Which One Ticks Me Off More? The Pedophile Or The Young Mother?

06.3.09


At the end of my street lived a woman in her 80’s and a her nephew. The Nephew was a middle aged man with typical habits, but nothing about him looked too strange.

He had a train set in the garage and he wanted to show it to my kids a few years ago. I thank gawd every day that I met him when the kids were toddlers.

The rule has been this:

You are allowed to walk down the street and around the corner but under no circumstances are you to talk to creepy guy. If he says hello, you keep walking, don’t even nod your head.

Everyone called me crazy and I didn’t care. In my mind he had all the flags of a pedophile, and my gut told me he was bad news. Predators don’t look like the boogeyman, predators look like nice guys that kids would want to trust. Until a few months ago, I’d let my kids walk the neighborhood, but look out the window to be certain they were clear of creepy guy’s house. A few months back Creepy Nephew was kicked out of the house. The work crews reported to all the neighbors that his area was strewn with pornography and hypodermic needles. I was sadly correct in my assessment of our neighbor.

This afternoon something even more hideous happened. My 28 year old neighbor with her two children came over to talk about Creepy Guy. She’d heard about the porn and the needles, and she was surprised by it.

“It didn’t surprise me one bit. I’ve been checking with Megan’s Law and even called a friend at the Sheriff’s Department.” I began.

“Really? He seemed so nice to me, he was always asking about the kids, and visiting a lot.” The Young Neighbor told me.

“Uh, do you think it’s strange that a forty year old man lives with his elderly aunt, plays with toys and asks you about your kids?” I began.

“Oh my gosh. I’m so naive!” She exclaimed, “Maybe when I’m nice and mature like you are, I’ll be able to sense this stuff too.”

And then she proceeded to tell me about her nose job. Cuz, ya know, she’s not mature like I am, and apparently can’t focus.

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21 responses to “Which One Ticks Me Off More? The Pedophile Or The Young Mother?”

  1. Ms Gourmet says:

    You are fortunate that you have Megan’s Law in the U.S and are able to track the where abouts of pedophiles and child sex offenders. No such law exists in Australia so all we have to go with is our mama intuition and gut instinct.

  2. Al_Pal says:

    Oh geez!!! Crazy stuff.
    Go, you, for being aware, and *eyeroll* at her, for the nose job and the “mature” statement. Ai!

  3. koningwoning says:

    So because this lonely guy buys his porn instead of downloading it from the net (or streaming it) he’s a pedophile?
    Or the combination between porn & liking trains….

    Regarding the needles….. you don’t know what this guy has. In the old days my grandmother used needles for her diabetes. What tells you this isn’t medicinal?

    Really, really, bigger picture view here…. What about a lonely guy who is always shunned by peers, but not so much by children because they don’t judge in the same way? Ever crossed your mind that being judgemental doesn’t always mean being right?

    I’m really glad my now dead uncle didn’t live at the end of your street… next to not having his life fullfilled in the way he would have liked (wfie… children), but didn’t get to live – he would have had your pedantic preconceptions of what is socially acceptable.

  4. Bigg says:

    I feel sorta divided about pedophiles. I knew one – went to high school with him and never realized. After he got out of jail the first time I talked to him a little about it, and I got the impression that he may actually have been born that way. That makes me feel that maybe he couldn’t help being one. On the other hand, I have only to ask myself how I’d feel if he touched one of my kids and I find myself right back on the other side of the question – because I’d kill him. No drama, no torture, just the most humane execution possible so I could tell my child that the bad man could never hurt him or her again. What DO you do with them? Execution seems kinda drastic in every case (or at least labor intensive!) but what else is there?

  5. Christine says:

    When I was little we had a guy like that (but actually older) that lived around the corner. I avoided him like the plague … he was CREEPY! Glad you had the foresight to keep your kids away from that guy.

    Nice and mature? Nose job? lol ….

  6. Cassie says:

    I am a young parent but still, I pay attention and when someone gives me the creeps we avoid! Like the man that gives our popsicles to every child that walks by. I know he is a family friend. I know he seems really nice. I know how to walk home without going near his house.

    koningwoning-Whether he was a true pedophile or not. I would not want my child hanging out in a basement filled with porn, toy trains, and needles. Secondly, there is a way to dispose of needles properly. I am sure if that had been the case no one would have seen it as odd.

  7. Yes, being judgemental may leave me apologetic at times, but my judgement is g-d given so I use it to protect my children

  8. Flupiter says:

    How does being a man who reads porn and uses needles equate to being a criminal and a pedophile? What? You’re kidding, right?

    I once knew a man who read porn and used needles. He was a middle-aged, lonely, single, diabetic.

    You don’t mention any proof here of him being a pedophile. Glad I don’t live on your street. Can’t even imagine what I might be accused of…

  9. annie says:

    The guy I lived next door to in my last home was always watching me, not my daughter. It got to the point where I wouldn’t go outside because whether he was out or not, if I was in the yard, he appeared. So it’s not always our kids who are in danger.

    But I am leery of any adult with an interest in children that doesn’t seem “adult” but more like peers. I am even a bit put off by kids who seem too interested in younger children (my daughter has been forbidden to go in the house down the street where there is a 14 yr old boy who primarily interacts with much younger kids). When I was teaching, my co-workers and I had a odd game of trying to predict the future actions of this or that child, and you would be surprised by how often behavior as a pre or young teen illuminates the path that kid is on for good or ill.

  10. April says:

    I won’t let my kids spend any time alone with one particular family member. My mom says I’m crazy. I say I don’t care. NOT taking chances! They spend time with him at family events. Just never, ever alone.

  11. Mrs Pop says:

    You know what? Trust your gut. I regretted each and every time I allowed myself to be “guilted” into doing something I didn’t feel good about.

  12. All we really have to go on are our gut feelings and instincts. You paid attention to that; valuable lesson for our kids irregardless of whether there’s proof.

  13. Miss Grace says:

    Porn doesn’t = child porn, but when it comes to protecting your kids, I prefer to error on the side of caution.

    And usually people who creep me out creep me out for a reason.

  14. Aja West says:

    I’m 27 with two children, and honestly I consider anyone with too much interest in my kids a threat. Maybe I error on the side of caution, but better that than have my kids violated in any way. Not all of us young moms are so cavalier.

  15. Amy Locurto says:

    Ewww! Just hearing you describe him made me creep out! I guess that makes me mature and nice:-) Crap… I need to go get a nose job so I’ll be young and stupid again. Thanks for the reminder.

  16. thesoupdiva says:

    I can’t ever say I apologized for my making clear boundaries for my daughter. She never rode alone in a car with any male, even babysitting as a teen I layed out the transportation rules to the parents before agreeing, if the wife wasn’t going to make sure she got home, I would pick her up. But that’s just my PTSD from being sexually assaulted by the father/fireman/youth pastor of the 2 year old I had babysat one night and was taken home via a sexual assault.

    Parents can’t walk around assuming everyone is who they appear to be. Those kind of parents piss me off and cause me to lose patience quickly. My entire goal as a mom on this topic was to make sure my daughter would never have to live with the aftermath of what I went through. Regardless of how emotionally damaging it was for me, I learned the hard way that the monster doesn’t always look scary, sometimes the monster puts on the mask of a trusted relative, neighbor, youth pastor, coach etc.
    I had to tread carefully for the last 17 years. Balancing between educating her, keeping her safe and not scaring the crap out of her. She graduated high school a couple weeks ago with a 4.0 gpa and was 15th out of over 400 seniors, so to celebrate we went to Reno this last week so Dad and Gramma could gamble and so her and I could eat gelato, spend all day at the spa and shop without feeling guilty, because I am excellent at reminding my husband that the expensive __________ (fill in the blank) was no more than a hand of blackjack to him ( that always shuts him up). I wanted mom and daughter time. I also spent a few hours gambling and she went to the arcade where some jackass in his late 30’s to early 40’s made a point to say hello to her as she was leaving the arcade. She gave him a dirty look and said nothing to him, he replied with “it’s ok to say hi to me” but because she is her mother’s daughter, she replied with “NO it’s not okay, what are you, a pedophile?” He had no response. Grown men hanging outside of a children’s arcade WITHOUT CHILDREN are not ok to strike up conversations with.

    I like my nose, but have had thoughts of a boob job, I’m turning 39 next month. Not for my husband’s benefit solely for my own because they got saggy and droopy after having a baby and I mistakenly took them for granted in my early 20’s.

  17. old mom says:

    You did exactly the right thing. Trusting your gut and keeping your kids away from someone who raised your red flags was in no way judgemental or accusatory. You didn’t organize a mob of angry neighbors to run him out of town after screaming from the rooftops ” he IS a pedophile”. You rightly warned your kids about being alone with someone who creeped you out and watched them more closely.

    I had a similar situation years ago when my daughter was nine and wanted to play soccer. The coach set off my red flags. He was an unmarried older man who did not have any kids and always wanted the girls on the team to come to his house after practice to swim. He wanted them to bring bathing suits and change at his house. He lived within walking distance of the practice field and he wanted the moms to pick the girls up there after he swam unsupervised with them.

    He could have just been a lonely old man who enjoyed kids, but I never let my daughter go to his house. In fact, I never left the practice field because this guy creeped me out so much. Like you, I never accused him of anything, but I judged that it wouldn’t be safe for my daughter to be alone with him.

    Seven years later, he was arrested for fondling two little girls on his current soccer team. Thank goodness for gut instincts.

  18. joan says:

    I’m a strong believer in Mother’s Instinct. I guess what surprises me here in reading your neighbor’s reaction and some of the replies is that not all mother’s have it.

  19. Tom says:

    Nature provided us with the ability to sense danger. Sometimes it doesnt seem logical but it is always best follow it. The subconscious picks up cues of things that are just not right. Pick up a copy of the “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin De Becker. I use this as reference material for my self defense classes.

  20. […] she is a magnificent dentist with tiny quick hands, she is still a stepmother. Much like the bitch down the street, she has called me old, and now she’s gonna get a friend in on the act to cut my mouth […]

  21. Sarah says:

    I’m with you on this one. Always, ALWAYS, always go with your gut when it comes to your children, even if it makes you look like the insanely over protective nut job mother. I’d rather be a nut job, than have something happen to my son. Any day of the week.

    Good call on your part.

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