No Knock, Knock: “Who’s there?”

12 Oct

F9FE48AD-838D-4120-AEE3-DCAF0DAA71A9This is pretty much one of the worst texts any mother can receive from her daughter, but it’s especially panic inducing when said daughter is living in a dorm… in another state… as a college freshman…with no pre-college friends… and is fighting a throat infection. “What could possibly go wrong? She’ll be fine,” I said to a worried Big Daddy months ago to quell  his Daddy-fears swirling around Snakebite leaving for college. When your precious daughter’s chronic shyness and inability to read subtle social cues has limited her exposure to most of the typical lifestyle experiences of average 13-18 year olds, you just worry that her naiveté on a college campus makes her the perfect mark for a certain kind of budding psychopath-narcissist. Apparently it does. Let me tell you about it…

Between 2am-3am last Monday morning, October 2, 2017, Snakebite was roused by someone rubbing her leg while growl-whispering her name with urgency. She propped up and made out a dude standing near the top of her loft ladder and hunching above her bed. He said he was there to check on her, to see if she was feeling better. She was stunned, but told him he should leave. He said that he was hoping to spend the night cuddling with her because it was cold outside. He had walked 45 minutes to get there and thought she was being rude and ungrateful by not inviting him to get cozy. She calmly said he had to go, citing that she and her roommate have an understanding about not having over-night guests without an advance agreement. It’s the time-honored “blame it on the dog” of trying to politely decline a hook-up when you’re a girl who feels uncomfortable, but who is nice enough to want to spare someone’s feelings. Snakebite’s roommate, who was also sick and a known light sleeper, immediately sensed when someone was entering their room. C’N (not roomie’s real name, but I haven’t nicknamed her yet) began to make some sheet rustling noises so that both the intruder and Snakebite would know there was a witness. That’s pretty crafty, really. When he realized they weren’t alone and got nothing but unwavering pushback, he angrily left, slamming the door.

Who was this ‘Whee-hours Creeping Cuddler? Just some guy that she’d only just met the prior Friday while hanging out on campus. (College is in the mountains, so people are constantly standing or lying around outside, just waiting to be interacted with.) That was just 2 1/2 sleeps from this early morning wake-up call. They had hung out, chatted and Snakebite also gave him a ride to the Walmarts to buy some cold medicine; he was coming down with the crud. Snakebite had Snap-Chatted (I hate that app so much), or whatever the kids call it, with him some over the weekend, but Saturday and Sunday was mostly spent inside trying to stave off a developing sore throat.

What do we know about him…now? Well, this boy isn’t a student, he’s on Tender looking for something, he’s on the verge of being homeless because his roommate is sick of his shit and kicking him out of the trailer. He’s unemployed since being fired from his job at the Mexican restaurant next to Walmart. At 20, The Cuddler doesn’t have a car. Word on the street is that he loves and owns pistols. In the three years as an adult in the eyes of the law, he has been charged with assaulting a woman, resisting arrest, manufacturing marijuana, selling or delivering weed to someone under the age of 13 and sundry misdemeanors. There’s no telling how stuffed his juvie record might be. On Twitter he once posted shirtless selfie-mirror pictures to broadcast a chiseled physique accompanied with an a.p.b. diatribe covering how he’d been bullied in high school for being a fat kid, but now he is jacked. It finished with a simple statement that he wants to be “known”. Are you getting the shudders yet? He proudly boasts that he would never date a girl weighing more than 135 lbs. (Good thing he’s on the short size.) One of his Facebook profiles says that he went to “modeling college” in California and was a Hollister “site model” (millennial-speak for Floor Sales Associate at the mall), but when I googled him, I only found a few editions of Fuzzbusted that he had featured in as a “print model”. Is Snakebite crazy for passing on this prize? I mean, who in the hell gets fired from a Mexican restaurant in the mountains? These are the broadest strokes of the whack-a-doodle who fixated on my baby, figured out where to find her and waited until someone either entered her dorm with their magnetic card swipe or exited the dorm and then he just slipped through a closing door. Within minutes of his dismissal from the dorm, a barrage of angry, threatening, pleading, belittling and scattilogical texts began filling Snakebite’s phone.

D1BE8E69-96D5-41C4-89E3-9184B8045D7EWe are grateful that the ‘Whee-hours Creeping Cuddler is no master-mind. This could be a different post, otherwise. Despite having a poor, not so good plan, he still managed to find his way to Snakebite’s top-floor and end of the hall dorm room to shimmy up her loft ladder without her waking up. She had never even told him what dorm she lives in. I can’t imagine that getting caught trespassing, entering, assaulting two girls and communicating threats will garner this parolee any brownie points with his P.O. (parole officer).  The Cuddler should soon be bunking in his own sort of dorm… I hope he provides “companionship” to a very lonely, cuddling cellmate on chilly nights. What’s worrisome is that if this mountain-top moron was able to get himself inside of Snakebite’s dorm room, it must not be too difficult for any determined uninvited guest to get in dorms.

Friends, please, please, please remind your daughters and her friends to never assume that because they are in their own dorm room they are out of harm’s way. Talk with your kids, but daughters, especially, about how:

  1. Not everybody that they meet hanging out in the Quad is a student. As a college freshman it’s difficult to tease apart the nuances between a student who grew up close-by and an up-to-no-good townie who hangs out on a college campus because in a teensy town, that’s the only place that provides groups of similarly aged playmates. Some townies may even seek buttoning down a relationship with a college kid as a ticket out of their shitty town.
  2. Take new paths…literally. Tell your kids to not broadcast their schedule on social media and to switch up their routines when possible. Walk different routes to classes and back to the dorm. Be unpredictable. Notice what people she regularly sees when she’s out moving around. Be with, and visible to, other people when walking any long distances.
  3. Call the University’s golf-cart-student-safety driver to get her to the dorm at night or to her car parked in a far way lot.  It’s also a great way to meet a bunch of nice guys.
  4. Any guy your daughter meets that comes on too strong and too fast with his deeply personal emotional background information, sprinkled with affirmations that she is the sort of girl that brings out his romantic glow, is bad news. Your daughter needs to trot in the other direction. A fella that stakes a claim on a girl at their first meeting usually has some messed-up impulse control disorder, which is commonly found among a sea of other issues.
  5. If a boy that she has recently met quickly develops jealous opinions and beef over her former boyfriends, wants to know her passwords so he can explore her phone for any evidence of potential rivals, evidence of another romantic relationship or disloyalty, tells her about the past girls and women who have taken advantage of and wronged him only to callously leave and/or he complains that the time she spends with friends or family makes him feel lonely and like he’s not a priority…he is a raging unfillable pit of narcissist neediness and your daughter needs to call an Uber.
  6. Screen capture technology is a threatened girl, or freaked out guy’s, best friend. Tell your kids to screen-shot any sketchy digital-age stuff being sent to them. Save it. It may later be just the evidence a judge needs to issue a warrant or a restraining order.
  7. The door should always be locked. Always, whether one is inside or leaving. Don’t ever hold the main door open for anyone who isn’t known to be another dorm resident.
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