At my friend’s birthday event last night, I met a guy who I would definitely label a creeper. I realize that sounds really judgmental, but I couldn’t help it. As soon as he introduced himself and made eye contact with me, I felt uncomfortable. He stood too close to me, got his face too close to my face, and tried to bond over the fact that we both have roots in Vietnam. To make sure he knew that I wasn’t available or interested, I started talking with another of my friend’s friends about my fiance and our upcoming trip to Japan, where this friend is originally from. This creeper suddenly became super belligerent and started interrupting our conversation to talk about completely irrelevant topics just for the sake of inserting himself rudely into our conversation. It eventually became so unbearable that I looked at my time and decided it was late enough to leave and not look like I was ditching my friend. So I left.

On my short walk home, I started thinking about how people get labeled “creepy” or “shady,” and I realize that I couldn’t really pinpoint an exact quality or trait. They tend to seem like ordinary guys at first glance, but there’s a certain unsettling vibe that these guys always tend to send to those around them. I kind of feel bad for them, but at the same time, I wonder if they even realize they are being creepy.

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