A guy asked for my phone number at work today, and then gave me his. Is this weird? Does this happen to a lot of dudes?
He had come in with his mother earlier. She bought some stuff, we exchanged greetings. I think there was some brief conversation and a joke in there somewhere. The two left, but about 30 minutes later, he came back. He said he wanted to look at some of the bracelets we had at the counter. They’re the kind you can find at any sort of “fun-in-the-sun” type store; a coupla leather straps, a few beads and some sort of shell or starfish. One had a butterfly on it. I joked about that one. He told me if he bought that one he would “really fly away” and was “only half girl”.
Half-girl. This reminds me of Jeff Goldblum’s line in “The Life Aquatic” about being “part gay”. Maybe I should have thought of that sooner.
Anyways, nobody is coming in, so we shoot the shit. Learn a little bit about each other. Where we live, what we do for a living. Eventually he drops a line about meeting people, and I ask if he has any friends where he works. He mentions a few girls who are “just a hoot”. At that point, a few customers come in. He continues looking at the bracelets. After the newcomers leave, he picks out a bracelet, buys it, then asks if he can give me his number, and if I wouldn’t mind, give him mine.
Who asks for some guys number after just meeting him in some store? It would make more sense if he was a regular and we talk a few times, or maybe we strike upon some sort of mutual interest. Weird. But I give him my home phone anyway. I’m a nice guy, and I know what it is like to not have many friends around. Besides, it isn’t me on the machine. Whoops, sorry. Wrong number.
He leaves. I just gave some dude my phone number. He probably wants my butt or my blood.
What the hell kind of world have I grown up in? Why should I be so paranoid about giving some dude my phone number? Why should I assume he is some sort of deranged killer?
Ah, childhood training and the media have done their jobs well. All of the “never talk to strangers” lectures I had when I was a kid. The pamphlets on how the threat of molestation loomed from every corner of your family. All of the stories about horrible murders, kidnappings and other equally terrible things on the news have poisoned my sense of community. Armies of television dramas featuring the seedier side of human kind have subliminally brainwashed me into thinking everybody is a pervert or a killer. A certain friend who, every time, upon entering a nice suburb, asked; “Which house has the kiddie-porn dungeon?”.
What the hell, man? He’s probably some super-lonely guy desperate enough to start asking strangers for their numbers. Hot strangers, who don’t swing that way; even if they wear ponies on their shirts.
I’m still not going to answer the phone for the rest of the year, though, just in case.