The creepy old man

The creepy old man.

Or should I say ‘the old creepy man’ to avoid the stereotype that old men are always creepy? No, not all old men are creepy, just a few. And not all creepy are old men, some are young men, teenage boys, or even women, young or old, can be creepy. 

But this man is quite the same as the description of being creepy. I mean, he seems to be a good person. But if he changes the rug outside of your apartment door without telling you, that is already one of the reasons to be careful. A friend of mine who is currently living alone in an apartment building just a few streets away from my building informed me about it. We both are living alone so we have always been so careful, and we double-check the locks on our door every time like an OC person. We don’t want to be hysterical about things that will not be going to happen but if we will be careless, that would be the end of us. This goes with everyone who is living on their own and the only thing they could depend on is themselves. 

As she went out of her place on Friday morning to check her mail, she discovers that the rug has been changed. Tenants can put rugs outside of their door so they could put their shoes outside on top of it. Some tenants used disinfectant mats. This is one of the precautions that the local government has imposed for small places like apartments to avoid spreading the virus inside their place. My friend’s building is equipped with CCTV so worrying about someone stealing your shoes will not be possible but if the one handling the CCTV is the old creepy man, her worries increase, and she keeps on checking her door if it’s locked or not. This man is the building’s maintenance as well as the caretaker. They do have securities but mostly, this man runs the whole building. Guards are only at the entrance to check who goes in and out of the building. 

Maybe she’s just paranoid or maybe she thinks this is like a movie with men spying on women living alone and they will try to sneak at night and the next thing, policemen are outside, and the police caution tape is on the entrance. But it is better to be careful than regret it later. 

Anyway, as we are both females, I always tell her to be careful and do not be paranoid about things. I told her to ask the man why he changes the rug and why it is only her. The man said because the rug is already dirty and needs to be washed. And my friend did not ask further as she was too scared. She hardly leaves her place as she’s a freelancer, she works at her place most of the time.  

Why did the man change and washed her rug? There are other tenants in the building, but he never changes their rugs. Is it because she’s living alone, and he thinks she needs someone to help her? Why would he think of it? Does he have any motives? This man is a talker, and he knows how to create a good conversation in which you will think he is a reliable person. The assurance that he gives that the building is safe and secure is one of the reasons that my friend chooses that apartment. 

But it leads her to be paranoid. Why can’t a person live without worrying too much when they are alone? Are there any safe places around? Upon my research, her building apartment is very secured. It has 24 hours securities. But I still need to check the people around it which I don’t have any ideas about. Humans have different personalities. Some are bad but most of the time it is a good personality. Some have personalities that are dangerous like the narcissist, predator, and sociopath. And I don’t think that the man she said has one of these personalities. Maybe he is just a caring person because he thinks my friend needs someone to help her. 

How did this creepy old man story start? Who started this stereotype? Why some of us are paranoid when one old man tries to help us? If the old man looks like a muscled guy with a handsome face, we wouldn’t even think he is dangerous. Kindness sometimes can be misinterpreted. But not all kindness has good intention. Some are disguised to look like one. Sometimes we cannot distinguish which is good from the bad. But there are also those people who have a paranoid personality disorder. No, my friend doesn’t have PPD. But I may be in denial or I have difficulty distinguishing because I don’t want to judge anyone without knowing them. 

So, I just tell my friend to:

  • Lock her door. Check it again before she sleeps. 
  • Put a heavy object or furniture to block the door (in case someone knows how to open the door without a key). 
  • Do not open the door when someone knocks during nighttime.
  • Turn her TV on so if there will be someone who thinks of doing something bad would think she’s still awake. (I always do this especially if I checked on Hotels during business trips)
  • Make sure her phone is fully charged and do not turn it on silent mode.
  • If she can’t sleep with lights on, make sure she has her bedside lamp ready to light it up if she hears something is wrong. 

Well, she can’t install any home security camera and her door is not automatic. It needs a key. All she can do is to make sure she can defend herself. We are all vulnerable when we’re alone, but we can still protect ourselves by being careful and always be vigilant but not to the point of misinterpreting someone’s help for having a bad intention. Maybe the old man is just being helpful, and I would like to give him the benefit of the doubt. 

I shared this to give awareness to those who are living alone to always be careful and be prepared all the time. We don’t know anyone’s intentions, whether it is bad or good. We all need to protect ourselves. This old creepy man can be anyone, man or woman, young or old. If they want to hurt us, no gender, no age, can describe them physically.

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