I remember when "stalking" was unique to relationships. But now we use it in every day language:
"I've been stalking that girl with the chicken skewers because it's by far my favorite refreshment at this cocktail hour."
I am under the impression that everyone has stalked someone at some point.
The most common thing I see is celebrity stalking. My sisters or girlfriends will go out in the West Village looking for famous people. It's funny how the price of fame is that you are suddenly targeted for stalking. And, us un-famous people think that's ok.
Like my relationship warning system, I've laid out the stalking levels along with the terrorist levels:
Green - Low Risk of Being Stalked
You've just dumped him or rejected him. He has a few unsavory words for you and secretly hopes that your heel gets stuck in a grate on the street or some other slightly embarrassing thing happens to you. He might see what you're up to on Facebook or something, but at this point he's harmless.
Blue - Guarded Risk of Being Stalked
He's a little bit more pissed off. This is where he starts emailing or calling too much after you've repeatedly told him to stop. This goes away after a while when he finally gets the message that you're not interested. But after we pass the Blue level, things get more and more psycho.
Yellow - Elevated Risk of Being Stalked
This is the classic stalker: he's lurking outside your window or doing the peeping Tom bit. But he hasn't infiltrated your house which is a huge step. He's watching from afar. He's depicted in movies as the one taking pictures of his victim while she does every day things like shopping for groceries. And, he takes the final step of getting even closer into your life: sending unwanted gifts, or correspondence.
Orange - High Risk of Being Stalked
He's infiltrated everything sacred to you. He's contacting friends and family trying to get to you, he shows up at your work, etc. He's gone from being a hidden character lurking in the shadows watching you to actually showing up. At this level and higher, it's probably more about intimidating you than ever dating you.
Red - Severe Risk of Being Stalked
He's everywhere. He's capable of doing the old "Lifetime Movie Move" where he goes through your underwear drawer and sniffs your underwear like a freak-not sure why people like doing that. He could be in your bed, your shower, your garage. This is where you need a full on restraining order, if not the level before. If he's willing to go this far, he's capable of anything.
I don't mean to make light of any of this. It can be really traumatic and frightening for women who are stalked.
I've never been stalked beyond getting contacted by a girl too often when I'm not interested, but I've done the regular stalking behaviors that any simple fun-loving "Green Level" stalker would do.
College was the best place to stalk-they actually published a whole book with the names of people and what dorm they lived in. Stalking seemed accepted in college too, not exactly sure why. I used to cater my trips to the dining hall around the meal times of the girls I liked.
The internet is the ultimate stalking tool. If applied correctly, you can find out information about anyone and know what they are up to (i.e. on Facebook a person writing that their status is: "Heading to so and so bar for happy hour").
My good friends at Gawker (owners of my even better friends: Jezebel) have created something that every savvy stalker wish they had: the Gawker Stalker tool.
I've wished that I could do something that would resemble stalking but I've pulled away to make sure that I was not stalking. But I've never assumed a girl loved me, which is a big piece of stalking.
I'm usually pretty sure the girl is not interested in me at the outset of whatever we do, so no reason to follow her around after she's done with me.
A lot of times, I hear my girl friends being oversensitive to stalking:
"Oh my god this guy is STALKING me. He's called me twice in a week."
Really? Is two calls in a week stalking?
This is why I'm so worried about calling/texting too much.
At what point do you start feeling stalked by someone? Do you have any stalking nightmare stories? Have you ever been accused of stalking, or felt like you are stalking? If we all are stalkers on some level (hopefully mostly green), what are some tactics you've used?