Christmas is coming up so I feel the need to point out something about the holiday that must be stated: Santa is a total creeper. He sees you when you’re sleeping … he knows when you’re awake … and he sneaks down your chimney in the middle of the night. Why do people like this guy? I’d be calling the cops and getting my baseball bat ready for Santa to come, not leaving him cookies!
If anyone knows anything about creepers, it is definitely me. Because I was a creeper long before that word became popular. I embodied the definition of stalker in grade school, and I am pretty sure everybody knew it at the time but me.
It all started with me having a crush on a boy named Nathan Hippenmeyer in fourth grade. He had a bowl cut, which back then was like the haircut of the gods. Nick Carter from the Backstreet Boys had one, so of course I was immediately attracted to Nathan’s mushroom-shaped do. But maybe a little too attracted.
I kept after this kid for three full years. The first year, I drew pictures of me blowing up and sicking wild tigers on the girl he liked (because she was not me, of course). I bought him pizza flavored Goldfish for his birthday, because I creeped enough to find out his birthday and favorite snack food. And this is before the days of Facebook.
The next two years were the worst. I remember I bought the matching bride and groom Beanie Babies and wrote Mr. and Mrs. Hippenmeyer in the tags. Then I put them in glass showcase containers and displayed them on my shelf next to a purple heart-shaped frame with his school picture in it … that I used to dance with to N*SYNC songs.
That’s also when I started writing him creepy love poems and songs about how much I was in love with him; I tried to hide them too. I started writing them from the back of the book forward and wrote “normal” poems about school and America in the front so no one would see the ones about him in the back. I wrote them all out in my neatest handwriting in a green spiral-bound notebook, because I knew green was his favorite color, and twisted the end of the metal spiral into a heart at the top; then, the last day of school before I moved away, I gave the notebook to him at recess.
While I am sure the sappy poetry and songs indicating my terrifying obsession with him scared him enough, nothing could be worse than the note I wrote to him on the first page. It explained my feelings for him, and I confessed the two pieces of information I knew about him that made me a certified creeper: I told him that I had memorized both his parents’ license plate numbers. The scary part is … I still remember them. AET 8840 and AYX 6623. No, I am not still in love with the kid. I just happen to have a ridiculously good memory.
Years later, I can look back and laugh at this, though just writing this makes me scared of my former self. So I suppose as a child I was a lot like Santa. The only difference is people want to give him cookies for his creeping — people just want to give me restraining orders.