I had the day off from work today because, well, I bead. (I could go into more detail, but that will have to wait until I start my second blog, all about my arts and crafts, where people get to experience my trials and tribulations of hematite vs. aventurine. But for now what you get is "I bead.")
Anyway, I'm walking down an average street and as I approach the corner I see there's someone already there. A total stranger, right? OK, so I keep walking and the stranger smiles at me. And he waves at me. And he says "hi." to me. This dude I've already placed into the "total stranger" box.
So my brain, in the background, starts doing that inventory check that a brain does when faced with unexpected input, such as "hmm, a total stranger just greeted me warmly." Brain says "well, maybe he isn't a total stranger? Let's check the database for his face. Where would we have made light contact w/ someone so as to be recognized by this stranger..."
"could he be a client from work?" No. My bosses do work for folks who could conceivably be or become millionaires. This guy was NO millionaire. Not a work connection.
"someone I would have met at the school play for my sister's kids last night?" No. This was not a suburban parental, or even grandparental, figure. This guy would be better described as "lapsed hippy with delusions of the day" complete with leather vest, jeans, dingo boots and wavy grey hair down to his (possibly tattoo'd) rear. Ooh yeah, also a goutee (sp?) just as long and grey, and the John Lennon glasses and the optional front tooth. Not from the school play.
"maybe he's seen you on Yenta.com?"
...what? No, seriously, what!? Do you remember him from Yenta.com? Because I don't! Don't be messing with me, brain! And it was at this point that the brain explained to me something that it apparently already realized.
See, there are a good percentage (let's call them 47%) of dudes on Yenta.com who don't share their picture. They're all "want to know what I look like? Email me!" which reminds me way too much of the places where they don't have price tags because they know that if you saw the price you'd just walk away, but if they have to TELL you the price they get the chance to make the argument that the number is totally reasonable as opposed to "take it up the rear-high." In these stores if I see no price I walk away. On Yenta.com if I see no picture I figure I, too, cannot afford this guy.
But just because I can't see these guys doesn't mean they can't see me. I have a picture up there! I've posted my price tag for all the (Yenta.com) world to see! And suddenly I'm standing on an average street corner next to this old hippy dude with less-then-optimal toothery and the strong odor of patchouli (trust me, it's nasty) and the sudden realization that he may know stuff about me! That I could, at ANY time, bump into a random stranger who could turn and say "hey, you're 37 years old and have never been married and enjoy dancing and paintball." And I'd have to kill them. Right there.
I'd already had a moment where I thought I might have seen a guy from Yenta.com standing in a grocery store line. I'd already processed the "hey, I could run into someone from Yenta out in the world" idea. But it seemed like it would be fair; like we'd both give that look and maybe do the finger-by-the-nose thing from The Sting, wordlessly saying "I know where I know you from. We say nothing, but nod knowingly." I had NOT reached that next plateau of idea where in I get ambushed by some non-picture-posting asshat with my damn bio in his back pocket!
I guess what I'm saying here is this: I'm never leaving the house again. I'm going to start ordering my groceries online and shun the outside world. Because the alternative is that the next total stranger that waves at me I gutt like a damn fish.