To start off I am a 35 year old woman from Florida. Being from Florida I am used to creepy people, especially creepy old men. They like to stare me up and down and occasionally try to make small talk while hitting on me. There have even been times when I was walking and they tried to pick me up thinking that I was a hooker. My point being, I am used to creepy old men and over the years I’ve learned to just ignore it.
So this happened about 2 months ago when my 15 year old daughter, Dayna and I were shopping at Save a lot. I wouldn’t normally submit the name of the store but I feel that it’s necessary to let everyone know that this isn’t a regular grocery store. You have to bring your own bags, bag up your own groceries and there are no bag boys that offer to bring your groceries to your car for you like most grocery stores do.
It was a normal shopping trip in the beginning, nothing out of the ordinary. We turned down an aisle when I realized that we had walked right by the hamburger buns and I had forgot to grab some. They were about 15 feet away from me so I asked Dayna to run and grab some while I worked on getting what I needed in the aisle that I was in. I watched her go and she came back with a really odd look on her face and asked her what was wrong. She told me that while she was walking there was an older man staring at her and he winked at her. I explained to her that she will get used to it and apparently she is a creepy old man magnet like her mother. I tried to make light of the situation to try to calm her down because I could see that she was disturbed by it.
We continued our shopping and when we turned down an aisle that had no one in it Dayna looked at me with a very concerned look on her face and told me that she thought that creepy man was following us. I asked her to point him out for me so that I could keep and eye out for him. We went down a few more aisles and sure enough that dude was around every corner! He was a hispanic man in his 50’s with salt and pepper hair. He didn’t look creepy, just like a normal guy.
We were almost done getting everything that we needed when I turned down one last aisle and, of course, there was creepy guy! This time he was blocking the aisle so that we couldn’t get by. Me, being a polite southerner, nicely said “Excuse me” and waited for him to move his cart. Instead of moving he stared at us and said “Hi, how are you?”. I said that we were fine and nicely asked him to move his cart so that we could get by. He moved it this time and we continued down the aisle. When we were about 5 feet from him he said “It’s not polite to not ask how I am”. I said that I was sorry and kept walking. He then said that it was late so we should be sleeping. I just gave him an odd look and said ok and quickly pushed my daughter ahead of me and kept walking. Not only was that an odd thing to say seeing as it was only about 6pm but I also had a chance to look in his cart and he only had 2 items in it. Milk and cheese. Those items were both at the back of the store so he had no reason to go up and down every aisle in the store aside from following us! At this point I was starting to get creeped out! We hurried over to another aisle where there was 4 or 5 people shopping. I figured that he would leave us alone if there were other people around.
We were done shopping at this point but I didnt want to risk being stuck in line with this creep seeing as they only had one register open. I watched him out of the corner of my eye and saw that he was headed to the register. I breathed a sigh of relief because he would finally be gone soon. Boy was I wrong!!!
We watched him pay for his stuff and then he headed out of the store. We went up to the register and I noticed that the cashier was a nice girl whom we have talked to quite a few times before. I made small talk with her and then asked her if that man that just left had creeped her out at all. She said that he didnt really say anything to her but he did seem a little off. It was at that point that my daughter tightly grabbed my arm and said “Oh my God, Mom! He’s outside of the window and he keeps waving at me!” I looked over at the large window in the front of the store and sure enough that guy was in his black truck that was parked along side the windows and he was waving at my daughter! At this point I lost it! I had the cashier look and she was getting freaked out too. I asked her if there was any employee that could walk us out to our car because it was dark and we were parked way in the back of the parking lot. She called over the walkie talkie to her manager and asked if we could have a male employee walk us out and explained the situation.
We pulled our cart out of view of the windows and proceeded to bag up our groceries while we were waiting for the employee to walk us out. 2 men showed up and waited for us. When we were done we all walked outside and no sooner than we reached the beginning of the parking lot we saw that same black truck speed off. He saw that we were not alone and gave up. We made it to our car safely but the whole way home we were on edge and keeping an eye out for black trucks to make sure that we weren’t being followed. This was the most vulnerable I’ve ever felt, personally. I realized when I got in my car that I had no way to defend myself and my child if this guy had gone full psycho and pulled a weapon on us. I have no gun, pepper spray or anything. I really dont have any way to get these things either so I decided on the next best thing. On the way home we stopped at Dollar General and grabbed a big bottle of wasp spray. I now keep that in the center console of my car. It wont do much damage but it will certainly get someone to back off if they are trying to hurt us.
I’d like to say that I don’t know what he wanted, but unfortunately I know exactly what he wanted……my daughter. He would have had to go through me to get her though, and I wouldn’t have gone down without a fight. There’s no power stronger than momma bear mode and trust me when I say, I was in full momma bear mode that night!