You know the type. It’s the one dysfunctional nut-job hidden amongst all the regular decent people that gives everyone else a bad name. They crop up all over the place; at work, family reunions, public events, even at church. They walk among us, making people feel uncomfortable by their very presence. Everybody’s met them. You can all probably name two or three, at least.
Somehow in the condo apartment building I live in, that creepy weirdo is me. I know exactly how it happened. Huge misunderstanding. It did however end up being kind of a funny story. Funny to other people at least. I’m not so sure I can laugh about it just yet…
One day I’m coming home from work and run across a woman I’d never seen before that was so gorgeous I did a double-take. It’s only the second of three times in my life I’ve ever done that. So of course I say hello and we chat for five or ten minutes and I learn that she was thinking of moving into the building. That’s why she was there, to check the place out. I, of course, tell her how absolutely wonderful the building is because I have the selfish desire to have an excuse to see more of this beautiful creature. In the course of our conversation we learned a lot about each other but the one thing that oddly didn’t come up was each other names. I don’t know why. I guess it’s just the way the conversation flowed. I probably should have asked her out right there as I got the feeling she was as interested as I was but for some reason I didn’t and we went our separate ways.
For a few weeks prior to this, the guy across the hall was making arrangements to move. He and his wife had just had a baby so were looking for a bigger place, and I knew they had plans to rent out their unit. One day I run into him and we strike up a conversation about the fact that he’s found a tenant. He starts telling me about her and I realize that everything he’s describing sounds exactly like the woman I met in the hall and about a minute in he mentions the school she attends. Everything lined up well so far (I’d even run into her in the hallway near his apartment), so I attempt to verify with a generic physical description: “The cute, dark haired one?” He says yes and I’m ecstatic that I’m going to be seeing more of her and get a second chance at asking her out.
A few weeks go by. He and his wife move out, and the new tenant moves in. I haven’t seen her yet but I give her a week or so to get settled in, then decide to go knock on her door and say hello again. So I knock, the door opens and there’s a completely different woman standing there. She’s still a good looking brunette about the same age (and apparently a student at the same school) as the woman I met in the hall but we obviously had never met and she did not look at all happy to see me. In fact it looked like she was trying to get rid of me as quickly as possible and being that I was incredibly embarrassed at the misunderstanding, was happy to leave.
I think in the few weeks between me discussing the new tenant with the landlord and actually meeting her, the two of them talked about me. He had perhaps relayed my interest and enthusiasm over “the cute, dark haired girl” moving in and because she had no idea who I was, probably got really uncomfortable. I can only imagine what she must have been thinking; that I was staring at her through the peephole in my door and drooling while she came to view the apartment, or something along those lines. I really can’t be sure.
I decided after that, that it would be best just to keep my distance from her as much as possible. If we happened to meet going in or out of the building, she avoided me and I did my best not to crowd her. It wasn’t a perfect situation but it was manageable. After all, she was a renter that would move out eventually so I could just ride it out and she’d be gone one day. About two months ago that day came and I was pretty relieved. Now, I figured, all the tension and awkwardness would be gone and I could go back to waving a friendly hello to the new tenant when I passed her in the hall.
That turned out to be a stupid thing to think. I suppose the story of misunderstanding passed between tenants, possibly through the landlord, and now this one’s avoiding me like the plague as well. Because of this, I have had two different women live across the hall from me over the last year and a half who think I’m some sort sex-maniac sleazebag that’s lusting after their innocent flesh. In reality I’m actually a polite and respectful guy and I don’t find either of them attractive. All I really wanted out of the whole situation was to ask the woman I met in the hallway out for a drink.
The moral of the story: The next time you hear bizarre rumors about someone being a creepy weirdo but haven’t actually experienced it firsthand, maybe cut him a little slack because all may not be as it appears.
The other moral of the story: There’s never a downside to learning the names of pretty girls. In some cases it can save years of awkwardness and embarrassment. I’m sure that advice holds true in more situations than this one.