Are creepers born or raised?

   If the latter, how exactly does one raise a creeper?

   They come in so many shapes, sizes, and levels of creepiness that it’s hard to know if there’s one preferred method that creeper breeders use or if they just play it by ear. I’ve encountered my share of creepers, but I think my friends have it worse. My friend, Regina*, has had a creeper creeping on her since junior year of college. He’s followed her to grad school. At first she thought he was just socially awkward, but before she knew it she was so wrapped up in the creeptacularness that she was close to drowning. It all started on facebook.

   Her creeper, we’ll call him Marco, sent her a friend request on facebook. She’d never actually met him before, but she’d seen him around campus so she accepted the request. A couple days later, Marco sent her a message asking if they could be “real” friends. Actually, what he really said was, “I was checking out your profile and you seem like a really cool person. Not at all like the rest of the people here. I would really like to get to know you better. Can we be friends?”

    Creeper alert level: yellow

    Regina was a little put off by this so she messaged back that as long as he meant friends and nothing more, then sure, they could be friends. He never responded to that message. Some time passed and Regina started to notice that she was seeing Marco around campus more than she used to. She would see him at the library. She would see him at the cafe. She would see him around the dorms. It was around this time that she told me about Marco and I said, “Run away! Run away!” However, Regina’s much more gracious than I am and she said, “It’s probably just a coincidence.”

    Creeper alert level: orange.

    When we returned to school the next fall, Regina discovered through facebook that Marco had a new girlfriend. This made her feel better until Marco started dressing in all black, dyed his hair platinum blond, and wore eyeliner to class. She started seeing him everywhere on campus and whenever she left her apartment to go to class, he would be behind her within five minutes. (I always feel like/ somebody’s watching me! Oh Rockwell thank you for that song.)

   Creeper alert level: red

   Finally, Regina started to wonder if she had gotten herself a creeper. She knew she had definitely gotten one when she found out that Marco would be transferring to her grad school the next semester.

    Creeper alert level: start praying.

    A few days ago, I got this facebook message from Regina:

    Okay, sooo.. remember my giant friend/stalker from last year? Well I was randomly fb stalking today and I stumbled onto his page. Guess where he is headed in the world of academia/professional school: Massage Therapy School!!!!!!! Of COURSE! School for professional creepers. You can’t SAY he’s actually creepin’ on you, cause you’re PAYIN’ him to touch you!! Oh wow, what a trickster. People astound me.

   Creeper alert level: purchase a firearm.

   Ariel also managed to snag herself a creeper her first semester of college. Although, he was more of a resident creeper for the department. He creeped on everyone. When I would work in the computer lab he would sit a row ahead and then turn around and stare. He asked my friend, Anna, to the spring formal even though she had only said, “Hi” to him once.

   Creeper alert level: Walk EVERYWHERE with friends.

   I say he’s Ariel’s creeper because she had the worst time with him. Ariel works in the curriculum library in the Education department. It’s not the main campus library so it’s very small and intimate. It’s really only used by Ed. majors and the occasional English major that wanders through. One day, Ariel was shelving books with her back turned to the door. She was standing on a step-ladder to reach the top shelf. She thought she was alone.

    All of a sudden she hears a click and sees a flash of light. She spins around wildly wondering what the heck is going on when she sees the resident creeper. He’s holding a camera and looking at her. As calmly as calm can be he says, “Thanks, I got what I came for” and walks away.

    Creeper alert level: Undergo extensive plastic surgery to change your appearance.

   I mentioned my new creeper as a sidenote in a previous post, but let’s discuss how he creeps me out.

   I’m not a very friendly or social person. Even though I probably come off as outgoing and gregarious in this blog, the truth is I’m painfully shy. New people scare me. At parties I feel like a turd in a punch bowl.

   Naturally, I don’t really make small talk in the elevator at work or with people around the building. I go to my office, I do my work, I go home: that’s it. There are very few people with whom I’ll make small talk in my building. One day, I got into the elevator and a tall, lanky, and sinisterly ugly man walked into it with me. I was just fine with staring straight ahead, but he decided it was time to get acquainted.

   “Heeeelllloooo,” said the creeper.

   “Hi.”

   “How are you on this fiiiiiiiiiinnnneee morning?”

   “I’m ok.”

   “Alright,” said the creeper, nodding his head. “Alriiiiiiiggghhhtt.”

    He got out of the elevator at this point and I had to check under my skirt to make sure he hadn’t stolen my vagina. Sorry to say “vagina”, but this guy can molest you with his voice. He’s that skeevy. He makes me feel gross whenever I talk to him, but I can never seem to avoid talking to him. He always says hi to me even when I’m very engrossed in my purse, shoes, the floor, or anything else that is not him. I started using the gym at my building (read Pancakes if you want to know why), but now I can’t because he watches me there and then talks to me about it the next day.

   “Heeeellllllooooo.”

  “Hi…”

   “You were suuuuuuurrrrreee running hard yesterday.”

  “Yup.”

  “You don’t need to run. Not at all. Not at aaaaaaallllll.”

 “Please don’t kill me.”

    Creeper level alert: Leave the country. Find that hole Saddam Hussein was hiding in. Move into that hole. Speak to no one for the rest of your life.

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