It’s a simple word, a word that I never gave much thought. When I was in elementary school, the teacher would call my name and I would say, “present.” Meaning, I’m right here. When I got older it was just a given that if I was somewhere then I was present. Later I realized that it was only my physical body present, my mind was moving in fifty different directions. Especially, since I’ve entered “the motherhood.”
For example, admittedly I’ve been in the car, arrived at my destination, and wasn’t really sure how I got there. I’ve also been in a store completely oblivious to everything and everyone around me. And, I’m sure that I’m not the only one that tends to zone out after playing bat cave for the fifth time in day.
Lately, I’ve been trying to be present in everything that I do. I practice it when I’m in the car driving to my destination, when I’m playing with the kids, and especially when I’m shopping. This tends to be when I’m the most rushed and have a to-do-list scrolling through my head. Luckily, I’ve been working on becoming more aware of my surroundings. I hope the rest of this blog prompts you to do the same.
Sunday evening around , I went to Target for groceries. I’m a Target addict and so I always have to do a loop around the store. It doesn’t matter if I need anything on the non-grocery side or not, the thought of passing up a bargain can literally make me ill. It’s a sickness, I know. Anyway, I make it around to the cleaning supplies when I start to notice a single guy spending way too much time looking at mops. That wouldn’t be so weird if I didn’t keep seeing him down every aisle that I was in or had just left. I am a completely unorganized shopper. There is no rhyme or reason for my method. I go from here to there and back to there again. So, to see someone follow the same unorthodox pattern seemed a little suspicious. When he spent time down the baby aisle checking out bath products I knew something was amiss. Men don’t do that. Matter of fact, I’ve never known any men that wants to shop at all, especially for groceries. Hell, I don’t even want to go shopping for groceries.
Around this time, I sent a text message to one of my friends that I have a stalker at Target. I wanted someone to know what was happening. Of course, she called me and asked what was going on. We kind of joked about it because it seemed somewhat surreal. When I was talking to her, once again he was in another aisle across from me. I thought, okay I’m going to continue to shop and we‘d see what happens. What happened was that I guess he lost sight of me, was rushing down aisles, and almost ran into me as he came down my aisle. That was my confirmation that this was really happening and that I needed to get out of there. As I moved to another section of the store, again he almost ran into me down an aisle. I then started to freak a little and left a text message for my husband.
I start to weave in and out of aisles and departments to lose this psycho. I even went to the checkout lanes on the opposite end of the store. Mind you, no more than 10 minutes passed from the time of the phone call to when I got to the checkout lane. I’m looking around for this dude and out of the corner of my eye, I see him wheel his cart in the department across from me, ladies accessories. Now I’m starting to panic a little and I tell the woman checking me out what has been going on. I asked her if she could please call someone that can walk me out to my car. I showed her where the guy was lurking and he must have saw her watching him, because he then leaves his cart and rushes out the exit.
I finish checking out and this young male Target employee walks me out to my car and loads up the groceries for me. Of course, he has no idea why I’m totally freaking out. I jump in the van, lock the doors, and call my husband trying not to get hysterical. I have no idea if this guy is waiting in a car in the parking lot or if he took off. A 10-minute drive home took me about 25 minutes, because I took back roads and drove through random subdivisions. I wanted to make sure that this guy was not following me. Obviously, he didn’t because I’m writing this blog three days later.
As I, sit here writing this today, I’m 100% convinced that this guy was following me in the store. And I am certain that it wasn’t because he thought I was hot and wanted to ask me out. It has been a while since I’ve been on the dating scene, but I know that normal guys that are interested in you don’t stalk you down every aisle at Target. This grungy Tim Roth looking guy didn’t even make eye contact with me once. So, tell me that he didn’t have other plans. Not to mention, my gut was telling me something wasn’t quite right. My hope in sharing this with you is not to make you paranoid when you go to the store. Living in fear is not a way to live. I just know as mothers, we are always in planning mode. I have to do this, I have to do that, when I get home I have to make dinner, etc… My hope is to make sure that as much as possible you are in the present moment not only physically, but mentally as well. I am positive that being aware along with my sixth sense is the reason that I’m writing this today.
In case, anyone is wondering if I’m going back to that particular Target anytime soon. Probably not. Although I refuse to live in fear, I also am not ready for the possibility to see that psycho again.