Monday, August 20, 2007

Walgreens Stalker

When I was in high school I had a math teacher that allowed his students to raise the grade of one test each semester, by one grade level, if we brought him home-made chocolate chip cookies. He encouraged us to understand the value of each test, what our grade average was currently, and the impact of raising the grade by one level for each particular test to find the best time to bring him cookies. We thought it was a bribe. He was actually teaching us math the whole time.

Last night I had to go to Walgreens and buy a box of staples. There is a connection here…stay with me. My daughter K told me that one of her teachers told the class he was short on staples, and anyone that brought him a box of staples would get 10 bonus points. I found this both interesting and disturbing. Needing chocolate chip cookies I get…being a teacher at a school in one of the wealthiest counties in the US and needing students to bring in staples I don’t get. But hey, 10 bonus points for K’s GPA. I’m in.

I headed out to Walgreens about 8PM last night and arrived in the parking lot about 15 minutes later. I pulled into a parking space right next to another car. As I got out I glanced at my parking lot neighbor, a mom and her young son, who looked at me warily. I don’t blame her- she was vulnerable right next to me in a surprisingly dark parking lot as she was getting her young son out of her car. I followed her into Walgreens. Not purposely- she just happened to be right in front of me and we walked in together.

She of course headed right to the school supplies aisle. I followed her. She stopped a few feet into the aisle and was looking at the school supplies right where the staples were. I waited near her. She glanced at me a couple of time and I smiled. She didn’t. She seemed very nervous and concerned with my continued presence, especially after I snapped the picture of her shown above. She moved on down the aisle while I grabbed the staples and headed a few aisles over to get bread for Michelle. After that I went an aisle over to grab the obligatory Starbucks Coffee Frap (a Walgreens ritual for me). She was there. Getting a gallon of milk. She looked at me again and I smiled. She didn’t. She left and disappeared around the next aisle and I headed to check-out.

Of course the mom and her kid popped out from an aisle in front of me and walked towards the cash register too. As she approached, she turned and saw me. I ended up right behind her in line. After I paid I headed out to the parking lot just as the lady got into her car. She pulled out as I started my car, and I assume she breathed a sigh of relief. I pulled out from the Walgreens parking lot and of course she turned right- that was my way home. I turned behind her and we both stopped at the traffic light on Downs Boulevard in Franklin. She was turning left…and so was I.

We both traveled down the road towards a relatively lightly populated part of the county where I live. It’s a long drive down route 96 west, and off we went, the nice lady, her son, and me. Miles went by. I was thinking that this lady certainly must think I’m a nutcase stalker out to get her, and I hoped she turned left into Westhaven- the last development in the area- so I could cruise on by her. Nope. She continued on and so did I. Several miles later as we approached my turn off she put her blinker on to turn left. I did too. She slowed down noticeably and turned her blinker off. She then put it back on, and turned left onto the road that runs by my house. I followed her. Another few miles were driven and I can only assume she was calling someone on her cell phone for help. She was weaving quite a bit probably watching me in her rearview mirror. We finally got to my house and I turned off the road onto my driveway and for the first time in almost half and hour I wasn’t right behind this stranger.

So, did I imagine she was concerned (or freaked out)? If you are a woman, and this happened to you, what would you think? Oh, one more thing...I was kidding about taking the picture on this post. I found it on Google images :)


Anonymous said...

heck yeah i would consider you a sad she doesn't truly know the real Rich!


Christa said...

Yeah, I would consider you a stalker and take the opportunity to do some high-tech car-chase maneuvers. :)

Ok, maybe not, but I have, once, gone back to a grocery store (public place) to get rid of some guy tailing me in the dark.

Who turned out to be my dad.

He was very proud, but wished I had stopped sooner - we drove about 15 miles playing that little game.