Is my paranoia about the situation described below normal?

A man at my daughter’s bus stop exhibits what I consider to be strange behavior, though I need outside opinions about whether my discomfort is unreasonable.

To begin, my daughter is eight years old in the second grade. At the beginning of the year my wife and I would walk her to and from the bus stop everyday. We see a lot of other parents because we live in an apartment complex, so we don’t really talk to other parents beyond a simple “hello” in passing.

My wife and I both immediately noticed a particular man who would not get out of his car to stand with his child or to meet him when exited the bus, he would only watch and wait for his kid to get on and off the bus. We thought this was strange as none of the other parents do this, and the bus stop is located near a busy highway.

About a month or so into the year he started standing with the other parents, and but his demeanor seemed to express discomfort or nervousness... it would explain his reasoning for staying in the car if he is a person who battles with anxiety, but the rest of his behavior is kind of peculiar.

My wife came home kind of creeped out and explained to me that he approached her after my daughter got on the bus and said, “your daughters really cute. I like her voice...the way she talks is cute.” Nothing to strange to me at the time, but my wife got a creepy vibe.

A day or two later, I was the one to take my daughter to the bus. I noticed the man kept glancing at me and my daughter (in the midst of all the other children and parents) as we waited for the bus. Once they boarded, he approached me and made the exact same comment as he made to my wife- almost like it was a script “your daughters really cute. I like the way she talks...her voice is cute.”

When he said it to me, I was torn between the thought “is he desperate for human interaction and is awkward at it? Or is he a creep that can’t contain his creepiness?” I simply said “Thanks man” and headed home.

Not long after that, I noticed the same nervous glancing at us from in the crowd. He made his way to me after they boarded and started asking me how old she was and what grade she was in. I kept my answers short and tried to give the impression I wasn’t interested in talking.

He never really spoke to any of the other parents.

In the next couple of months he would continue his anxious glancing, sometimes even staring at us from his car at times as we would walk to and from the bus stop. Sometimes he would drive past staring as we made our way up the stairs to our apartment. (I would often try to time it right to avoid him seeing where we went, but sometimes it wouldn’t work).

Then one day, it was necessary for my wife and I to put my daughter into the after school program because of work, so we quit going to the bus stop. But one day I stopped into a local sandwich stop and saw him working behind the counter. He quickly greeted me and without hesitation started asking where we went, if we had moved, and why weren’t we going to the bus stop anymore- almost as if we were friends, though we had only exchanged a few words.

Reluctantly, and maybe even stupidly, I explained that we were putting her in after care because of work.

A few weeks later, I drive to pick up my daughter and as I park he pulls in behind me. Suddenly, he now has his kid in after school too. Nothing wrong with that I suppose, but when you are already suspicious of someone who is getting too personal with you, it sticks out.

So what do you think? Am I being outrageously paranoid or is my discomfort within reason?
Understand that what I’ve described may not sound overtly “crazy” or concerning, but it’s the vibe the guy gives off that adds to the weirdness.

Also, unless I’m friends with a person, I don’t care to know what’s going on with another man’s kid. I can be a bit of an antisocial person, but it would seem most men don’t really pay attention to what other people are doing with their kids, much less probing about their life and complimenting the “cuteness” of a kid they don’t know.

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Comments ( 15 ) Sort: best | oldest
  • You should trust your gut.

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    • ^ listen to this op

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      • A mans gut on these things is usually the right thing.

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        • Even if it’s nothing, which it probably isn’t, It never ever hurts to play it safe.

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  • I would listen to my wife. Women are good at judging characters. A lot of stuff flies over my head but my wife or mom will tell me when someones bad news and they've always been right...

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  • I think this is a creepy story that sort of makes me think you're paranoid. As you stated he did nothing wrong. He may just be awkward and not knowing you, I don't know what creepy means to you. You implied you aren't the best at social situations. Maybe he isn't either and is trying to be friendly and maybe he is also anxiety prone.

    I mean at a bus stop, what else is there to talk about but your kids?

    Granted saying she is cute isn't the best but awkward people exist.

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  • I think it's creepy, and weird.

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  • When your wife got the creep vibe on first glance, I would have questioned her mental health. Normal women look for contraindications before making judgements like that. But one week of eye contact is not normal. This after school stuff is also very strange as well. You've got to protect your kid. Talk to a school counselor about safety precautions.

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  • Wait until he brings up a creepy comment when you are with your kid. Beat the shit out of him, and chances are cops will probably let you walk. Best part the pedo will know that he isn’t wanted in the neighborhood.

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    • Unless its a man diagnosed with autism. Then he'd be on the news.

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      • Then hopefully the autistic has enough brain matter to scrape together to not make comments to children.
        Autistic people can still be pedophiles.

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        • Yes but autistic people have trouble with social skills and can sometimes come off as very awkward. Its possible that the guy is not a pedophile and hes just autistic and has no social skills.

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          • I’m a pessimist you are an optimist let’s agree to disagree about the potential autistic person in question.

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  • He definitely would freak tf out of me total creepy stalker vibe. I don’t blame you for thinking that’s weird because it is.

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  • That really is creepy but still no true evidence that guy is up for something. Just protect your daughter from him in any case.

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