But only a little bit.
Not the “Hey, Maude, let’s go grab some pitchforks and torches and drive this freak out of town on a rail” kind of creepy. Not even the “I think I’m going to cross the street right here to try and avoid having to talk to this weirdo” kind of creepy.
Just, you know… a little bit off.
This is the worst kind of creepy to be, really, because at least with your more overt forms of creepiness, everybody can identify it right away. It takes all of the guesswork out of things. You know I’m creepy, I know I’m creepy, and we can start off on the right foot with the same set of shared assumptions. Hell, it can even be profitable under the right circumstances. You know, if a gal is twelve hundred pounds or is missing half her face or has a full wizard beard, she can take that on the road and maybe make some real money at it, to boot.
No, mine is just the kind of creepy that makes people change the conversation they are having when I walk into a room. The kind that gets me chosen last for team sports in gym class. I don’t get asked to babysit or even to house-sit all that often.
People know I make them a little bit uncomfortable, but they probably can’t put their finger on just why that is. I bet it’s like when you see a photograph of someone you know that has been flipped into a mirror image. They look wrong and it puts you ill-at-ease, but it’s hard to know just how or why.
It has taken me years to recognize my inner creep and almost as long for me to acknowledge it to myself. But it explains so much about my life!
I really wish somebody had just come right out and told me earlier!
I have tried coming out and asking people whether I am in fact creepy. I have even tried asking them what I can do to maybe be a little less creepy. But this approach has been a disaster. In most cases, it’s become quite clear that folks see me as even creepier after I ask the question than they did before.
I asked my eldest daughter if I was creepy. My eldest daughter answered, “No. I guess not. Not really.”
Then I asked my co-worker, Harry, if I was creepy. Harry is way past creepy and well into crazy scary territory, himself. But still, Harry considered my question in earnest and finally said, “Well, you don’t make eye contact that much, and when you do, it’s just sorta peripheral. That makes some people uncomfortable.”
I even asked my friend, Helen the Queen, if I was creepy. He looked me up and down and said, “Honey, I’d just call you odd.”
I asked Helen the Queen if my creepiness had something to do with my being queer. Helen the Queen checked his nails and said, “Don’t you dare blame homosexuality for your problems!”
And I appreciated the honesty, although I was not completely sure what he meant.
Most of the time, I really don’t give a damn whether or not people think I’m creepy. Okay, okay: Most of the time, I can at least convince myself that I do not give a damn whether or not people think I’m creepy.
The thing is, I am dating now, and the dating scene – to the best of my admittedly limited understanding – is not a place where creepiness is perceived to be an advantage.
So on a first date, I can try and appear mentally stable and trustworthy. Someone you’d want to take home to meet Mom. I can wear my hair in a way that downplays my freakish, flying-saucer-sized eyeballs. Or maybe I can wear clothes that draw attention away from my scrawny arms, my flat chest, and my bird talon-like hands.
I can try and maintain eye contact – but not too much eye contact, because that’s creepy! – and I can be conscious of my body language and practice my active listening skills.
My concern is, can I do all of those things simultaneously without coming across as… you know… creepy in the process?
This is going to take some practice.
And you can help me out!
Here’s how: Tell me if you catch me in the act of being creepy. If you see me, say, standing at the edge of a playground in a manner that could be deemed “lurking,” tell me. Say, “Hey, Katy, cut that shit out!”
If you catch me rubbing my hands together and whispering to myself, “Soon… so-oo-o-oo-o-n. Bwahahaha!” then please, bring it to my attention.
If you see some weird eye twitch of which I might not be aware, or witness me chewing my toenails in public… These are the kinds of things I want to know about!
I thank you in advance for your invaluable contributions to my love life.