I’m going to straight up admit I’m a stalker. But, I’d like to think I’m a stalker with a certain level of panache. This means I don’t stalk my children because in a word – boring. It’s so expected that it has no appeal for me. I prefer to stalk strangers.
Yes, I know this sounds super creepy, perhaps even a “Dateline” episode in the making, so let me explain.
I consider myself a keen observer of human behavior so when I see something that makes me go, “hmm.” I feel it is my duty to investigate. Not investigate by getting all up in people’s business but to observe and think deeply as is befitting a scholar on social interaction.
For example, earlier this month when it was almost 100 degrees with a humidity level so out of control that I felt as if my entire body was being brined in liquid Pepto-Bismol I observed a couple that seemed to be middle age-ish holding hands while power walking in my neighborhood.
My first reaction was yuck. The sheer act of holding hands would be a squishy, high moisture endeavor. It would also take some effort.
The weather wasn’t conducive to any form of lackadaisical hand holding. Thanks to humidity being our new overlord holding hands in this swamp fire would require some serious gripping.
I decided the only course of action I had was to follow, stalk, shadow (go ahead and pick your favorite verb) this couple. My curiosity as to why anyone would willingly hold hands was overriding my extreme discomfort of extending my time out in the heat.
So, off I went, keeping a discreet distance behind them while being amazed that they never let go of each other’s hands. Meanwhile, my hands were busy constantly using my T-shirt to wipe sweat off my face.
I was perspiring so much I didn’t even care that the act of using the bottom of my shirt to soak up my face sweat was exposing my flab rolls which haven’t seen sun in probably three decades.
Because I’m no amateur stalker I was also timing this outing and at 15 minutes in this couple had yet to release their hands. It could have been heat exhaustion causing some sort of delirium, because this is about the time I started singing, “I Want to Know What Love Is” by Foreigner.
I was full on belting out, “I want to know what love is, I want you to show me!”
The reason for this solo musical performance is because I was imagining that this couple must have some great love story. What other reason could there be for the obsessive hand holding?
Then I started feeling sorry for myself – again probably sun stroke related – that I couldn’t imagine a love so great where I would want to hold anyone’s hand while walking in this festering combo platter of 98 degrees with a side of soggy.
At 20 minutes into my stalking caper I had to give up. The couple were still hand in hand and yet I was fully saturated in sweat and crying from the sunscreen that was waving the white flag of surrender and now melting into my eyes.
When I finally got back to my house red faced and near collapse resembling someone who had clawed their way out of a bog I immediately asked my husband if he wanted to go outside and hold hands. He looked at me and said, “That’s a solid no.”
This made me happy because my stalking had taught me that there is perhaps no greater love than someone who shares your feelings about humidity infused hand holding.