Whenever people made fun of anime nerds I used to get all offended; like anyone would when they feel their hobby is being dissed. I would defend the honor of my Otaku brethren and tell the offender that not all Otakus are weird mouth breathers who live in their parents basement and make out with their Kagome pillows.
Then I met one. Now I know exactly what those people are talking about, and I realize, I never should have gotten offended because I am not one of those extreme anime fans. I mean, I love anime and manga. That's my preferred cartooning method of choice, I want to do that for a living. But I am not, nor could I ever hope to obtain to be, an extreme anime fan.
I had just had some lunch with a friend at an Indian diner and meant to go into Trader Joe's to buy some stuff for work so I didn't have to keep buying things from the salad bar. Somehow I mindlessly walked 15 feet past Trader Joe's and right into the Barnes and Nobles. I'd like to think it was providence. Thrust into a cornucopia of my favorite thing in the world I completely forgot about what I was supposed to be doing and headed over to the comic/manga section of the store. There was a college student standing at one end of the bookshelf and I walked past him to go see what they had and all that. My hand didn't even get to touch a book when all of a sudden he starts talking to me. I can't even remember what he started talking about at first.
He looked like a fat version of Dave Coulier. I tried to be nice and nodded, smiled and made a comment about whatever anime he was talking about...and then he wouldn't stop talking. Soon I found myself forced into a conversation I didn't really care for having at the moment and unable to really peruse the selections at hand. Then he started talking about Gundam and the more he talked the more I realized I could not keep up this smiling and nodding ruse. I had to come clean and tell him I never really watched the show so I didn't really know what he was talking about.
A 'What The Fuck?' look lit up Uncle Joey's face. I was secretly waiting for him to tell me to "cut it out", but instead what happened was even more odd and awkward. He comes closer to me and begins to play smack my face.
Now I'm a very laid back, jokey type of chick. I can deal with people I just met joking around and maybe giving me a light tap or pushing my shoulders a la Elaine Benes; especially if we've been getting to know each other through light conversation. This man however I didn't know at all, had been doing nothing but talking about anime with while I tried numerous times to get out of the conversation and browse mangas. Normally I would have acted negatively in a situation and not just let someone touch my face, but he was very gentle about it. It was more like he was tossing my face between his hands than smacking. But then it went on for a couple of seconds too long. I was also pretty shocked at the blatant disregard for personal space that the only thing I could think of to do was this 'I'm a dainty princess' move and put my hands up to my face, lean back and let out a squeak of helplessness. And if that wasn't bad enough, he very delicately, very gently kneed me in the stomach. It was like an offensive ballet move. Then he chastised me and told me I needed to watch more Gundam or some shit like that (Makes me glad I didn't cop to actually not liking the Gundam series. Not a fan of the mecha.).
All I could do was blush and stand there with a crinkled brow and wide eyed stare of 'holy hell' and think "Man he's a real weirdo without Uncle Jesse to keep him calm". After a couple more minutes of this I had finally grabbed the second in a series I was reading and looked for a way to disengage and escape. Then he asked me something about Fall Out 3 or...2, I don't know. I admitted I had never played the games before. The same look as before creeped upon his face and I smartly took a step or two back. Instead of coming closer he starts beckoning to me and says, "Come on, you know this is coming." and proceeds to pretend to kick me in the baby maker.
Thankfully I was back far enough away that no part of him could make contact. I proceeded with the only weapon I had in my arsenal at the time and pulled a complete girl move. I looked up and to the side, tilted my head, put my finger to my temple and continued to talk over him like I was lost in my own reverie of whatever the hell I was yapping on and on about and ignored him until he stopped. I can only hope that he meant to play kick me in the shin, but hyper extended his leg because I was too far away. I mean, you don't cunt punt chicks you don't know. Especially not without an agreed upon safe word either.
He made me feel so awkward I was afraid to lick my lips. They were dry and I could do nothing. That is some serious fucking awkwardness.
Then after another minute or two he looked at his watch and quickly announced he had to go. Turned away and hightailed it to the upper floor. It was so weird and bemusing he turned me British without the accent. All I could do was clutch my book and exclaim, "What a strange young man he was." as I watched him glide up the escalator like some sort of physically abusing Mary Poppins.
If that encounter was not awkward enough, I was also stared at by a baby. This was no normal baby stare either. It went on for way to long and was more of a baby death glare. When I was in line a mother and child were in front of me, the baby looks at me and smiles, I say hi tell the mom she's cute and look away at a bookmark hanging there. When I look forward again, this baby is just giving me the stink eye something horrible. Blank stare and squinty eyes. The whole nine yards. It was like she was thinking "You're the type of person who'd tell me Santa isn't real!". Which may or may not be true. But dammit I deserve the benefit of the doubt you 8 month old looking mother fucker! Every so often she would turn to her mother and smile or laugh and then turn right back to me and scowl and stare. It got to the point where I was actively looking at other things so I wouldn't have to look at that kid. I was never so glad to be out of a bookstore after that.
I swear I'm fly paper for crazies and awkward situations.