Now here I was again, age thirty-four, in my pinstriped work pants and my good-enough shoes, sitting around the conference table in the volunteer department with my paperwork in front of me, sneaking looks at the other prospective candidates: A young white girl with her hair in braids, looking to earn college credit, a black woman in her forties, also going for college credit, and a bald, muscular guy with a big tense grin. When the volunteer coordinator asked him why he was interested in volunteering, he grinned so hard he almost broke a sweat.
"I love kids!" he exclaimed. "I've been a foster parent, and I'm really…I love kids. Wanna help 'em out." Grin, grin.
Creep, I decided, for no good reason. Child molester. It was something about the muscles; I could picture him screaming at his foster kids, shirtless, while he made them do push-ups. He grinned at me, and I smiled back, weakly.
Foster parent? Man? Muscles? Must be evil.
On the other (non-sarcastic) hand, if anybody has good radar for creeps, it's probably somebody who found herself in a shelter when she was 12. Still, it's tough to read and not wince and wonder: Who sees me that way when I smile and talk about how much I love kids? Ech. Not that, erm, I have muscles, really. But this makes one want to not go to the gym, for sure.