSIFIES**

I lied, saying that there’d be loads of people there, ran out of the car as soon as I got there, uninstalled Uber and never used it again.

I have so many similar stories, where a conversation with a stranger has gone down like this, going from ok to odd to creepy to WHY WOULD YOU SAY THIS WHAT THE FUCK to getting my keys in my fist and my phone ready to call the police in the space of a few sentences. I figured other people would too, so I put the call out to see if my hunch was correct. The very first reply was “how much time do you have?”

Here are some of the stories.

“Cabbie: Can I just say something to you?

Me: Yeah…

Cabbie: You just look very relaxed.

Me: …

Cabbie: You know, in your face you look very relaxed

Me: (Looking for exit)

Cabbie: You look as if you could eat an ice cream and just go to sleep.

**creepiness intensifies**

Cabbie: You know what gets me? (waits for answer)

Me: …what?

Cabbie: How you don’t get any policemen walking the streets around here.

**CREEPINESS INTENSIFIES**”


 

“Years ago, I didn’t reply tcreepi_panlo someone on a dating site. They sent about 15 emails none of which I replied to.

*creepiness intensifies*

I deleted my account. The dude then somehow finds my work profile despite no photos/name matching my dating profile, and he emails me on there.

**creepiness intensifies**

Blocked him on there without a reply. HE FINDS ME ON FACEBOOK and messages me.

***CREEPINESS INTENSIFIES***

Still kinda expecting him to turn up at my door to ask why I haven’t replied yet.”


creepi_jessica

“On tube, minding own business.

Bloke leans his chin on my shoulder from behind and says “mmm, you smell nice” right in my ear.”

 


“I work at a shopping centre. This bad smelling man comes in, stands too close and asks me for a pen and paper.

**Creepiness intensifies **

He writes down 3 websites

**Creepiness intensifies **

Proceeds to explain these are websites which sell latex and leather clothing so I can give my man a treat.”


 

“My work leaving do. I find a colleague has written something backwards in my card as if to be cryptic. Hmm. Turns out it refers to my username on a dating site. Argh.

**Creepiness intensifies **

While we’re in the pub he takes me aside and asks if I got the message and says that I know where to find him if I ever want to go out.”


creepi_trumpdebate“At a gig. Trying to ignore the chump leaning into me from behind.

Him: ‘You’re gonna remember this night for the rest of your life…’

Me: *shudders*

Him : ‘AND the gig’

**CREEPINESS INTENSIFIES**”


At a work Christmas do and this dude from accounts, probably almost 20 years older than me (I was in my early 20s), was staring at me all through dinner. CREEPINESS INTENSIFIES. He sidles up to me (too close) and a few of my colleagues to ingratiate himself into the conversation. CREEPINESS INTENSIFIES. My two colleagues head to the bar for drinks. Accounts guys puts his arm around my shoulders and tells me how ‘hot’ I’m looking and how if he wasn’t married, he’d have really liked to date me….his wife also happened to be pregnant with their first child at the time. CREEPINESS INTENSIFIES. I told him that wouldn’t have a hope in hell with me and that I felt sorry for his wife.


 

My former landlord:creepi_it

Him: Do you like dogs?

Me: I prefer cats

Him: What makes you purr?’

**CREEPINESS INTENSIFIES**


 

“On the tube home one night, its late, some people are drunk, I’m not and I’m standing up reading a book. A drunk guy who looked about 10 years younger than me (I was about 30) sidles up, puts his arm round me and asks if I want to go home with him. Um. Let me think. No? I remove his arm and look at him like he’s stupid until he goes away. He immediately tries the woman next to me, and then the next, and then the next. After a while a young woman gets on who’s also drunk, and he starts eyeing her up, she, unfortunately, looks flattered and returns fire. He wanders over and they sort of fall on each other and start dribbly snogging in the middle of the train. Her friend does not look impressed. I tell her friend that the guys just tried it on with at least 6 different women before she got on, and she might want to rescue her friend. She firmly separates them and moves her friend Away, glaring at the guy who genuinely looks nonplussed. And then the train pulls into the next stop, more people get on, and he starts AAAAALL over again.”


 

“Get Uber home from work party. Discuss wedding plans with colleague who is also getting married soon. Driver asks higher than average number of questions about our partners.

**Creepiness intensifies**

Colleague gets dropped off. Driver starts asking about my weekend plans. Am now wishing he didn’t have my address. Driver suggests he’ll take me on a date. Ahahaha just joking.

**Creepiness intensifies **

Before letting me pay driver asks what time he should pick me up for said date.

**CREEPINESS INTENSIFIES**”


“A bloke once asked me for directions to a nearby road. I gave him directions. Then he asked me for directions to a B&B. I apologised and said I didn’t know one to recommend. Then he asked if he could come home with me for some sex.”

 


A male friend of mine also got in touch and said that he thinks he’d inadvertently caused a woman to have a moment…

“Got on at Kings Cross, young lady got on with me, empty carriage, late at night.

***everything normal***

both get off at baker street

***everything normal***

both change for jubilee line

***everything ??normal??***

both get off at [Station]

***fuck I’m probably now scaring this girl, how do I reassure her without making it worse****

both walk up the same street

****fuck fuck fuck*****

Both turn off the same side street

****Ummmmm******

I say “Look I’m really sorry, I’m not following you, I live at number 7”

Her “Thank fuck for that””


 

It did make me ponder – so many of us have these stories, about almost daily occurrences, is it any wonder that for many of us our vigilance threat level is turned up to 11 almost all the time?  That sometimes it appears that we’re over-reacting to what might seem a perfectly ordinary exchange from the outside? I am greatful to my male friend for being able to recognise that dynamic in his experience. Major props to him for realising he must have been spooking her, and understanding why rather than being annoyed with her for being scared of him.

Have you experienced CREEPINESS INTENSIFIES?

 

 

RDPP

3 comments

  1. I think what strikes me about all of these anecdotes is how relateable they are because I think you would be hardplussed to find a woman who has not been subjected to this kind of experience and probably several times. I know I could relate several examples just off the top of my head of things that have happened directly to me and several more that I have observed. I also think that there are “low level” (yet still wholly unacceptable) examples of similar behaviour that somehow as women we can become inured to because the experience is so frequent, it starts to feel tiresome rather than shocking. One of the empowering things about the internet and social media, however, is that it permits women to share this global, collective experience and to explain why it is so not OK. And maybe, just maybe, men will read these experiences and learn that this behaviour is so not acceptable. And parents will teach their children better and more overtly that this behaviour is never acceptable. And maybe just maybe there will be a cultural shift. We can but hope.

  2. The story from your male friend really strikes a chord – I’ve had this happen, though perhaps not quite to the same extent, quite frequently. I try to solve the problem by crossing the road, taking a different route or finding an excuse to stop or catch a later bus, but every so often I’ll do so, exit a side street and come face to face with the same person again. Also, part of me wonders that if the person notices this evasive action, whether that won’t just look even more incriminating.

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