Scenario: I'm in the children's section of Half Price Books -- Caleb is on the other side of the store with Alice. I'm dressed in sandals, black skinny ankle-capris, a t-shirt, and a striped headband, and I've got a stack of interior decorating books in my arms. Needless to say, I look pretty threatening. A little girl who's about 6 sits down nearby and eyes me.
Girl: Do you know where my mom is?
Me: (with concern) No, do you?
Me: That's good!
(I continuing perusing the shelves)
Girl: Are you a stranger who takes kids?
Me: (laughing) No, I'm not a stranger who takes kids.
(The girl looks me up and down, suspicious)
Me: My husband is across the store with our baby girl -- I take that kid, but she's the only one. (I smile)
Girl: Look at my book! It has eyes on the front that you can move, see? Aren't they funny?
Me: Ooo! That's pretty crazy!! You should make them cross-eyed.
She's moving the eyes around when, a few feet away, her mother says softly, "Come here, honey." The girl skips over and exclaims, "She said she doesn't take kids!" I'm laughing, and look over at the mom with a smile... she does not return the smile. She gets down on her knees, looks her child in the eye, and "whispers" seriously.
Mom: If she took kids, do you think she would tell you?
(The girl's demeanor immediately changes and she becomes serious. MY demeanor changes from lighthearted to seriously annoyed -- does this mom honestly think I can't hear her? No. I think I'm supposed to hear her. I am the wicked kid-snatcher now)
Mom: Don't talk to strangers, okay?
I try again and look at the mom with a smile. Nope... nothing. My annoyance made official, I trek across the store to Caleb, share the story, snatch Alice, and we bring the whole fam to the children's book section. Alice on my hip, I stand close to the mother and daughter, displaying how legit I am... how non-evil I am. I think, "She has noticed me. It's all better now -- she knows how psychotic she was being about the situation! I've got my DAUGHTER with me and she sees me!" Then her husband walks up. Again, I'm standing right there and I KNOW she sees me. The woman turns to her husband and, again, I can pick up on her skillful "whispering."
Mom: ...and she said that she didn't take kids.
Seriously. She was for real. I probably stole Alice just to look innocent -- and before you can blink, I'm snatching your kid up, in public, in front of the parents, in broad daylight. I wanted to turn to Alice and "whisper," "Don't listen to crazy ladies who are moms to kids that are good-natured and friendly, but want to destroy that good nature by making them terrified of strangers!"
"Whispers" with a message to the bystanders. ...Eh, I mean, with a message to the kid-snatchers. Watch out, kids. The Julie is here... and she's gonna getcha!!