This here’s another one of my favourite stories to tell:
I play hockey with a bunch of guys at work. Because I’m the only chick, I get a changeroom to myself. The way the changerooms are set up at the rink is you’ve got 1 and 2, with a bathroom in between, then 3 and 4, also with a bathroom shared between them.
On that particular day, I was the first one at the rink. I had gone to the farthest changeroom, #4, entered, locked the door behind me, dropped my stuff, then went into bathroom to pee. When I came out of the stall, I was surprised to see a guy standing there by the sink.
I didn’t recognize this guy. He looked to be youngish, in his twenties maybe, not very tall, sort of a typical hockey kid in a hoodie and a baseball cap.
“Oh. Hey,” I said, dipping my head apologetically, as if to say, “Sorry that I’m a girl in a place that usually houses men.”
“Hey,” he replied back.
I washed my hands, annoyed that there wasn’t any soap, conscious of the fact that the guy was watching me, probably waiting for me to get out of there so he could use the stall, I thought. No paper towels, so I left the bathroom to go back into my changeroom and dry my hands on my towel. When I turned back to lock the door to the bathroom, I saw that the guy had followed me into the changeroom.
“Hi…” I said questioningly.
“Hey,” he replied back again.
“You comin’ out tonight?” he asked.
What does he mean, I thought. Is there some party that I’m not aware of that he thinks I’m attending? Does he think that I’m playing against his team? Don’t be dumb, it’s just a hockey term meaning am I playing hockey, I told myself.
“Uh, yeah, I play with some guys from work…’ I said.
“Oh, that’s cool,” he said.
“Well, I guess I’ll get changed now…” I said. To which he replied…
“Do you need any help?”
And that’s when all the hairs on the back of my neck went “Sir! Yes sir!” and stood at attention.
Me: “Uh, no.”
Him: “Are you sure? Cuz I could help you get undressed.”
He took a small step toward me, staring intensely.
So you know how you hear about how in moments of danger, people think strange things? What was going through my mind was the fact that I’d been practising jump kicks with my trainer at the gym earlier that day, and would I be able to pull something like that off if I had to. Also, I noticed that the hairs on my arms were also standing up, which is a very strange sensation indeed.
Me: “Uh, yeah, I think I’m old enough to be your mother,” I half-laughed, hoping I didn’t sound as nervous as I felt. And then he said…
“Are you sure? Because I’m 19.”
Classic. I would have squealed and jumped up and down clapping my hands at the perfection of this line had I not been fully freaked out at that point. Instead, I quickly zipped past him, unlocking and opening the door to the rink in what seemed like one movement, and said, “Yes, I’m sure.”
“OK, OK,” he relented, and stepped through the door to the bathroom. But as I came back in to shut and lock the door behind him, he stopped and turned back.
“Are you sure?” he repeated once more, in I guess what he thought was the most alluring way possible.
“Yes!” I practically yelled, slam-locking the door behind him. Then I locked the other door, sat down on a bench, and giggled maniacally to myself for a few minutes before I calmed down.
The story of my changeroom admirer soon spread (mostly by me) through the ranks of my fellow players. Interestingly, the younger single guys to whom I told the story all reacted to the tune of, “Allll right! Still got it!” whereas those with wives and girlfriends showed concern and promised acts of violence should the kid ever make another appearance.
The following week, I pulled up to the rink parking lot to see the kid sitting out front again. I realized that the previous week, he’d probably watched me walk in and followed me. I thought about what, if anything, I was going to say to him. I’d planned to let him know that how he’d behaved had been really creepy, and give him the benefit of the doubt that he’d had no idea.
But I never got the chance because before I could approach him…
…wait for it…
…his mom picked him up!
Or perhaps it was his date. Sadly, I’ll never know.
Originally posted May 22, 2012