Most of the time I feel pretty invisible. I rarely get noticed, especially by those whom I want to notice me, and even when I drove big blue (my dearly departed SUV), I was almost hit several times because apparently people can’t see me in the big blue SUV until the last second before disaster strikes. Luckily, my affliction is only mostly, so I’ve successfully avoid actual collisions (except that one time when the guy rear-ended me, but I don’t think my near invisibility had anything to do with that).
So I wander through life mostly invisible. That is *most* people can’t see me. Luckily for me, a certain segment of the population does see me. These folks fit into 2 categories.
First are the folks I like to call God’s special people. Something in their brains just doesn’t quite work right, and as a result, they are considered “intelligently challenged” or intellectually challenged,” whichever you prefer. (Yep, that’s the new P.C. phrase I heard the other day on the radio. Retarded, even mentally retarded, gets you mobs with pitchforks. Mentally challenged was the P.C. phrase, but apparently that’s becoming too harsh.) Anyway, the point being that I am a magnet to God’s special people.
Case in point: Walking my dog Dexter one sunny, warm day around my apartment complex. A gentleman (I’m southern, we’re polite to a fault. Sue me.) comes up to me. Now you’re probably wondering to yourself how I knew he was “intelligently challenged.” Well, in his case, it was just a guess. But I’m betting it was a fairly good guess. He comments on how nice the weather is. Again, being southern, I’m too polite to just walk away. I state my agreement. He then says “I like your shoes. They look nice.” I thank him and state that my Sketcher sandals are quite comfy. He then says “You have pretty feet. If you’re not taken, I’d like to rub them sometime.” In my politest southern manner, I said, “oh, well thank you, but I’m taken.” Hey, at least he led with something mundane like the weather. I’ve had worse pick-ups at bars.
Another example: Again walking Dexter, this time around the retirement complex that’s next door. This time, it was fall, so a bit cool, but not if you were walking/jogging like Dexter & I were. I see a young man walking down an adjacent street. He intersects me and Dexter and comments on Dexter. He first asks me if I lived around there. I wasn’t sure if he meant the retirement village or what, but I vaguely said that I lived “over there” and vaguely gestured in the opposite direction of my apartment complex. Then, he proceeds to ask me if I like his jacket. The jacket was an 80s style wind breaker, baby blue, with snaps and elastic cuffs. I said that yes, it was a fine wind breaker. He points out the snaps. I agree, snaps are fine. He points out the elastic cuffs. Again, fine I say. And I comment on the nice baby blue color. He then says, “I’d like you to try it on.” I said, “thank you, but I’m a bit warm from jogging.” He then gives me a “high-five” and runs off in the opposite direction.
The second group of people are those who need directions to somewhere. These people never get me when I’m someplace familiar. No, they always ask me in a place where either I haven’t lived very long or I am a visitor too. Within three months of moving to York, I was asked a least a half-dozen times how to get to various streets or business. I walk a lot at lunch, so I guess that may be people’s confusion because I’m outside and I appear to know where I’m going. But I’ve seen them pass other folks by to ask me. This, of course, gets my suspicious side up, and I instantly think they’re trying to sell me ocean front property in Nebraska or the Nigerian email scam. But they ask me for directions, I internally sigh and tell them that I have no idea, but I think it may be someplace over there (again vaguely pointing). Then, they stare at me like I’m trying to rip them off.
So I wonder why these folks all feel the need to talk to me. Not that I really mind, unless of course, one would get violent or try to scam me. I’ve come up with a couple answers.
Maybe this all has something to do with Dexter. He’s a small dog, only 13 pounds and cute as a button. Maybe if I had a nice pit bull or doberman or another nice big dog, I’d get left alone. Of course at lunch, Dexter’s not with me, because I’m at work and he’s at home. Or maybe it’s because I look a lot younger than I really am, so people assume a young woman is nice and helpful (of course, they don’t see the pepper spray key chain).
Of course, maybe some day, I’ll find a cure to my mostly invisible status and become completely invisible. I’m betting it happens when I hit 45 or become the crazy cat lady, whichever comes first.