02
Dec

We all know those people. The ones that are super comfortable with letting it all just hang out. You want to show me how real your fake boobs look by jumping up and down? Okay, fine. You’re only forty and already wearing adult diapers? My condolences. But it’s cool. I can handle random public nakedness and unexpected bodily functions. What I don’t understand is why some people will flash the girls or divulge their bathroom behavior without even knowing my first name. Oh, did I forget to mention that? Yeah, I didn’t know either of those individuals. First example? Happened in a restaurant bathroom. Second example? In a clothing store. Those folks were both perfect strangers to me. Or more importantly, I was a perfect stranger to them.

And that’s my point. When did it all of a sudden become acceptable to assault others with your most personal odds and ends?* Because I see and hear it all around me. Thing is, it’s happening so much nowadays that not only are strangers totally at ease with telling every little detail of their lives to random passersby, but also peeps are now asking completely invasive questions without realizing that it’s none of their damn business.

Allow me to elaborate.

The bank. I had just one quick transaction to make, but upon entering the lobby saw that at least ten people were already waiting in line. Defeated, I slowly walked over and added myself to their miserable company. But then an unexpected angel came to my aid – none other than second-generation actor Scott Caan! Or maybe it was just Scott’s doppelganger. Either way, he said that he could take care of my request at his desk.

Within sixty seconds I was all set. A satisfied customer, I flashed my biggest smile and thanked him for his speedy assistance. As I was about to get up, however, he asked if I had a safety deposit box. Why no, Scott Caan. I did not. He then informed me that I could be eligible for a free one at the bank. Believe it or not, this intrigued me. I have no valuable baubles at home. No deeds or bonds. Nothing that would make it onto “Antiques Roadshow,” but I’ve always had this weird fear of my apartment burning down. Mind you, I live across the street from a fire station and already have a fireproof safe in my home. Regardless, Scott drew me in with his lure of yet another means to protect my social security card and Star Wars PEZ figurines.

I was hooked, and he knew it. Scott then segued into, “So how do you pay your bills?” Umm… All right, I guess it was okay to tell him. He did work at a bank after all. The next words out of his mouth: “Why don’t we take a look at your accounts?” That’s when I began to get nervous. It was like I was getting an impromptu physical and didn’t put on the good underwear that morning.

All of a sudden we were looking at my checking account activity. “So what do you do for a living?” And my savings account. “Do you have any plans for buying a home?” And my car loan. “You had your car for fifteen years? Why?” It was a nightmare. No offense, Scott Caan, but the shiny little placard on your desk that reads “Personal Banker” does not entitle you to ask anything you want about my life. The worst part was that we were within plain sight – and earshot – of everyone in the bank. Scott hadn’t yet received that sweet promotion with the corner office and personal parking space. He didn’t even have cubicle walls. We were sitting exactly two feet from a dozen strangers who now knew how I had financed my car and that my greatest wish in life is to touch others through my writing.

But Scott Caan was on a roll. He wanted to show me how to set up automatic payments through the bank’s online system and asked to whom I owed money every month. He might as well have asked if I’ve ever peed my pants in public. I was in hell. The situation was totally spiraling out of control. And now the sweating began. I wanted to just get out of there, but knew that would entail having to shake Scott’s hand. Not only was I folding under the pressure of his humiliating inquisition, but also was stressing over having to offer up my dripping palm to thank him for it.

Then suddenly I was rescued from my rescuer: Scott’s cell phone started to ring. He glanced first at the phone and then back to me, uncertain of whether he would take the call. I gladly made that decision for him. “Oh, don’t want you to miss that! Thanks for your help!” Leaping up, I quickly slapped his outstretched hand and promptly booked it towards the door. I was eager to make my escape, but nevertheless slowed down and turned around. I headed back towards his desk. Sigh… I knew it. “Will you please log out of my account?” All my financial bits and pieces were still on the screen for everyone to see. Scott Caan, stick to acting.

* I am well aware of my hypocrisy, dear readers. No one’s perfect.

Image: Chris Sharp / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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12 Responses to “You’d Better Check Yourself”

Thank you for this post, Anna! Now I know I’m not the only one. I just had the same treatment at my bank with the same exact MO (helpfully pulling me out of line for the VIP treatment followed by the third degree.). TSA screeners have nothing on these people when it comes to invasiveness.

December 2nd, 2010

hahahahaha!! love it!

Bethany
December 2nd, 2010

and the show Perfect Strangers??? Takes place in Chicago! this isn’t just some coincidence…….

Brandon Del Nero
December 2nd, 2010

Oh man! I am so ashamed… I totally missed that connection. Well done, sir!

Me
December 2nd, 2010

Thanks, sugar! 🙂

Me
December 2nd, 2010

I’m so glad you agree, Dave! While writing the post, I thought maybe I was just too uptight. (Which still may be the case for other reasons!)

Me
December 2nd, 2010

Made me laugh and gave me the willies all at the same time.

SoigneeLA
December 2nd, 2010

The willies, eh? Was it because I said the guy looked like Scott Caan? 😉

Me
December 2nd, 2010

This is hilarious and awesome. I love how you call him “Scott Caan”. 🙂

Annick
December 12th, 2010

Thank you, hon!

Me
December 12th, 2010

Anna, do you think he might have seen this blog post? I wonder if he realized that he was being that way.

December 20th, 2010

LOL, it did cross my mind! Not sure if he realized he was crossing the line, but now I get super nervous when running an errand at the bank & just pretend not to see him. 😉

Me
December 21st, 2010