Poor Jay. I thought I was doing a nice thing, sending her a little good luck charm from Marie Laveau's House of Voodoo in New Orleans. Well, I guess Madame Laveau knows the extent of my non-belief in any kind of religion, voodoo included, because she went and put some kind of stalker-attracting hex on that thing. [Yes, I realize the blatant contradiction within that last sentence...] Check out Jay's blog to read the hilarious yet frightening results (the hilarity part mostly comes from the fact that Jay is an awesome writer, another reason to check her out if you haven't already).
Her story made me think of something that happened to me when I first started grad school. I had just moved into my first "place of my own"...in an apartment complex off-campus. Because parking on campus was ridiculously expensive, I was relieved to find out that there was a bus line that stopped right in front of my apartment complex and went straight to the building where I worked. One day that first fall of school, I was on my way back to my apartment when a man on the bus struck up a conversation with me. Despite the fact that I was not the least bit interested in continuing any kind of relationship with this guy, casual or otherwise, he managed to wrangle my phone number from me. (Was he just that persuasive or was I just that much of an idiot? Probably a bit of both). As a further testament to my stupidity, when I went to exit the bus and he asked "do you live in those apartments?" I believe I told him that yes, I did. (I am cringing thinking about how DUMB I was!) He responded by telling me that he lived across the street, and pointed at a complex of buildings that I had been wondering about. They were clearly not apartments, but I hadn't seen a clear sign so I wasn't sure what they were.
Well, I found out what those buildings were that night...when the guy from the bus called me and told me that he had been in prison (for nothing that was really his fault, of course), and that he was currently living in a halfway house, where he was permitted to have a job but had to be back by curfew. Great, not only was I unknowingly living across the street from a halfway house full of ex-cons, but now one of the residents was sweet on me AND knew my phone number and where I lived. I don't know how I did it, but I did manage to blow the guy off successfully. I probably just stopped answering the phone (or maybe that was when I decided that caller ID would be a really great thing to have?). I do know that I didn't ride the bus for a LONG time after that.
Of course a year or two later I was semi-stalked by the drunk garbageman who moved into the apartment above mine, but that's a story for another time.