The United States has an early alert system for terrorism. Terror levels are denoted by color – red is the highest, and on down from there. Towns have tornado sirens to let people know that a tornado is coming so they can prepare. My disaster alert? My mom.
Example. The other night when I was driving home, my mom called to tell me something, and as we were getting off the phone, she’s like “Don’t stop for any weirdos!” And I was like “Uh, okaaaaay.” So she tells me that apparently there’s a guy posing as a cop and pulling over young women (which I would know if I watched the news, but who needs it when I can just get the highlights from my mom, right?). So I said “Ok, mom. I won’t pull over for any cops. Only hobos.” And she’s like “What?” And I said “Hobos! Can I stop for hobos?” So she’s cracking up and is like “No. Don’t stop for anyone.” I said “What? What? I’m getting to a place where I’m going to lose you. I have to go – there’s a hobo I have to pick up.” I hung up as she was still laughing – it’s a good thing my mom understands me.
The most recent example was this morning at church. Here’s the thing – churches attract quite a cross-section of people, people who are educated, uneducated, wealthy, poor, EVERYONE is at a church. They’re there for a reason, and so it makes it difficult from the standpoint of dealing with them socially. Since I work there, it makes it even MORE difficult, because it would look so bad if one of the staff was rude or unkind to a church member.
So there’s this guy there. He’s the parent of one of the youth group kids, and he’s kind of a loner. Like I said, every church has it’s oddballs – ours is no different, and you just deal with them. But this guy? This guy creeps me out to no end. He’s one of those who doesn’t have a great amount of social skills, and is maybe not aware of the, um, level of appropriateness of certain comments. I’ll just say it – he hits on me and it freaks me out. Usually I can deal with the weirdos just fine, but there’s something about this guy that gives me the heebie jeebies. Plus, the rest of the weirdos don’t hit on me. It started about a month ago and I’ve avoided him ever since. He doesn’t seem to get it though. He hovers around outside my office, and if I’m somewhere talking to someone, he keeps walking by, trying to catch my eye. I pretend not to notice. So far, it’s worked great, especially since there is rarely a time when I’m by myself – I’m either talking to people or I have my posse of youth group kids with me. I’ve told my pastor (since she’s also my boss and I figured I should let her know) and I told my mom, since she’s there every Sunday as well. And because did I mention I’m so creeped out? Anyway.
This morning, I was sitting in my office talking to one of my girls, and my mom came in to say hi. As she was leaving, she walked through the outer office to the hallway, and I hear her say REALLY LOUDLY “HI (creepy guy’s name)! How ARE you?” I kicked my door shut, and me and my girl kept talking. Way to be mom. Thanks for the warning.
I’m not sure how long I’ll have to avoid this guy before he gets the picture. But as long as I have my protective kid force field and my early warning mom, well, I think I’ll be just fine.