Today something particularly bizarre and disturbing happened to me at lunch time.

I had my lunch at Pitt Street Mall, Sydney, as I do fairly regularly. Nothing strange there. Rather, the strangeness happened walking down the Mall after I’d eaten.

It involves a woman who looked like she was in her 40’s or so, nothing particularly attractive, but not hideously ugly. As I was walking by, I heard someone say “Excuse me”. I turned to see this woman looking at me.

I said something non-specific in reply, it could’ve been “Yes”, or something similar. She paused for a second or two, before asking me if I knew what the time was. At the time I didn’t think anything of the request, but now that I’m recounting the situation, I wonder why she asked me this – my watch was hidden by my shirtsleeve.

Anyway, I pushed up my shirtsleeve (Yes, I was wearing a blue shirt) to reveal my watch, and replied “It’s 12:30”. This is where the weirdness begins. She asks me if I’m married or single. Rather a strange question to ask I thought to myself – there are a number of other marital states these days.

So after pausing for a second or two, I replied truthfully that I was single. Now the story becomes spectacularly bizarre. She opens up her handbag, starts rummaging through it, and says “I’ll give you my number”. Umm, hello? What is she thinking? I’m not particularly attractive, I’m certainly nowhere near her age, and she’s giving a total stranger her number? This must be some sort of joke. I reply “No thanks”, and start to walk away.

She calls after me, asking why, asking is it because of her age? I respond over my shoulder in the affirmative. Next I hear her say something about her having a daughter, but I didn’t quite catch what she said.

I don’t think anything quite as strange has happened to me before. I half wonder what would’ve happened if I’d accepted her phone number.