Bugaboos, creepers, stalkers and scrubs

Domanique Crawford, Opinion Editor

My spidey senses are tingling. The hairs on my neck begin to rise. My palms start to sweat and I can feel the intensity of eyes burning into my back.

At first, I feel paranoid.  A casual glance around reveals no one’s watching.  Still, the feeling persists. The rapid pitter-patter of feet echoes down the street.  My heart pounds as the steps gain in speed.  Another quick glance around. I see him. Has he been following me?

“Aye Ma, hold up. I was watching you from across the street and I think you’re one hot piece of ass. Can I get your number?” said the man as he waddled up to me, pants anchored just above his knees.

The search for love can be an interesting and intricate process. The subtleties of flirtation are a learned skill, usually taught through trial and error. Sometimes the reason for a failed attempt at seduction eludes us.  However, the reason in this situation is clear.

Three. Fatal. Mistakes. Within the first five minutes of his introduction this man has already scared me to death and disrespected me. He embodies three out of the four archetypes I like to categorize as  love fallacies: creepers, bugaboos, stalkers and scrubs.

These archetypes represent characteristics that would frighten off any potential spouse who isn’t confined by gender roles. Anyone can encounter a love fallacy personality.

His approach was stalker-esque, his delivery was creepy and his appearance was scrub-ish. Subtle forms of stalking, like searching a social media page, are socially acceptable. All the same, there’s a line that should never be crossed.

Following someone with the intent to ask them out isn’t strange within itself. However, it’s all about the approach. There’s something unnerving about being pursued in such a primal manner: the feeling of being hunted, cornered and trapped.

Instinctually, you’re afraid until the threat is revealed. When it happens in the form of a crude pick-up line, instead of getting my number, you might get a sneer of disgust. Stalking isn’t the best way to find a date.

A creeper is a person who approaches you in a weird and mysterious manner that is neither expected nor acceptable. He doesn’t hold the type of mystery that clings to a man and has you wishing to know his secrets, but the type of mystery to cause an instantaneous shudder, while the actual word “creep” needles your brain. 

Calling me a “hot piece of ass” will not encourage affection. Your speech is just as important as the approach. Crude language will not win any points.

As the man draws near I notice the ragged shape of his boxers, the dried spittle curled around his bottom lip, and the scent of tobacco that clings to him like a second skin. Obviously, the man is content to wallow in filth, uncaring of his appearance.

This is a scrub. Someone who clearly doesn’t care for their well-being, an overall bum. An unwillingness to take care of yourself makes one wonder how you’d support a relationship. You don’t have to be decked out in popular brands or be rolling in money, but is adhering to the basic rules of hygiene really too much to ask?

Luckily, this man doesn’t exhibit any sign of being a bugaboo, a person who can’t take no for an answer and will bother you until either they snap or you do. Someone is likely to get hurt feelings, and I have to admit: in most situations, it’s not going to be me.  Persistence is only cute up to a point.  When it becomes a consistent badgering – we have problems.

While I have encountered all four individual archetypes over the past year, here before me is a triple threat. When he asks for my number, my mind tries processing every possible manner in which I can turn him down with as little drama as possible. Should I try the passive approach and thank him for the compliment but kindly refuse his offer? Should I set him down, hard, for even thinking about looking my way?

No. The only way to handle a stalking, creeping, scrub is to be direct. With my brows arched, I project a look that says, “As if.” I reply with a firm “no” and walk away. Posed with his hands grasping his crotch, spitting in fury at my lack of explanation, I leave him there to ponder my refusal.