17
   

What would your gut be telling you?

 
 
chai2
 
Reply Fri 10 Jun, 2011 01:34 pm
I'd like to relate a story of something that happened last evening. It's been something that keeps coming up again and again in my mind. I do always try trust my gut, but I'm wondering what other peoples reactions/observances would have been.

As a preface to all this, I'd like for this not to become some kind of debate judging the quality, or lack of of preceptions. This story does contain references to sexual orientation, whether preceived or real. My intent is not to indicate anyones sexual orientation make them more or less likely to arouse my suspicions, my gut that something is amiss. I am merely going to tell the story as it appeared in front of my eyes. People from all life styles/ages etc. pass in front of my eyes every day, and I personally celebrate the diversity of the people I come across....ok, enough of that.

I go to a arge public pool near my house most evenings. It's a different one from which I've gone to in years past. Bigger, more diverse crowd. I like it a lot. Some evenings crowded, some not. Yesterday was more on the crowed side. I'll be honest, the reason I wear reflective swim googles when going there is because I really enjoy watching peoples interactions, especially parents with their little ones. I don't want them to think I'm staring at them in particular, I just love catching the nuances of relationships. I think I'm very observant about that.

If this story is long, it's because I'm trying to eliminate any questions of what I saw.

When I was going into the pool area, a man, early to mid thirties, and his little boy, maybe 3, 3 and a half, were walking in front of me. The little boy caught my attention because he was just so full of trying to absorb everything around him. He was so happy to be with his dad, going to the pool.

They went off to put their towels down, and I tossed my stuff down and got right in the pool. There was a little girl standing in the water right by the ladder, so I guess that's why I didn't realize we were at the last 2 minutes of a break time, when the life guards make everyone get out of the pool. The lifeguards didn't say anything, I guess they didn't think it was worth it.

I mention this because while I was in the water, before the "everybody can get back in" whistle, I noticed this man, mid twenties, giving me a very intense look. When the whistle blew, I thought "DOH! No wonder he was staring!" My 2nd clue was when more than 25 people jumped in.

Intense look guy (ILG) was Mexican (later verified in my mind because I heard his accent) was with another guy, a little older, maybe earlier 30's, who was white, a little balding, fair skinned white guy (BFWG). They got up together, got in the pool together, treading wather together and talking. If someone asked me at that moment, I would have said it was 2 gays guys at the pool.

This pool is a great mix of all kinds of people. Black, white, brown, gay, straight, gay dads with their kids, and without, lesbians with their kids, and without, straight people with their kids, and without, old young, attractive, average, and other than average looking.

The dad with the little kid ended up standing near me, his little boy jumping off the side of the pool, dad there to catch him, boy paddling 3 feet back to the side, to do it all over again. Again, I noticed them because at one point when the boy was caught up by the dad, he said, very matter of factly "Daddy?"

"yeah?"

"I like to swim."

It was just so sweet.

The dad eventually backed a few feet away from the side with his son, still in standing water, so the kid could paddle around him.

At this time, the ILG and BFWG were swimming (treading really) closer to the edge of the pool. BFWG said in what sounded like a coquettish voice, to ILG "I saw you looking."
I saw ILG quickly glance over and back from what BFWG had said he was looking at, and I saw that it was the dad and little kid. No one was behind them, or around them.

I'll say now that the dad was a totally average looking guy, maybe even a 4.5 on a scale of one to 10. Just a regular dad looking guy. Maybe a little slump shouldered, skinny legs, not unattractive, just not anyone you'd take notice of. Not someone you'd say "wow, that's my type"

Since no one was wandering far from where they were, I could hear what was being said next, and see (because of side looking through my "you can't see my eyes" goggles.)

The 2 guys then had this brief interchange that's hard to describe, but I know we've all heard it.
Like when 2 people know each other well, and they don't need to say an entire thought, or communicates a meaning with a glance, raised eyebrow, a look away, etc.

This kind of thing went back and forth a few times. It bothered me. I looked at the dad and thought "maybe one of these guys, or both of them knows this man. maybe he's gay too. Or maybe he's closeted, that's why they aren't directly talking to him." I watched the dad, and it became clear he didn't have any idea who the 2 guys were, or even for that matter, noticed them. More on that later.

I was, more importantly, wondering if they were looking at the dad, or the boy.

So I don't know, a half hour goes by. The 2 guys get out of the pool and start to dry off, like they're going to leave. the BFWG sitting down on a concrete wall to put on shoes.
At that moment a man came walking by, really handsome, well built. Either he was gay or very metrosexual. He walked between where BFWG was sitting, and ILG was standing. Neither on of them gave him more than a glance. I sure did, regardless of whether he was straight or gay, he was just a fine looking human. I'd already spent some time admiring a fine looking female human.

Within a minute the dad and little boy got out of the pool and they walked between the 2 guys. If I wasn't sure before that the dad didn't know these 2, now I was. He wasn't playing oblivious to them, he was oblivious. He was just a dad walking with his little boy back over to their blankets. Him with his skinny pale legs, slightly slumped shoulders, probably thinking of wrapping it up and driving home.

The reaction was subtle, wouldn't have been noted by anyone unless they were being observed, as I was doing. Both looked, tracked with their eyes, had non verbal facial communication with each other. The ILG then looked down and away, again like the BFWG was going to say something again. It was impossible to positively say who they were looking at.

If the ILG hadn't given me a look when I was in the pool and later realized I shouldn't have been, I never would have noticied either of them. But now I have noticied them.

I'm not asking "what should I do?" nothing happened, there's nothing to do. If I ever saw something happen, you'd have to shot me to keep me from getting involved or telling someone.

The reason I brought up sexual orientation was because in this world, anyone can look at anyone they think is attractive, same sex or not. A gay person can look at someone in a sexual manner at someone they have no business looking at. A straight person can look at someone in a sexual manner at someone they have no business looking at. However, since only men were involved in this, it was a factor I wanted to bring up.

I do know I will notice if I ever see ILG or BFWG again. My gut tells me it's right to notice them again.

  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Discussion • Score: 17 • Views: 11,617 • Replies: 212

 
mags314772
 
  2  
Reply Fri 10 Jun, 2011 01:43 pm
@chai2,
Right now. my gut is telling me they were looking at the little boy.
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Jun, 2011 01:49 pm
It sounds very ambiguous to me, Chai. If one of the 2 men actually spoke to the boy, I would be more concerned (you indicate that the boy's father had no idea who the men were).
mags314772
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Jun, 2011 01:53 pm
@mags314772,
the detail that makes me think it's the little boy is that neither of the men took notice of the fine male specimen passing by.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Jun, 2011 02:03 pm
@chai2,
I don't have a gut reaction - a brain one that the boy is likelier. But of course I don't know. Their eye movements could have been a clue but those can go by in a flash and also might indicate nothing at all.

Good goggles, heh.
0 Replies
 
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Fri 10 Jun, 2011 02:17 pm
@chai2,
I dunno, attraction is so individual, ya know? Especially in that sort of situation, where it seems to be a real-world interaction thing rather than just rating photos on a scale of 1-10.

I can easily imagine that, for example, the guys were gay and were looking for another guy to have a threesome with. In that case they need to find someone who they're not only attracted to but who wasn't way out of their league. They may figure the fine human specimen was way out of their league or even just not what they're interested in, sexually. It sounds like the guys were more in the same league as the dad, looks-wise.

Or maybe they weren't involved with each other, but BFWG was goading ILG into following up on an attraction.

Maybe the dad had absently made eye contact with ILG -- as you did, even behind the opaque goggles -- and ILG thought it was a look while the dad wasn't even really paying attention.

Many possible scenarios from what you describe. My gut doesn't jump to the kid, no. "I saw you looking" is a pretty standard goad amongst people who know each other well, whether they're romantically involved with each other or not.

Could even be that ILG and BFWG are romantically involved, ILG was looking around the way he usually does and noticed the dad and kid 'cause they were cute (like you did), and then BFWG was being a little assholish about it. (Nonverbal communication could've been "Oh come on not again I'm Intense Look Guy for Chrissakes, I'm look around?" "Yeah how come it's always at guys huh?" "It's not, you just think that because you're a paranoid freak!" "You're a shameless flirt!" "I'm not going to get into this again." "FINE.")

If that was the preface, than the awkwardness/hyperawareness when the guy came by again makes sense.

But keep an eye out, sure, why not. See what happens.

(I do that all the time at the pool, too. Yesterday it was a very interesting group dynamic with about six girls, older than sozlet but who I know a little, one of whom I know for a fact is BAD news. She was doing this disgusting manipulative stuff. A girl I like was trying hard to be a mediator, but was having a hard time of it. All of it was about 25 feet away so I got only broad outlines, but it was interesting.)
chai2
 
  0  
Reply Fri 10 Jun, 2011 02:23 pm
@wandeljw,
wandeljw wrote:

It sounds very ambiguous to me, Chai. If one of the 2 men actually spoke to the boy, I would be more concerned (you indicate that the boy's father had no idea who the men were).


Yes wandel, they didn't speak to the boy. However, if my gut is on the right track, perhaps they have had the opportunity in the past (or will have in the future) to speak to a child.

As I said, there's nothing to be done, because nothing happened.

I have done nothing, because nothing happened.

For me, it's important that I have noticied this. Note I don't say "had" noticied this.

They Have been noticied.

There are people in this world that go out of their way not to be noticied. Many bad things happen that way.

If I ever see either one of these men again, I will continue to notice them. If I notice the same type of behavior, I'll remember it. If I notice them over a period of time I will follow what my gut tells me is right.

If for instance, 6 months from now, I approached you and Annie and said "I want to tell you what I have noticed. I have noticied over the last 6 months, on X number of different occassions, those 2 people have (explain my direct observation) I have noticied they have engaged in this same behavior today with you and your daughter. I wanted you to know the observations I have made, because you are now part of that observation.

You can do what you like with that info, as far as monitoring Annie, but I think you would take it into consideration.

I don't believe because something is ambiguous (and I think this has ambiguity to it, but is not "very ambiguous" as you said) that it's not worthy of monitoring and observing.

No blame is being laid, I'm going to obverve.

I remember when John Wayne Gacy was taken in (not at all comparing these things). I heard/read neighbor said the typical, "but he was such a nice man" thing, and then followed it up with saying "it was strange he gave us 5 pounds of spoiled/rotten hamburger for Christmas"

I don't know if that story is true. But did someone, or a few/many someones make observations about him, but they decided not to notice those things anymore?

When Konerak Sinthasomphone ran bloody and bruised from Jeffrey Dahmers apartment, the police decided not to notice, and handed him back to a cannibalistic necrophiliac.
I do know that is true. I worked with Sinthasomphones uncle. Very nice man.

Observing is not taking action.
Deciding when observing should turn to action is the bitch.

I may never see these 2 again. This may be nothing. If I do see them, there's nothing that would keep me from observing again.

chai2
 
  0  
Reply Fri 10 Jun, 2011 02:34 pm
@sozobe,
Respectly soz, sometimes thinking of so many "could be's" blinds someone from "what is"
You're saying "sure, why not (observe them)" implies to me that the tagline of "but it's hardly worth it" should be added on.

I also think that people get confused amongst wanting to make excuses (could be's), wanting to accuse (it must be) and see what is happening in front of your eyes (what is observed)
What I observed is what I observed. At this point, no more, no less.

If something sets off alarm bells, it is worth being noted, and further watched. Not in the "sure, why not?" sense, but in the "this is important to notice" vein.

Many bad things happen because people choose not to be vigilant, and notice.
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Jun, 2011 02:36 pm
@chai2,
chai2 wrote:
If this story is long, it's because I'm trying to eliminate any questions of what I saw.


I understand you want to provide as much info as possible to avoid extra questions. But, how is the info about nationality useful to the reader?
sozobe
 
  2  
Reply Fri 10 Jun, 2011 02:40 pm
@chai2,
The question here is what MY gut would be telling me, though. You lay out as many details as possible to help us make that determination. My gut says it's not about the kid but about some sort of dynamic between the three guys involved.

I lack every bit of information you have though (even a very long post can't get it all in). If your gut is telling you it's about the kid, that's what your gut is telling you. And in that case, keep an eye out. No "worthless" appended or implied.

I'm all for vigilance. I do it all the time, and have definitely stepped in to situations that I observed that seemed problematic for one reason or another.
chai2
 
  0  
Reply Fri 10 Jun, 2011 02:41 pm
@wandeljw,
wandeljw wrote:

chai2 wrote:
If this story is long, it's because I'm trying to eliminate any questions of what I saw.


I understand you want to provide as much info as possible to avoid extra questions. But, how is the info about nationality useful to the reader?


Good question, I left that out, didn't I.

I put that in because the only reason I gave any thought to these 2 as far as them being "together" is that in my personal experience, the gay men and women I see together are more often both white, both hispanic, or sometimes a white person and black person together.
I more rarely see an hispanic and white together, and most rarely an hispanic and black together.

I first noticied ILG because of his looking at me. I noticed them as a probable couple because their combination is less usual.

mags314772
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Jun, 2011 02:45 pm
@chai2,
I say keep your antennas up and your spyglasses on. I have known a passel of gay men in my life, and not a one of them would fail to notice a fine looking man.
Don't overthink this....your gut is never wrong
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Jun, 2011 02:47 pm
@chai2,
I accept your explanation.

I still think the situation is ambiguous, but your "gut feeling" could be correct. A friend of mine worked in dangerous situations as a Treasury agent. In his training, he was specifically advised that he needs to develop "intuition" because it might save his life.
chai2
 
  0  
Reply Fri 10 Jun, 2011 02:55 pm
@sozobe,
Oh, btw, let me tell you about another observation, that made me smile.

As I said, I was walking in behind the dad and boy. Up the incline a few yards away, a "quite large" man was waiting outside the men's room. In addition to be big, he had a number of tattos. Not an exeptionally large amount, but still.

The little boy, typically pointed out and said "WOW! Look at THAT GUY!" More than likely meaning his size, since as I said, for everyday sightings in Austin, he wasn't heavily inked.

The dad said in a low voice "Please don't point and say that about the man"
The little kid thought a second and said "But why daddy"? The man didn't say anything, and the little boy again said "But why daddy"? Not in the way that little kids repeat themselves, but like, really...why daddy?

The dad said "because you might hurt the man's feeling by talking about him loudly"

Later on in the pool I noticed the big man signing to someone, and when he spoke, it was obvious he hadn't been hearing in at least a very long time.

Anyway, it made me smile because, in this case, the man didn't hear the boy anyway.
0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  7  
Reply Fri 10 Jun, 2011 03:13 pm
@chai2,
I can't believe I read all that. I want my five minutes back.
0 Replies
 
Sturgis
 
  5  
Reply Fri 10 Jun, 2011 03:17 pm
@chai2,
chai2 wrote:
As a preface to all this, I'd like for this not to become some kind of debate judging the quality, or lack of of preceptions. This story does contain references to sexual orientation, whether preceived or real. My intent is not to indicate anyones sexual orientation make them more or less likely to arouse my suspicions, my gut that something is amiss. I am merely going to tell the story as it appeared in front of my eyes. People from all life styles/ages etc. pass in front of my eyes every day, and I personally celebrate the diversity of the people I come across....ok, enough of that.
I sincerely doubt that since you are judging a man by his accent ("verified" as Mexican, judging a man by appearance "gay or very metrosexual"

chai2 wrote:
Intense look guy (ILG) was Mexican (later verified in my mind because I heard his accent) "
because nobody could fake an accent. By the way, Mexico is a big place and like the U.S. has several different accents and Mexicans in the U.S. have different accents depending where they are located.

chai2 wrote:
This pool is a great mix of all kinds of people. Black, white, brown, gay, straight, gay dads with their kids, and without, lesbians with their kids, and without, straight people with their kids, and without, old young, attractive, average, and other than average looking."
How about just saying it's a pool with lots of people? By doing the " black. white, brown, gay, straight..." you've destroyed any credibility of being open minded, showing you're really just another sanctimonious bigot.


chai2 wrote:
At that moment a man came walking by, really handsome, well built. Either he was gay or very metrosexual. He walked between where BFWG was sitting, and ILG was standing. Neither on of them gave him more than a glance. I sure did, regardless of whether he was straight or gay, he was just a fine looking human.
if it don't matter what his sexuality is then why mention it?

And by the way, how can you spot a homosexual? Is there a rainbow arced over them?(yes, I'm pissed, I detest fools that decide a persons sexuality by appearance).
chai2 wrote:
The reason I brought up sexual orientation was because in this world, anyone can look at anyone they think is attractive, same sex or not. A gay person can look at someone in a sexual manner at someone they have no business looking at. A straight person can look at someone in a sexual manner at someone they have no business looking at. However, since only men were involved in this, it was a factor I wanted to bring up.

Are you for real? You are aware that you've branded pedophiles that prey on boys as homosexual. Many are not.


cahi2 wrote:
I'm not asking "what should I do?" nothing happened, there's nothing to do. If I ever saw something happen, you'd have to shot me to keep me from getting involved or telling someone.

Nothing happened? If you truly gave a rat's ass, you'd have said something to the little boy's father. Pedophiles often track their victims. What happens the next time the 2 men are at the pool and the father and son are there and you aren't? Has it dawned on you one of these men may distract the father in some way while the other takes the boy?

chai2 wrote:
My gut tells me it's right to notice them again.
and my gut tells me that while you may care somewhat, you don't care enough to protect that little boy. Waiting for another incident is just inviting a predator to continue unhindered.




chai2
 
  0  
Reply Fri 10 Jun, 2011 03:18 pm
@wandeljw,
wandeljw wrote:

I accept your explanation.

I still think the situation is ambiguous, but your "gut feeling" could be correct. A friend of mine worked in dangerous situations as a Treasury agent. In his training, he was specifically advised that he needs to develop "intuition" because it might save his life.


I have a question for you wandel.
Do you feel you have a good gut for things, meaning acknowledging that part of your brain is connecting dots that are there, but not seen at a more obvious level.

btw - I don't think this situation is a non-obvious thing to me. but to others it might be.
I'm wondering what this is saying about us and our levels of seeing things.



ok, relating back to what soz was saying, and the could be's.

Yes, slowing down and backtracking, I acknowledge that any of the scenerios soz presented for instance, and more that she didn't occured to me.

I have, don't know if this is the best way of expressing it, a mental rolodex in my head.
We all have one.

In most situations, when something presents itself to us, we automatically reach in and grab the right card, since we use it so often.
Many situations, there's a few cards that can apply, but we just as quickly decided which one is best.

Sometimes it's a situation like this, where we don't have an exact card written. There's a bunch of cards that hold some possibilities.
I think some people like to pull out all the cards, and keep them all out, picking from all, most or some of them things that could be.

Me, and I'm not alone, flip through the cards, acknowledging the "could be"s but tagging that one "not likely" to various degrees.

I've had more time to think about this than anyone here. I did ponder other things, seeing if they fit. Because I was there, and you're right, it's impossible to list everthing, I had to go with the one that would potentially keep any harm from happening, at least on my watch. I can't explain the look on the BFWG face when he said "I saw you looking" that said this wasn't flirting with the "ILG" But, it wasn't flirting. It was more like "I see it too"

At one point, and this is the first time I'm ackowledging, even to myself I thought "these 2 are partners in this" as in working together towards something. Funny how I didn't remember that until right now. Rethinking it, it still feels not entirely wrong.

Might it come at some time I feel to hand the night watch over to someone else? Maybe, maybe not.
I can just do what I feel is right in the present.
CalamityJane
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Jun, 2011 03:20 pm
I strongly believe in intuition, gut feelings, or whatever you might call it.
It's not so much what you see and hear, it is your sub conscience that is alarming you. So there must have been something about those 2 guys that
made you notice them and that made them stand out in a large crowd.

Pedophiles aren't necessarily gay, and if these 2 guys were indeed checking
out the boy, it would make sense that they did not notice the good looking
guy walking by. As I said, your sub conscience sent you signals, one cannot
always explain why a certain situation seems alarming and why others aren't but I certainly would pay attention to them, should they frequent the public pool as well. Even if they starred at the Dad, it's kind of strange, since he obviously is a family man and had no interest in those 2 guys.
0 Replies
 
wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Fri 10 Jun, 2011 03:41 pm
@chai2,
chai2 wrote:
I have a question for you wandel.
Do you feel you have a good gut for things, meaning acknowledging that part of your brain is connecting dots that are there, but not seen at a more obvious level.


To be honest, I feel guilty when my impressions about someone turn out to be wrong. As a result, I make an effort to be "unassuming."
chai2
 
  2  
Reply Fri 10 Jun, 2011 03:44 pm
@Sturgis,
Sturgis, do you realize that you did in every instance exactly what I was hoping would not happen?

The only important this I'll address is the following, since the rest of what you said is incorrect.

Indeed, nothing happened. I was not going to leave that pool until either the 2 men left, or the man and the boy left. I didn't feel at the time I first wrote this it was worth saying. Maybe it was.

The man and the boy left alone, and had plenty of time to get in their car and leave.
The 2 men left long after the man and boy left, long enough even that they could not have followed in a car.

I understand your anger, as you're gay.
However, it appears you're the type of person looking for insult.

I clearly stated why I mentioned sexual orientation. I'll repeat again...because it is part of my observation. If I had left that out, I might as well have left out something else, and something else, and something else.

Then, one of the usually suspects would have been by proposing the very things I left out, causing me to have to now make multiple qualifying posts over what happened. I figured it would be more efficient to get the entire story out, or as much as possible, to there would be little question as to what I observed.

As far as "why didn't I just say I saw a pool full of people"?

Well, because people reading this would not have seen as closely the pool of people I saw.
Some would have seen a pool full of Southern Baptists, because that is what their experience is.
Some, a pool of children, some a pool of people swimming laps, being athletic.

I'm not going to apologize for seeing, and acknowledging diversity Sturgis. That does not make a person a bigot.

A person who looks at a group of people, and does not see the difference is not a non-bigot, but a liar.

People have pride in who they are. I don't believe they want other people to ignore their background, what is important to them as far as culture, sexuality, background.
If we were working together on a project Sturgis, I would not want you to just think of me as a people, the same as that other group of people standing over there. That group of people don't want to be known as "we're that group of people, no different from that group of people"

Equality?
Of course.
Sameness?
No, we're different.
In being afraid to say those difference out loud, we are saying those differences are something to be ashamed of.


So that people would not see the pool of people they alone would imagine, I told them of the pool of people that were actually there.

Yes, they were a group of people. They were a group of white, brown, black, gay, straight, young, old people.

Sturgis, you are gay.

Ok, does that saying that make me a bigot or a homophobe?
Why would it? You yourself have said "I'm gay", so what is wrong with me saying it? It's not a dirty little secret. It's just part of who you are.

As I expressed, gay people do things they shouldn't be doing, as does any other flavor of person.
I was trying to, as factually as I could, paint a picture of what was in front of my eyes.

I suppose I could have dumbed it down and said "I was at the pool and saw someone maybe look at someone funny"

That would have been basically useless.

0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

 
  1. Forums
  2. » What would your gut be telling you?
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 10/16/2019 at 08:28:42