I was on a walk with my wife and dog when I happened upon two Kodak photo prints face down on the street. I picked them up and found pictured two of the most precious little girls I have ever seen. I carried the pictures home and remarked to my wife that it was too bad the parents of these children had lost these priceless pictures.
As we neared our house, it dawned on me that I had seen these children before. I rifled through the filing cabinet in my brain to place the faces on these darling little ones… and… gradually… I remembered where I had seen them… They had been playing outside of a house in my neighborhood… and that house… where was it located…? Ah, yes. That house was two streets from ours…
And, then I realized. I had picked up these photographs from right in front of their very own house. The pics must have blown out of their yard and onto the street. Then some strange passerby (me) picked up their pictures and kept on walking.
Enter my dilemma. Now that I have taken these beautiful pictures home, what do I do with them? In my heart of hearts, I'd like to return them to the girls' parents… but how?! How can I deliver these pictures back to their rightful owners without appearing to be a total creep? What do I do? Do I walk back over to their house, knock on their door, and say, "Hi, I have these pictures of your daughters"? Certainly, they'll think I'm some sick stalker or predator. Then, when they ask where I found them, if I'm honest, I'll say, "I found them in front of your house." I cannot imagine that "borrowing" pictures of neighborhood children can be good for my local image. Plus, paralyzed by indecision, I've now been in possession of these pictures for six days. Each day I wait to return them will make the interchange that much creepier.
I have other options. I could return the pictures to their house when I believe no one is home, by slipping the photos inside their door or in their mailbox. But this raises brand new creep issues. I'd have to case the house well enough to know when the family is in and out. This would involve lurking in the bushes with my binoculars, donning fatigues and camouflage face paint, waiting for the family's departure. Then, when I return the photos, I need to be absolutely certain that neither the family nor their immediate neighbors spy me with the package. And, what will they think when they find pictures of their children in their mailbox! Certainly, this is the hallmark of a real sicko. All that would be missing is the menacing note with words and letters cut out of magazines and newspapers.
So, if I do return them anonymously, I should probably take care to remove my fingerprints (is this even possible with photographs??? If you know, please let me know), else I'm likely to have the police knocking on my door wanting to ask me a few questions…
So, in order to avoid total creepiness, I have tentatively decided not to return the gorgeous pictures. Which is a real shame, because these kids are just too cute.
Enter dilemma number 2. If I decide not to return to images, what should I do with them? It seems such a shame to just throw these angels away…right? I must repeat that these are two of the cutest girls I have ever seen. The real sickos of this world (a group of which I take great care to not count myself a constituent) have made it difficult for non-sicko adults to admire the cuteness of small children without being made to feel like complete perverts. (As an aside, our former neighbors also had a very cute daughter whose utter cuteness and innocence I couldn't help but admire… yet, I always felt nervous when I watched her playing outside for more than a few seconds at a time… for fear that her parents would see me looking at her through my window and think me some sort of threat…Come to think of it, I hope that's not why they moved away… oh, dear…)
So I fear returning the pictures would make me seem a creep, but throwing them away seems a crime. If I'm not going to return them, I'd really like to hang them on my refrigerator, though this might not be such a great idea. Guests of our home might ask me who these children are… and I'd either have to tell this story (and pray they don't turn me in to the authorities)… or make another one up… which is risky, because what if they know these children!
You would appreciate my predicament even more if you could see just how adorable these little ones are. I'd like to scan the photos and post them on my MySpace page for my readers to see, but I think that this is probably out of the question.
Creeps give people like me a bad name.
Originally Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2007
(Then) Curent Mood: stressed