I don’t have a stalker “problem”, per se. Other than that I am “the problem”.
Inadvertently and involuntarily may I add. I didn’t set out trying to be one. It just happened. Like suddenly realising you always choose a full pair of knickers rather than a thong, or a sudden vocalised concern for everyone’s bowel habits in your family, or realising you sing along to music in lifts, or suddenly realising you don’t bother holding your stomach in anymore no matter who it is who walks in the room.
It just happened.
I was trying to be normal and friendly, but, it came out wrong. And weird. Very, very weird.
So there is this woman. I know exactly where she will be at 9.09am. And again at 12.09pm. Except on Saturdays and Sundays. In my defence, she also knows exactly where I will be at these times, because, well, that’s when I am stalking her. This should be the defence of all stalkers – they are essentially being stalked by their stalkee because the stalkee is also in the same place as them at that time.
It started like this. Her child goes to another playschool in the village, one which begins and ends 15 minutes before Ed’s does. And as I pulled the car out of the lane, heading to Ed’s playschool one morning, there she was, waiting to cross in front of me. We made eye contact. I gestured for her cross the road in front of my car and she smiled and mouthed “thank you”.
And I thought
“Oh what a nice lady! How polite!” and smiled back.
Like I do with everyone I meet who seems nice because I am SIMPLE and think that everyone in the world has a good heart and “speak to every bloody stranger in the bloody street” (according to my husband). And then off I went on my merry way.
Tuesday, the same thing happened.
Thursday…it was evidently beginning to get a bit weird and awkward because it was like Groundhog Day and we were both feeling it. In a panic, I made it worse and waved at her.
She didn’t wave back.
WHY WOULD SHE?!
Friday? “I won’t drive”, I think, “it is a nice sunny (albeit cold) day, so I will walk instead” and off I went on my merry way. Now, from her point of view she must have seen the situation evolve like this -
“OH HELLO!” bellowed the crazy, dishevelled, ginger woman suddenly bursting out at her from behind a bush (our house has a bush between it and the pavement) before blocking her path with a pram that didn’t have a baby in it (I was collecting Alex from playschool…normally he would have filled it).
“OOOOH!” said the mental redhead putting her arms round herself, doing a mock shiver and making her eyes go massive to say “Isn’t it chilly!” (I was panicking big time and my natural response to any panic I have is to go way OTT) before zooming off and away from the car crash that was that interaction.
And then, my panicking pea brain, synapsing off at all sorts of jaunty angles, thinks “this situation can be rectified! And before Neighbourhood Watch puts a warning out about me!”.
So I looked over my shoulder, pointed at my house behind me, did a manic laugh and a wink and said
“I live THERE! That’s my house!”
And I raised one eyebrow (was trying to not seem creepy), smiled (gurned) and then, winked again.
WHY WAS I WINKING?!
She did a half nod and a pained expression, put her head down and scurried away. Shittit. That’s me on some kind of register then, isn’t it? And I too scurried away with my empty pram, talking to myself and telling myself off out loud for being so MENTAL.
Now, there followed an amalgamation of events which meant that I didn’t bump into her for a week or so. The kids kicked off about getting dressed in the mornings, so we were late leaving the house. I peered out from behind lounge blinds to make sure she wasn’t approaching our lane, so we were late leaving the house. It allseemed peachy and I had pretty much forgotten about the whole thing. Until a week or so later she was late dropping her kid off and was standing chatting to her friend as I drove past her playschool.
I honked the horn.
I slowed the car down.
I wound down the car window and bellowed
“HELLO! How are you?! Have you had your hair cut? It looks AMAZING! Come round to mine tomorrow and I will show you that dress I bought, Ok?”.
She looked fucking terrified. And why wouldn’t she?
What she didn’t realise was I wasn’t actually talking to her – I was talking to my friend, who was the friend she was chatting to. But of course how the hell would she know that? It looked pretty bad. I looked pretty bad.
But it is all sorted now. We are very British about the whole thing. We simply avoid all eye contact with each other and pretend it never happened. It’s working out well.