Wednesday, August 27, 2014


One afternoon last week , after a long day inside with the kids, I put them in the double pram and walked down to Woolies to get a few things. I used to hate pushing the pram round the streets in the early baby days with P. We live in a new estate and back then it was all dust, sun, no trees, no paths, tradies everywhere, no paths and did I mention no paths? P also used to scream like a banshee in the pram so there was that too. These days though the streets are more pleasant, it's cool weather at the moment, and the kids like a jaunt round the burbs as much as the next preschooler. It's more enjoyable all round.
So anyway we went and bought our stuff at Woolies and B fell asleep in the pram so I took the opportunity to pop into the new Dan Murphy's that has opened. How excitement, I mean it's walking distance! I selected an affordable bottle of French bubbles as my inaugural local Dan's purchase and lined up to pay. As I rummaged around in the pram to find my purse,  I said to the high vis-wearing guy behind me to go ahead if he wanted to.
"You sure?" he said, as I ferreted around fruitlessly.
"Yes, Yes sure, I'm trying not to wake the baby, go ahead!" I repeated.
There was a bit more of that sort of exchange but he did go ahead, I found my purse, paid and went on my way.
As I walked down the main road outside the shopping centre, I suddenly heard someone beeping as they approached. I turned to look, and could see someone in a 4wd beeping and waving at me as they drove past. I didn't wave back, they went by too quickly, but thought to myself " Oh, who was that? Someone I know?". The car turned off to the right and  drove into the distance. I wondered who it had been, maybe the husband of one of my friends?  I could see he was wearing a high vis top. 
I kept walking closer to home, and crossed into the street leading into our little estate. Suddenly, there he was again, turning into the street in front of me, beeping and waving. I felt embarrassed, like I should recognize him. He pulled up as I walked past.
"WHO IS THAT MUMMY! " P was yelling.
"Someone who thinks they know me darling, they've made a mistake I think! " I told her.
I kept walking, thinking, maybe he was visiting a display home? Was he a neighbour I didn't recognize?
And then he appeared  again. He'd turned around, and he'd  followed me. He beeped and waved and stopped in the middle of the street.
"Need a lift?" He called. I was still too far away to see his face properly but I remember thinking it looked red, flushed. I half stopped and turned his way. Did he have a hat on? I can't even remember now.
"No thank you!" I smiled and waved politely, still worried he was someone I should recognize.
Then, he smiled, leaned further out of his window and called out ,  "You single?"
Almost before the words were out of his mouth I'd turned on my heel, practically  running, pushing the kids through a cut away in the fence,  an easement that leads through to the cul de sac next to my street.
My heart was beating like a thousand drums. Did that just happen?
"Nobody,  darling.  He was just saying hello."
I didn't look back. I kept going until I was at the top, almost on my street. My heart was freaking pounding like it was going to jump out of my chest. As I came to the corner I suddenly thought,  what if he was there? Could he still see me?
I raced inside and locked the door.
I replayed it over and over. I rang M and told him. I thought of the guy in Dan Murphy's, with the high vis shirt on. Was it him?
I'm still thinking about it, sort of second guessing myself. Going over and over the details in my head.
Maybe he was just being friendly?
But he followed me. In his car. And yelled out his window at me, asked if I was single, in front of my little kids. Who SAYS that to a strange woman pushing her kids in a double pram?
But maybe I misheard him?
But he still followed me. In his car. He doubled back to find me.
Was he someone I knew?? Maybe someone from the gym?  I'd had another weird interaction with a gym dude a while ago...was it him?
No. I saw him three times. I'd  have recognized him.
It's weird how at the time my body knew what to do before my mind did. My dumb apologetic second guessing brain wants to think the best of everyone.
M and I laughed about it that night, because, well, you know. I said, maybe he saw me buying the booze with the kids in the pram and thought, now that looks like a single Mum who needs some company!
Which is funny, but also deeply unfunny. Because far out,  dude. Didn't your mother tell you not to follow women in your car?
The next morning I wanted to walk the kids to kindy.  So I did, even though that guy scared the living shit out of me.  As I walked the streets, I scanned every car for his sand coloured 4wd.
Wasn't there of course.
It feels like a sort of weird dream now, a funny anecdote that I could laugh off. But it's this kind of casually sinister stuff that women put up with all the time and goes on over and over again . Why?
Like that time, years ago, when a well dressed middle aged man in a bright red Commodore screamed at me in rage, as I pushed my newborn baby across the road outside the Mater hospital, that I didn't "own the fucking road!!!!!!!". That time, I cried, already fragile. People stood around. Nobody said anything to reassure me. W


  1. Despite the odd wally like this guy, I cant possibly hate men. Too many good ones and hawt ones. ;-)

  2. Oh man that is scary!
    When I was pregnant with Eve our car broke down (again - stupid thing) and I had to catch the bus to work early in the morning.
    One morning there was this white van slowly creeping along the road and it pulled over kind of near me but on the other side of the road, and asked me for directions, he had a map (who has a bloody paper map anyway). I mean it totally could have been nothing but WHITE VAN my whole childhood was spent being warned about the dangers of shady men in white vans,so my hackles were totally up.
    I just said 'uh nope I'm late and crap at directions' and waddled off. It ended up having to be a damn quick waddle because he turned around and crept along following me. Thankfully by the time I took a short cut the bus was there and I jumped on.
    I could be that rude chick that wouldn't help him but I don't know, my boss picked me up every morning after I told him about it. It just seemed all wrong.
    What's sad is that it could be completely innocent but the way things are women have to be on the defensive to be safe.

    1. So scary Lila! With my guy I was totally going him the benefit of the doubt until the are you single comment. It was so weird and creepy because I had the bloody kids there!! If they hasn't been there I would have been annoyed and a bit freaked out but with the kids it just seemed so bloody weird and genuinely scary!

  3. You poor thing, what a shit head! I've had the crap scared out of me a few times too and like you tried REALLY hard to give them the benefit of the doubt but the truth is that even if it is completely innocent they are unthinking assholes!

    Most people (men included) aren't like that so try and put it behind you and enjoy walking wherever you damned well please x

    1. I know it was so weirddddd! I actually have been very lucky and can't remember ever having this sort of experience and being actually frightened before. Considering how much walking the streets at all hours I've done I am fortunate!

  4. WHAT THE ACTUAL? That is very bizarre and quite scary really - did you think to get his plate, I suppose not I wouldn't have... glad it had a happy ending. Men are dicks, not all but most! x

    1. I didn't get his plate.I only thought about it later! It was so weird I only half believed it was happening!

  5. Ugh.
    I hate feeling perfectly happy and safe one second and then awful and scared the next just because one asshole guy feels entitled.
    And there is nothing worse than knowing that you are being followed and feeling justifiably uncomfortable and freaked out about it!
    I am glad that you walked the next day.

    1. Such a bad experience. So much weirder because I had the kids there. Was he drunk or high maybe?? Genuinely scary.

  6. Nothing says available like two toddlers in a double pram! Seriously? And to offer you a lift- did he have a couple of child safety seats in his car just in case? Deep breaths x

    1. I know!!!!! That is why it was so bloody weird. I mean if it was just me I would have been freaked out anyway but with the pram there it was twenty times stranger.

  7. OMFG. I am not surprised. I wish I was. I also read on Middle Aged Mama's blog today about her 17 year old daughter being photographed on public transport creep and my heart went out to this young girl I don't even know. It is starting for her. This is what it is to be a woman. For all the window-dressing around equality, this is what it is like to be us, every day. Unwanted attention from men is just the tip of a very large iceberg.

  8. What a weirdo!!! I would not have been laughing that off and would have been telling the police, just in case. You never know who else he might accost off the street. Man some people are creeps!

    1. I know, maybe I should have told the police, argh, when something like this happens it is just so easy to almost think you were imagining it....

  9. Seriously not cool. Do some men have their heads so far up their own ring holes that they do not realise how threatening their actions are? Poor you. Poor P. x

    1. I know. It was so so bad that P heard it all. Hopefully she has forgotten!!

  10. Sorry such a thing happens. Glad it turned out alright.

  11. How horrible. I think the gut feeling is usually correct so good you got out of there. What a creep!
    May be worth mentioning to local police. You never know how your incident may link in with someone else’s. Tonkath


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