A lizard loving stalker in a pet store.
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My Stalker Dude

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As a person running a reptile rescue, I scheduled an Adoption Day event at one of the local chain pet stores. They called me all of the time and I just didn’t have the manpower to do a lot of them. I figured it was only about 4-5 hours of my time and it was the Timonium store, so it was not too far from my house. I agreed to do it. We didn’t have much traffic. Reptiles are a tough sell. The weatherman from one of the local television stations, still wearing his thick pinkish pancake makeup, came with his two little boys. He was nice enough, but didn’t adopt anything. Damn him.

The Meeting

This guy came over and said he was interested in adopting a savannah monitor. I was thinking “jackpot!” because we had that animal for a long time with no interest. It was one reason I brought it with me that day. We didn’t have our online adoption application back then. People emailed me and I emailed them an application. The guy, who told me his name was Sean, gave me his phone number, I think, and not his email. Although I can’t remember exactly why he gave me his phone number, he did. He took my card, as I gave out a bunch of them that day. He said he came to this particular pet store that Saturday because he had seen I was going to be there. I thought nothing of it.

The Confrontation

Sean never called and at some point I called him. I thought I had a fish on the hook! That savannah monitor had been at the rescue for a long time and needed a home. I left Sean message. The next weekend was the All Maryland reptile show in Havre de Grace. Sean was there. I introduced him to a friend who was a vendor there and he said, “My name isn’t Sean. It’s Randy.”

“WHAT?????” I said, “I have a piece of paper in your handwriting that says Sean.” He said I was mistaken. Sean was the guy who used to own his phone and I must have heard the old message.

Well, that didn’t make a bit of sense. I figured I no longer had a fish on the hook, there was a crazy dude on the line. Every reptile show, there he was just looking at me! It started to scare me, never having a stalker dude before. And calling him a stalker dude instead of just a plain old stalker seemed to make me feel like he was less dangerous. I had no idea what he had in mind. I never even knew which name, if either of them, was his real name.

Crazy phone messages

He was leaving messages on my phone all of the time. He would say things like, “Hi honey, it’s me!” This was back in the day before most people had caller ID and he was calling my cell phone/reptile phone. I was completely freaked out by him. No wonder he said “It’s me” because I had no idea what the hell his name was!

At the big reptile show, I was in charge of the volunteers at that time. I told my cop friend, who was working security, that a guy was stalking me. He advised me that it was nothing to laugh about and how serious stalking could be. We decided that I would give a hand signal when I saw the stalker dude. This way I could point him out without actually pointing to him. The signal was putting my thumbs in my ears and flapping my hands, making a joke of it. Every time I saw the guy, I did the signal. Everyone was in stitches all morning, but honestly the guy was starting to be really creepy.

I had gotten a couple messages from him the morning of the reptile show saying, “Hi sweetie!! It’s me! Will I see you today?”

I thought, “Not if I see you first.”

Bye, bye stalker

He wasn’t a bad looking guy, although the cop friend thought his eyes were too close together and that he looked “shifty.” My stalker was medium height and build, a white guy with dark brown hair, dark eyes. He looked clean cut. There were no visible tattoos – unlike a lot of reptile people. He wore Docker type pants or jeans and a polo type shirt most times I saw him. He was always a few steps behind me, or asking someone questions about me. Of course, I had a friend who thought I should date him. Date him!?!?!? I don’t even know his real name! Honestly, I’m not looking for a psycho boyfriend. Thanks, but no thanks.

He stalked me for months and eventually gave up. Sean/Randy didn’t leave flowers at my door or anything creepy like that. He called me all of the time though. Luckily, he never came over to look at the animals and didn’t know where I lived. Maybe my wildly flapping hand signal had scared him away thinking I was the psycho!?

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Read more by Holli Friedland.

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