I had a friend in high school. He was nice to me. He drove me to school in the morning with him and a few others, so I wouldn’t have to catch the bus. On my 16th birthday, he gave my boyfriend a dozen roses to give to me (his family owned a florist shop.) When I decided to chop off all my hair randomly one day in the school parking lot, he lent me his katana to do the job. We ran a Dungeons & Dragons game together for awhile, and he always provided enough Mt. Dew and Doritos for everyone.
“Wait,” you may be thinking to yourself. “This guy doesn’t sound like a creeper. He sounds like a nice companion or friend.” And to me he was nice, and a friend. I wasn’t the object of his affection – someone else was. When I met him, he was hung up on a girl bad. He talked about her all the time. He had a keychain lanyard that spelled out her name. They’d never even dated. In fact, when he’d asked her out, she’d clearly said she wasn’t interested in him romantically. He’d been friendzoned, and he wasn’t dealing with it well.
I do imagine he got over her, and knowing the support network he had, I imagine he has amended his creeper ways over the last 13 years. In high school, I knew it bugged me that he wouldn’t just move on, but I didn’t know why. A creeper is someone who behaves in a creepy way. He (or she, or xe) may be a good friend, a courteous host, and a nice companion to others despite being a creeper to one person. It’s so easy to recognize black hat villains, but so hard to see where we are letting things slide or not calling out creeper behavior, because it’s coming from someone we like.