Everyone keeps asking, “why do you call yourself Potato?” There are lots of reasons, each new human I meet gets a different answer. My favorite reasons are: 1) I have too many chromosomes 2) I feel connected to Potato memes on Google. 3) Potatoes are awesome.
I was talking to Ginja last month about how I wrote a college final essay titled “The Creeper’s Handbook” I asked him for his email so I could send it to him to read, but he’s all “I’m very private, no one knows my email. Blah blah blah.” Psh typical. I was going to print it out for him to read, but then I had a better idea: I’ll put it on my blog.
I’m very awkward with crippling anxiety, still waiting for this phase to be over, but apparently this is my life meow. So why not add to the social awkward by putting an awkward essay on the internet.
Things to remember while reading:
- Final Essay for a College class
- My major was Creative Writing
- I read some of this aloud to my class of 10 students
- This is the only essay that I saved from my time in college.
December 7, 2011
Final Essay Portfolio
The Creeper’s Handbook
I’m sitting in my room with my two best friends, when suddenly my stomach rumbles, I look at the time, 8:30pm the dining hall has been closed for an hour, so the only options to go get something to eat are the Lodge or Hannaford’s, but since we don’t want to go drive to Hannaford’s at this time, we walk over to the Lodge and grab a sampler for the three of us to munch on. As we are walking over we can see that the moon is bright and full tonight. The weather isn’t that bad either, some snow on the ground, but most of it is melting, which I am so thankful for, since I don’t like the snow one bit. Or the cold that comes with it. Once we get inside of the Lodge we go order our food and pick out our drinks then go and sit down in the middle of the room, on those green comfy chairs. One of my friends mention that you are here tonight, I don’t see you right away, even though you are in my line of vision, sitting directly across from me. After a moment or two of me looking everywhere, I find you. I’m not going to wave at you because we’re not close at all, I’m more of the girl who just likes looking at you because you’re what I consider “eye candy.” I mention to my friends that I really want your picture, but I don’t think you will let me, so I’m going to take out my camera phone and take a picture that way, without you knowing about it. I look over to my left at one of my friends who is laughing at what I am doing, my friend on my right has her face in her hands, and we’re not being obvious at all. I pull out my phone with the camera in it and point out loudly that there is this text message that I just have to show my friends. I start pressing buttons, turning my phone on to vibrate, so that it won’t make that noise that says, “look here!” when I press the OK button to take the picture, and start setting the camera up. I start zooming in and I just about got the side of your face when you turn your head and I press the button, at the same time. My friends and I start cracking up laughing so hard, I look at my phone and I see your eyes staring right at me, it’s a good picture if I do say so myself. I don’t usually get such a great picture on the first try of the night, but I guess when you’ve been in the business as long as I have (about a year) you get better and better. I’m probably not going to keep this picture for more than a month, but the memory will be with me forever. I’m a full time student, but part time creeper.
The term creeper is slang for an eerie or weird person. There are a bunch of different definitions for the word creeper on Urban Dictionary, one of them being “a person who does weird things, such as staring at you for hours through a window. Usually a close friend or relative. You know right away if this person is a creeper or does creeper things, it’s not hard to spot a creeper.” Another definition of the word creeper is, “someone who views your profile multiple times without saying anything.” The second one is more of a definition for an online creeper, whereas the first definition is for a real life creeper. I guess I could put myself into both of those categories because when it comes to creeping on the Internet, I can honestly admit that if I’m on Facebook and you have your settings so that people can view your pictures, I will be one of those creepers that will look through all your pictures. As for some of the things that I do in real life creeping all I do is take pictures of random people that I find attractive. I don’t use a really high tech camera like some people would do; no I use my phone with a built in camera.
The term stalker has also has a lot of different meanings, Urban Dictionary has one definition being: a person obsessed with another to the point of insanity. Following one everywhere, calling constantly, not following restraining orders, collecting their hair in shower drains. Then another definition from Urban Dictionary is: real stalkers seek out beautiful, interesting, and often famous members of the attractive gender. I am not a stalker, and there is a difference between the two terms. Creeper is what I consider a very toned down version of Stalker, more like a kid friendly edition. Stalkers on the other hand are the people you want to watch out for. I’m not a stalker because stalking would be taking the creeping to the top and actually following the person everywhere, taking pictures of the person all the time, and giving them attention that they don’t want. For me creeping is just some fun game I like to do when I’m bored and I want to entertain myself. Sure I take pictures, but it’s not with over the top, when I do take these pictures it’s always with my phone with the built in camera. I also don’t have a shrine dedicated to these people that I take pictures of. That is just weird, even for me. I’m not the paparazzi or anything like that; I’m just a student with a little extra time on her hands.
I can guarantee that the word creeper is in every middle school student through college students’ vocabulary, and most of them use it in an everyday sentence. The group The Lonely Island probably has something to do with that, with one of their hit songs The Creep. The song is basically talking about how to creep on people and when to do it. One stanza of the song describes how to look like a creep: Well we got a new dance, so get up on your feet/It’s real easy to do and it’s called the creep/Let your hands flop round like a marionette/Pop your knees up and down shaking your neck/Now pull your waistband up like you expecting a flood/And stick your hair down flat like it was covered in mud/Trim up your pencil mustache and pop them peepers/Put this in your speakers, you a certified creeper. The very last line of the song is, “don’t forget to smile.” For me I personally like this song, because I find it hilarious, and I know that all of The Lonely Island’s songs are joke songs, they make fun of people and things, creepers are one of those things to make fun of. The band Radiohead also has a song about being a creeper, their song is called Creep and the chorus of the song is this: But I’m a creep, I’m a weirdo. /What the hell am I doing here? /I don’t belong here. Although these songs are both about creepers, they are both also very different. Creep by Radiohead was released in 1992, and then nineteen years later The Creep by The Lonely Island was released.
The first time I ever creeped on someone was in college. Before that I was just a random person, who didn’t even think about creeping on people like I do now with my friends. There was this time in the 8th grade, where my science class had to write procedure piece essays, it could be on any “How to” essay we wanted it to be on. I had forgotten to bring in my essay that day to work on it in class, so I started a new one, well a fake one. It was something I could do that day and be productive at the same time, or so I thought. My title was “How to Become a Stalker” my teacher thought that it wasn’t appropriate and took it away before I got half a page done. I however, thought it was funny and entertaining, and I was technically following the directions to the assignment. I had the materials and then the first line of the procedure part. From what I remember the materials were these: binoculars, notebooks, writing implements, and most importantly a camera. For the first sentence of the procedure part it went along these lines, keep well hidden in the presence of your prey. I never finished writing that, I guess even I thought it was something too stupid to continue.
I remember the first time I ever creeped on someone was the fall semester of my freshman year of college. I was in the Lodge with one of my friends, and I noticed this sophomore guy who I thought was really attractive, my friend told me who he was, and for some odd reason I really wanted to have his picture on my phone. So I was thinking about how I was going to go on about doing this, when my friend said, “you know Keely, you could just pretend to show me something on your phone and then take the picture of him instead.” While my friend was saying this she was being sarcastic and laughing. Even though I knew this, I thought it was a great idea and did exactly what she told me, through a step-by-step process. When I finally got the picture I noticed two things wrong with the picture. 1) His back was turned to the camera, so I just got the back of his head. 2) His friend was staring directly into the camera. Which was really intimidating, so I deleted that picture, just as I was about to take another picture, he got up with his friends and left. That picture was just the beginning. Soon after I would begin bringing my camera to the dining hall and take pictures of people, sometimes I would forget that the flash was on. Next thing I would know, people would be staring in my direction with a confused, surprised, shocked look on their faces. At first I wouldn’t understand why this was, but then it dawned on me, most people don’t like having random candid pictures of them being taken as they’re eating.
There are both pleasures and dangers of creeping. I’ll start with the dangers first, so you know what to watch out for. One of the most dangerous things about creeping, is if you get caught you have to come up with a reason of why you were doing what you were doing. An example scene would be something such as: I see you across the quad, I’m near Ware, and you are by McKean Hall, thankfully none of your friends are with you. I’m glad because the group of you, you’re all just so intimidating. I want to get closer to you but there is a mass amount of open space and nowhere for me to hide, because I’m obviously not going to just walk up to you like a normal person would, no that’s just not how I function. I notice that you are walking towards Page Hall, I have to make my move, and it’s either now or never. I pretend that I got a new text message, look at my phone, sigh, turn around and start walking towards Sawyer Center. There’s a big, tall tree in the middle of both of us, I look behind me and make a dash for the tree, when I get there, and you start walking in a different direction. I get out my phone and switch it to the camera settings, the thing is though I forgot to turn the sound off, I don’t realize it until I take the picture and by then you are less than three feet away. I have no idea how you became that close to me, but you did. You hear the annoying, high-pitched voice that says. “Look here!” and you turn and are now facing me. You caught me red handed, I have the camera in my hands, lens facing you. I can think of only one option right now, and that is to run away. However you have something else in mind, you narrow your eyes and start closing the distance between us. Instead of running away, like I planned to do, I freeze up and shut my eyes, because if I can’t see you, then you can’t see me. “What are you doing?” You ask, and it’s those four words, which make me know, that I have been officially caught, I suppose there is a first time for everything, right?
That scene is just one of the many options that could happen, thankfully I have never been caught, as far as I know, I mean no one has ever come up to me and asked me, why I was taking their picture without their permission. Another danger than could happen, is that someone could mistake you for a stalker, and get a restraining order against you. That is much worse that having someone catch you taking a picture of him or her unexpectedly.
I’ll end with the pleasures of creeping, because this essay should have a nice end to it. When I creep I’m usually with my friends, one of my friends said that we should have a name for the three of us, she came up with: The Creeper and the Creepettes. After she said this, all three of us started burst out laughing, this was because of a couple reasons. 1) We were all very giggly. 2) The name itself sounds ridiculous. I can imagine us with the color-coordinated shirts, and Creepette 1 and Creepette 2 written on my friends’ shirts, just like Thing 1 and Thing 2 for Dr. Seuss. We wouldn’t really walk around campus, like that. Honestly that sounds too ridiculous for even me. The pleasure about creeping with friends is that you can share all the memories together. You can joke about how it was funny that one time when you almost got caught, how you were so scared, but then something happened and you were able to get away safely, without someone noticing you.
One of the pleasures that I remember doing is making a video with my friends. In spring of 2011 I joined an event on Facebook that was called National Hug a Tall Person Day. I went up to this one guy, in the dining hall, who was at least 6’ 2”, one of my friends calls him Tall Freak, because well he’s really tall. He was my first victim- I mean first person to ask if I could get a hug. When I walk up to him asking for a hug, only to get turned down. His reason? He’s not that tall. All this time my friends are recording me asking this guy is I could have a hug, at a nearby table. So my rejection is recorded on camera, and is also on YouTube, because I thought another way to remember these hilarious times is to put them on the Internet.
I suppose I need to come up with new ways of creeping, since I explained every last one of them right here in this essay. However I don’t creep on unsuspecting people a lot, in fact I don’t remember the last time I creeped on a person. That’s how long it has been since I whipped my camera phone out and started taking pictures of people. I hope you found this paper interesting, and remember the golden rule it’s all fun and games, until someone gets caught, then it hilarious….Unless it is you, which in that case it is not funny at all.