The Creepy Uncle

Maybe (I hope) this is something that doesn’t happen anymore. Maybe it was only me. Maybe it was all a bad dream.

I have run into my fair share of creeps over the years. There was that guy who led my girlfriend and I into his house while we were canvassing for the Humane Society when we were 11. There was the teacher in 6th grade who came over and unbuttoned the top two buttons of my blouse and told me to ‘loosen up’. There was the custodian at our elementary school who liked to give kids the birthday bump on their special day by slapping their ass when they went down the hall.

Please tell all these men are locked up?

I was wondering if we all had a creepy uncle though. A friend ‘uncle’ of our father who hadn’t figured out that they were being creepy. Mine was Uncle Sleep Drink. As the name suggests, every time Uncle Sleep Drink (USD) was in town, that is pretty much all he did.

We did travel to Florida with him once. He felt it was a game (and everyone was playing along) to try and kiss me.

I was not a willing participant. I had to look over my shoulder at every turn to ensure that USD was not creeping up on me to give me a kiss. Every time my dad had his camera at the ready, I assumed USD was there to pucker and pounce. I spent my whole holiday on pins and needles until… I was in a really good mood after coming off my first loop-de-loop roller coaster and I came back to ask my dad if I could go again. In my exuberance I did not notice the camera or USD. He planted one on me and the look of abject horror went something like this:

 

To be clear USD was a really nice guy who was not a child molester. He was a joker. When he woke up in our house from one of his sleep drink nights, he was always nice and perfectly uncle-like and respectable and not creepy at all. He liked to put on a show because I think the freaking out made him laugh and I don’t think he knew I was an unwilling participant because, of course, you wouldn’t talk to an adult like ‘I don’t like this game. It makes me uncomfortable’. That is exactly when the game amps up and you are terrorized at all times.

Times are changing. Creeps are kept at bay and on lists. Parents are more aware. Do you think we are more aware though because we had to fend for ourselves? If our kids are sheltered from the creeps, does that mean they won’t recognize them? It’s a worry.

Our children both recently confirmed the existence of a creepy guy. I knew he was a creep. I asked the kids and they emphatically said he gives them the creeps. They knew to stay away. They knew that they could come to us if it was uncomfortable. They haven’t heard of the birthday bump or had an ‘uncle’ try to kiss them. If that happens, you wanna bet I will be out there, not with my camera, but with my horror face to scare that creep away and maybe a few harsh words.


Comments

  1. There really is something to a “creep” radar. If something doesn’t seem quite right about a person, there’s usually a reason and you should trust that instinct.
    kdcol recently posted…A TBT / flashback Friday kind of postMy Profile

  2. Oh my. How old were you when you took that trip to Florida with USD?

    No, I don’t think that all those men are locked up. I had so much crap like that happen to me when I was young. No creepy uncle, but my mother’s friend’s father used to spend a lot of time at our house and was constantly trying to corner me to “Give Grandpa Chas a kiss.” A 70+ year old man trying to shove his tongue in a 15-year-old’s mouth! I have many much worse stories, but won’t go into them here.

    Because of my experiences I used to watch my daughter like a hawk. The first time I saw a man check out her ass as she was walking away I almost went apoplectic. She was 9 years old, for God’s sake! However, here’s the good news: kids get a LOT of training on how to deal with “unwanted attention” from men these days. They know the bad stuff that can happen, they know that it’s wrong, and they are much less afraid to say something. My kids would not hesitate to yell or even shove an adult they thought was getting close and creepy. My daughter (now 16) sometimes has to say to me “Mom, no! Do NOT tell me another of your creepy stories! I know what to watch for.” I guess I’ve done my job. When we were young (especially us girls), it wasn’t considered polite to say those types of things about adults. Hell, my mother knew about Grandpa Chas and just laughed about it and told me not to make a fuss.

    So, yes, I think that we are more aware as parents because we did not get the same kind of protection, education and encouragement. But I also think that our kids can recognize the creeps and have many tools to protect themselves.

  3. A friend of mine has five kids. (The last time his wife got pregnant I asked him, “Hey, did you hear they found out what causes that?”) He’s very protective of them, and I don’t blame him. But it’s also sad to me. I remember being in kindergarten watching films about “what to do if a stranger asks you to get in their car”. We knew to run away. The films never went into what might happen if we didn’t run away–like so many other lessons we were taught there were no reasons, it was just “Do it because I say so.” It’s sad to me that kids now seem to be aware of the possible consequences–even if adults don’t tell them explicitly it’s going to filter down from Law & Order and all those other TV shows. But I don’t blame the concerned parents or even the people who put the information out there. I blame the creeps–or the ones who are even worse, the ones I don’t really even want to think about.
    Christopher recently posted…It’s A Douglas Adams Universe. We Just Live In It.My Profile

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