I meet way too many creepy guys in coffee shops.

 Now, the strange thing about this is I’m not one of those hip, coffee shop stalkers. I think coffee shops are cool places to be, provided that they have good coffee and free WiFi, but  I don’t use them to boost my status quo or define my “hip-ness” . Personally I think coffee shops become completely overrate when they follow terms such as “artsy” and “chic”. As if spending time in them instantly gifts one to write poetry and quote such original sayings as “ I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference” without sounding like a complete idiot. A coffee shop loved for its coffee rather than its 5 dollar Triple Truffle Mint Ice Latte and its “artsy décor” is the more genuine of the species. Anybody can scuff furniture to make it look artsy and come up a chic name for a drink that tastes like toothpaste with a shot of old espresso. But quality coffee, now that takes a trained, experienced hand that is becoming a rarity in this generation. Especially, I am finding, in the United States of America. They make good sweet tea, sure, but we still trump them in coffee.

 (insert shameless plug for Canadian Tim Horton’s coffee)

Anyways, back to this whole creepy guy thing.

 So since I’ve been down here I’ve not had internet on a consistent basis. Therefore, I’ve had to resort to chic, artsy coffee shops that have, to their credit, free WiFi. Since I always feel guilty being a parasite, I usually buy something as a token of my appreciation. The other day I got the above triple truffle business and nearly passed out. They could have put shredded dandelions in it and it wouldn’t have tasted worse. If you wonder how I know what shredded dandelions taste like, its because I ordered the White Chocolate Iced Green Tea the other day and it tasted just like that. Ugh. But worse than the drinks and the prices are the guys that hang out in them. I don’t usually go around watching guys in coffee shops—boring hobby if you ask me—but the ones here just force themselves in your face. Quite literally.

More than half of them are of the I-am-in-a-coffee-shop-therefore-I-am-intellectual type and go on and on and on about their BAs and MAs in that slow way that wanna-be intellectuals talk—as if talking to fast is going to overwhelm you and insignificant mind. Harrisonburg being a college/university town seems to spawn them. These kind of men are very annoying. They are generally long winded and loud and if you’ve ever tried to write an email while listening to one of them you will understand why they are most often single and old. They are generally harmless, but creepy in that if-you-are-so-smart-why-are-you-taking-to-me kind of way.

Then there are the wet haired, Converse shoe wearing, smooth voiced dudes with the too strong Old Spice. These kind generally don’t talk to you. They just sit in little clusters and snicker and giggle and carry on like adolescent girls, all the while sipping iced green tea and staring you down. These are the kind that I feel like slapping but never do. They are creeper than the long winded BA’s since they often will talk about you loud enough that you can hear, which is just weird.

And then, finally, there are the just plain out and out creepy guys.

Like the guy on Monday.

He sauntered in the little artsy door five minutes after me and sat in the opposite corner on a chic little stool-table number. Pony tail, old competitive biking suit, and a belt full of odd pouches and loops. Grand chap. There he sat and watched me—for two hours. After the first hour I began to become annoyed and after the second I got mad. Finally he got up and I breathed a sigh of relief.

Only to find that he had simply walked around the building to the outside of the window that I was presently leaning against. He sat there on a  bench right under the window. Right beside my face. Creepy. He sat there for a while and I pretended that I was oblivious to him. I must have put on a pretty good act because he got so fed up with me not noticing him that he started shaking the shade umbrella standing over him. Not even kidding. Like a little kid throwing a tantrum. He shook and he shook and finally I decided that not only was he creepy but completely loony. Then, since the shaking didn’t seem to be getting my attention he got up.  I breathed another sigh of relief.

Only to suck it back in when he came through the doors and walked straight toward me. I stared resolutely at my computer screen. I’ll never make a good secret agent.

“Hey,  have you ever heard of the song Mennonite Surf Party”, Mr    CreepyPonytial inquires.

 (I looked it up online after and couldn’t find any lyrics and just one or two short song samples so I really don’t know if I should be scandalized or not.)

 Anyways, Mr CreepyPonytial said it was fairly indecent but very hysterical.

“Couldn’t you just imagine?” he cackled in my face.

Our conversation consisted of me continuing to study my increasingly fascinating computer screen and muttering answers to his breathy questions with grunts and head motions. By this time I was fairly certain he was just a few peas short of a potluck casserole and therefore calmed my enraged thoughts at his insolence. Finally he went up to the counter to ask for a free water and I saw my chance.

Quick as my short little legs could scuttle I ducked out the door, jumped in my car and, raced away. The poor chap didn’t have a chance on his bike. I felt smug.

End of story.

And in cause your wondering, all the girls seem completely normal. Most of them just sit, draped all over their Converse shoe wearing boyfriends and fan away the Old Spice.

I’m not sure what the moral of this post is, other than to warn my fellow women that your chances of finding a future husband in a coffee shop is around one in five hundred. It would be more productive to search at such places as football games or a nice bible school. At the former you wouldn’t need to worry about the whole “intellectual type”, and at the later only about 95% have gelled hair and reek of Old Spice.