Yesterday morning Lily managed to have her act together early enough to go on the dog walk with me. It is possible that by early I mean 10:30, but I digress. We took the dogs down to a gorgeous trail along a creek where we delight in seeing all manners of flora and fauna.
As we were walking along the trail I noticed a middle aged man walking towards us. He was without dogs or children, was not running, nor was he carrying any props which might explain his presence and reassure an unarmed woman with her child. Having been schooled in Law and Order I know a few things about what a perp looks like and am always on the lookout for the criminal element.
As we approached him he addressed us in a very friendly way.
"Hi! I'm Bob! Are you new? Where do you live? When did you move here?" (Bob is not his real name.)
He then addressed Lily directly by correctly guessing her age. We chatted for a minute and then moved on.
Once Lily and I were out of ear shot I said to her, "That guy was so weird!"
"Yes!" she agreed, "Why was he walking all by himself? Most guys walking are a least with a dog or a kid or something."
We then spent the next twenty minutes discussing the weird guy, discussing other weird guys, personal safety, listening to ones gut feelings about weird situations and so forth. We made our way back to the beginning of the trail determined not to make eye contact with Bob who was now sitting on a bench talking on his phone. Lily and I hurried past, avoiding him completely.
Later in the day Lily and I went to the pool. I settled myself on a chaise and took out my book when standing in front of me was Bob! We said hello and I cut to the chase, asking a question which would reveal whether he was a pervert stalker or not. "Are you here with your kids?"
Reader, he was there with his kids. I saw the children with my own eyes. It turned out that he is a very nice and friendly man, a retired Army physician in fact, who used to hunt down disease outbreaks in Asia and now researches traumatic brain injury treatments. His main crime is not understanding the inherent wariness with which women experience men in situations like the one we were in that morning. We chatted pleasantly for over an hour. At one point Lily came over asking for snack bar money.
"Hey Lily!" I said, "Remember the creepy weird guy from the woods? He's actually okay!"
Bob meekly waved.
And that my friends is how you make new friends when you move.