Have you ever done anything in complete innocence that turned out to be kind of creepy? I have.
I’m not talking about accidentally making a comment that’s filled with innuendo and warrants a “That’s what she said” response. (Although, in fairness, I suppose that can qualify.) For now I’m talking about actions, not words.
For example, a few years ago I wanted to send my fourteen year old niece a little thank you treat for giving up her room to me at our annual family reunion at my brother’s (her father’s) house. I noticed that she had a lot of Pink-branded stuff (comforter, pillows, sweatshirts, etc.), so I decided to go online and order her a Pink gift card. I didn’t realize until it arrived that said gift card would be branded with the name of the company that makes Pink: Victoria’s Secret. That’s right, I sent my 14 year old niece a Victoria’s Secret gift card. Innocent? Absolutely. Creepy? Beyond.
This week I was reminded of another inadvertent creepy moment involving teenage girls as I set my DVR for Miss USA 2013 which airs on NBC on Sunday night at 9/8c.
Two years ago I was a judge for Miss Teen USA at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas. The judges table was perpendicular to the runway jutting out from the stage, and I had the middle position among the seven judges that year. Since I was dead center, each contestant basically walked right up to me before turning on her heels and heading back to the main stage.
I had been out all day in the hot summer sun, so my skin was dry and my lips were a bit parched. I remembered to slather on lotion but forgot to apply my trusty Kiehl’s lip balm before heading to the event. Out of habit, I kept licking my lips to keep them moist, not thinking about the fact that I was basically looking up at teenage girls and licking my lips as they paraded toward me. During the swimsuit competition. Creepy!
When I realized the error of my ways, I whispered to the three judges on my left, “Does anyone have any Chapstick?” They all shook their heads sympathetically. So I turned to the three judges on my right and posed the same question. Two said no but the judge sitting right next to me, a dermatologist to the stars, informed me that she had a coral-colored lip gloss that would do the trick. She promised me that it was dark enough in the auditorium so that no one would notice the man with the glossy coral lips. At this point I was desperate, so I took her up on her offer.
Seconds after I discreetly applied the gloss, the host of the live event declared, “Let’s meet our judges!” and suddenly my giant mug was on the jumbo screens that flanked the stage. As you can imagine, I was mortified.
That said, in the hierarchy of creepiness, licking one’s lips at teenage girls trumps a man in lip gloss, so I stand by my decision.