19 February 2013

My Stalker Story

I think many of us girls out there have some kind of stalker story in our past. I know Michelle does. And I do too. Mine was definitely more of a happy, enthusiastic, random stalker than a scary stalker, so that's always a good thing.

The homework table where it all went down. And look--a sandwich, apple, iced tea, cheez-its, and a nokia phone. I was so one of the cool college kids.

Here's the story: When I was in college, I made the money that I lived off of in a number of random ways. One of the ways I made enough money to keep the gas tank full was by regularly submitting articles to Devozine (a devotional magazine aimed at teenagers). And one day, I was sitting innocently at my usual table where I did homework every day, and a guy walked up to my table.

"I'm sorry, but I just have to ask you something," he said, "Are you Rachel (maiden name) who writes for Devozine?"

Looking at him suspiciously, I slowly nodded my head in the affirmative.

He became very excited and reached out to shake my hand, "Wow! This is an honor to meet you! My family reads Devozine together after dinner every day, and we love it when one of your articles shows up!"

He excused himself to go to his next class, and I was left at my study table wondering "How?" My picture never appeared in Devozine. My full name did appear as the byline with my devotionals, but I didn't talk about the town where I lived or the college I attended. At that time, articles by me appeared 2 or 3 times per issue, but there were dozens of other writers in each issue as well, and I have no idea how you would pay attention to or even remember all of the authors' names. I was a freshman, and had no friends close enough at the college that I had told them that I wrote for Devozine frequently. In all honesty, I had no idea then and I have no idea now how he made the connection between a little brunette studying in a corner of the commuters' lounge and the Rachel of Devozine magazine. It was odd.

I never learned the stalker's name. I never really wanted to know. Throughout the rest of my years at college, I would pass by him occasionally in the hallways of the buildings on campus, and he would always wave and shout, "Hello, Rachel!" and would tell me something specific he'd liked about the last article I wrote for Devozine.

Some time later, I believe it was my sophomore year, during finals week, I was sitting in an empty classrooom where I was due to take a final in half an hour, doing a little extra review over my notes. The stalker walked past the glass door, saw me inside, and came running inside the classroom.

"Rachel!" he said, "Here are some people I want to to meet. This is my dad, and this is my younger brother. They really enjoy they way you write, too!"

His dad and brother shook my hand and looked pleasant, although not as enthusiastic as he did. After the introduction, they walked out of the room, and I tried to focus on everything I had to remember about East Asian Philosophy.

Writing is my dream job, and it always was a dream of mine to get recognized by a stranger for my work, but I never thought such recognition would come in college from a guy who never told me his name, but who was, to all appearances, one of Devozine's most faithful readers.

Do you have a stalker story?
Carolynn said...

wow. thats amazing. I wonder how he knew it was you????

Anonymous said...

Wow that's weird. At least he was a nice stalker. I'm really curious how he figured out you were you.

Cramer Coffee and Jesus said...

hahaha this is awesome! look at your being famous :) I don't have a stalker story...not sure I'm interesting enough that someone would stalk me...pretty sure that's a good thing. ha!! by the way, congrats on 500 follwers :)

Angi said...

Haha - wow!!! I'm so curious to know how on earth he figured out you were the same person that wrote for the magazine! And also, why he never properly introduced himself, haha.

Nikole said...

Haha! How in any world did he figure out who you were?? I love the picture, by the way. There was a security guy at my work that would always comment on my old high school. I guess he found out I went there and he went there too (5 years prior!!). It was really awkward and I always avoided him... :/ I guess that's not really "stalkery" though

Erin @ Come What May said...

That's so weird!! I don't really have a stalker story, but there was a kid at church that had an insane crush on me. One time we were going to the same restaurant after youth group and he jumped in my car, insisted he was driving with me, and refused to get out. I know him extremely well, but it was still creepy the way he always tried to be near me and find ways to touch me. Thankfully my boyfriend, now husband, intercepted him as much as possible for me.

Michelle said...

Whoa!!! Did you ever figure out how he knew it was you?! This is a crazy story!!

Unknown said...

I think that is a great story! I love that he brought his dad to meet you! I'm glad he wasn't creepy or anything. NO stalkers for me. I do get former students who come up to me in town, and then I fumble through the conversation trying to remember their name.

Janna Renee said...

I actually have a stalker story that I'm probably going to share soon. Luckily, mine seems to have gone away too!