Local TV News Report: Mom Felt Scared in Grocery

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“A Fargo mom is telling local parents to watch out after an incident at a local grocery store,” intones the anchor.

The incident? (And remember my warning about the word incident: Every time you hear it, it means that NOTHING HAPPENED. Otherwise it would be a “crime” or “mauling” or “deadly spider attack.” Incident = excuse to warn about something, period.) Anyway, the “incident” in question was a grocery trip during which the mom got the feeling that maybe she and her daughter were being stalked  because…another couple kept ending up in the same aisle as them. As she told Valley News Live’s  Nicole Johnson:

I noticed a couple that seemed rather close to me. Wherever I went they followed in the same pattern,” she says.

Fearing that they were being stalked, McCloud purposely started wandered to different aisles, watching their behavior. “My mommy instincts were alerted and so I kept an eye on this couple” she says. “And I just kept going through the store. And when I went to the checkout they were right there.

McCloud and her daughter headed for the coffee shop inside the store, sat down and waited until the man and woman left. “It could have been a common shopping pattern or it could have been something a little more sinister,” says McCloud.

Um, that is true.

The mom posted about her experience on Facebook and this went semi-viral with other moms posting that the same thing had happened to them.

Now, naturally, the mom is welcome to post whatever she wants. She does seem extremely nice. And maybe it is modestly newsworthy that her post went modestly viral.

What is not newsworthy is treating the mom’s suspicion as valid, even helpful. It’s like when schools send out notices to say, “A van was spotted near a bus stop today.”

And to add a “Mom on the street” interview to the package with someone just blathering about moms and predators and protecting our kids — wow.

You know what it is when a mom feels scared even though nothing happened, and other moms do too, and they all agree that moms love their kids and want to keep them safe even though it’s a creepy world out there?

That, my friends, is an incident. – L

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This mom felt she might have been followed at the grocery. Oh my.

TV reports on a mom who feels she might have been followed at the grocery. Oh my.

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96 Responses to Local TV News Report: Mom Felt Scared in Grocery

  1. Workshop September 2, 2016 at 11:28 am #

    This happens almost every time I go to the store!

    Of course, it could do with the fact that there are limited number of ways to go through the store. Given the fact that a good number of people are likely in the store at the same time, statistics indicate that you will run into the same people as you meander up and down the aisles. But I think 99% of statistics are made up, so I will run out and decide that the most unlikely answer is the real answer.

    Heck, I even run into the same employees week after week. Must be stalking me.

  2. Brenda September 2, 2016 at 11:32 am #

    As the target and Costco are next to each other near me, I often end up seeing the same people in both stores. Now. I know I should have been concerned. 🙂

  3. ChicagoDad September 2, 2016 at 11:34 am #

    I always have to put on a clean shirt before I go to the grocery store. Even though I live in a city of almost 3 million people, my neighborhood is like a small town in soooo many ways. I always run into people I know at the store, especially if I have baby snot and finger prints on my shirt.

  4. Largebill September 2, 2016 at 11:37 am #

    Oh my gosh! I had that happen to me too. I’ve noticed more than once that other people shop at the same time I do. One time a lady was looking at soups and decided not to get any right about same time I gave up looking for oyster stew. If that isn’t suspicious I don’t know what is! Then I saw same lady putting groceries in her car at same time I was unloading my cart!

  5. Mark Flannery September 2, 2016 at 11:40 am #

    I keep seeing the same people at my job, EVERY DAY.

  6. AmyO September 2, 2016 at 11:42 am #

    Of all the things I’ve ever read on this site, this is top 5 crazy for sure

  7. pentamom September 2, 2016 at 11:46 am #

    See, I’ve occasionally had people following close to me in a pattern that was constant enough that it kind of made me wonder.

    And then when nothing came of it, I realized it had been nothing, which I’d been thinking was probably the case right along. It was always in my mind that these people were probably just following the same pattern through the store that I was, and it was that one in a however many time that it resulted in them being everywhere I was at the same time.

    That’s what’s weird and sad about her thought process here — having a suspicion, having nothing come of it, and then going home and posting it as though it *was* something when it clearly turned out *not* to be something.

  8. pentamom September 2, 2016 at 11:48 am #

    “As the target and Costco are next to each other near me, I often end up seeing the same people in both stores. Now. I know I should have been concerned. ”

    It’s even creepier for me. The Sam’s Club, Walmart, and Target are within half a mile of each other but
    NOT next to each other and I often see the same people. I can hardly sleep for thinking about it.

  9. Beanie September 2, 2016 at 12:00 pm #

    I’ve had this happen to me, too. Not long ago I ran into the same guy 3 times in about five minutes. You know what we did? Made a joke and laughed about it.

    That actually made the otherwise annoyingly crowded shopping trip much more pleasant.

  10. BL September 2, 2016 at 12:12 pm #

    “And when I went to the checkout they were right there.”

    Everybody has to be somewhere.

  11. A Dad September 2, 2016 at 12:13 pm #

    FargoMom – How do you know that you were not following them?

  12. Naomi September 2, 2016 at 12:14 pm #

    You know what’s really creepy is when folks smile at or even interact with my baby in the store. Why don’t they just look away and ignore a baby? Don’t they know that you’re supposed to ignore adorable babies in the grocery store? She might grow up to think that people are nice and that the world loves her! Can’t have that happening!

  13. Robert Monroe, Jr. September 2, 2016 at 12:16 pm #

    OMG!!! The same thing happens to me! When I go into a store I see the same people in the aisles over and over again. I wish I lived in an open-carry state so I could “stand my ground” and protect myself & my family!

  14. Dean September 2, 2016 at 12:18 pm #

    If those strangers had waved at her child, would she have called the police?…that’s actually happened!

  15. jim September 2, 2016 at 12:27 pm #

    Another great story Lenore!

    It is not the mom who deserves ridicule it is the News Editor of the television station with the gall to run this, complete with the word “Exclusive” in the titling. The mom may simply be an air head but the people who own and run the media that contribute to our national psychosis are business people. They need to be regularly called out for this type of story and their Fargo advertisers, or wherever such trash is foisted as “news”, need to be told to not put ads on such a poor excuse for an informative local broadcaster..

  16. Renee Anne September 2, 2016 at 12:37 pm #

    OMG! There are these people that follow us to and from Little Man’s school every single day! I’m so so nervous about it. What do I do? We’ve never spoken to them but my Mommy Feeling is that they’re up to something and want to seal my children from right in front of me!

    /sarcasm

    It’s a frickin’ grocery store and there’s a general method to shopping that most people follow…which includes going down the aisles and picking out food, usually in some sort of an order because, you know, why go from aisle 1 to aisle 8 and then back to aisle 3 and over to aisle 11. I’m sorry, but this woman is clueless and the fact that her story went even semi-viral and that people thought the incident was even worthy of news just shows how backwards we’ve become.

  17. railmeat September 2, 2016 at 12:45 pm #

    Wow. Crazy stuff.

    I keep seeing the same people *all the time* in my town. It’s freaking me out, because I don’t know many of them!!

    Coincidence? I think not. They must *all* be stalking me!

    Remember when we were suspicious of newcomers? Now we are suspicious of folks we see regularly. News flash: THEY LIVE HERE TOO! Which means, we will see the same folks from time-to-time.

    Too many people must live lives of unimaginable boredom. This special kind of stupid is the result.

  18. Gina September 2, 2016 at 12:48 pm #

    If this happened to me….I would smile and say something silly like “it looks like we’re traveling the same path today!”..that diffuses any situation…whether it’s just awkward or truly sinister.

  19. April September 2, 2016 at 12:51 pm #

    I don’t know but personally if I feel uneasy like I am being followed I always pick up the phone and start talking to my husband or ask a employee to help me carry out my groceries. Simple solutions to help ease your nervous with out causing mass hysteria. Way to ND yet again making some thing simple into a huge issue.

  20. Dave September 2, 2016 at 12:58 pm #

    Somewhere there’s a similar post by a couple who were being stalked by a strange mom.

  21. delurking September 2, 2016 at 1:01 pm #

    I’d like the groups’ opinion on this one:

    In my grocery store, sometimes I see the same people aisle after aisle. I’ll go from aisle 1 to aisle 2, and then a few seconds later this person does the same thing, and stays only 10-20 feet behind as we walk down the aisle picking food off shelves. Other times, I keep seeing the same people, but they are going in the OPPOSITE direction down the aisle, so we pass by each other over and over.

    Whom should I be more afraid of?

  22. Vaughan Evans September 2, 2016 at 1:10 pm #

    At least the woman was being circumspect.
    Sometimes, at night, when I walk, when I turn a corner, I approach a woman. Often the woman will stop-to let me pass them-to prove that I am not a predator.

    I think that is god. She is being circumspect.

  23. m September 2, 2016 at 1:13 pm #

    Um, this happens to me all the time in the grocery store. Even without kids. And sometimes I’m the person “following” the other person. Sometimes I’m the person being “followed”

    Why does this happen? People go up and down grocery store aisles is an S pattern. It’s normal human behavior. So the person you see in the milk aisle you will likely encounter in the bread aisle, unless they are going much faster or slower than you. Then when shoppers are finished with their shopping, the go to checkout.

    You know what else happens? People often shop on the same day and time every week. So the person you saw last Tuesday at 2 pm is likely to be at the same grocery store the following Tuesday at 2 pm.

    The horrors of normal human behavior!

  24. pentamom September 2, 2016 at 1:20 pm #

    “She told management what happened,”

    And the manager on duty had a great story about a crazy lady, to tell his buddies the next time they went out.

    “and posted her experience on Facebook in a group for local moms. Others responded sharing similar experiences.”

    What kind of a den of iniquity is Fargo, that multiple moms have experienced other shoppers also moving through the store in the same pattern? I think we need an increase in policing and federal funding to study this creepy phenomenon.

  25. Meg September 2, 2016 at 1:24 pm #

    Once, I was in the shampoo section of the grocery store. There was a guy eyeing me at the other end of the aisle. As he slowly approached, I was getting angry and was ready to rebuff him.

    He walked by and quietly said “Your zipper is down” and continued walking. My zipper WAS down. He was trying to save me some embarrassment of walking around the store with my zipper wide open.

    Not every “incident” is actually something to be frightened of.

  26. theresa September 2, 2016 at 1:24 pm #

    I’ll agree not newsworthy. Who knows if was actually something or really just her imagination and not really anything special. We probably never know. What the news could fuss about is schools acting like fashion police. Don’t like your outfit even though no rule against it now it is. Don’t like someone hairstyle even if clean against the rules.

  27. lollipoplover September 2, 2016 at 1:25 pm #

    “My mommy instincts were alerted and so I kept an eye on this couple” she says.”

    When you think it’s mommy instincts, but in reality…..

    What are the Signs of Paranoia?

    Symptoms of paranoia and delusional disorders include intense and irrational mistrust or suspicion, which can bring on sense of fear, anger, and betrayal. Some identifiable beliefs and behaviors of individuals with symptoms of paranoia include mistrust, hypervigilaence, difficulty with forgiveness, defensive attitude in response to imagined criticism, preoccupation with hidden motives, fear of being deceived or taken advantage of, inability to relax, or are argumentative.

  28. Backroads September 2, 2016 at 1:30 pm #

    So where is the semi-viral post from the couple who felt scared because of the creepy mom and kids kept following their same shopping pattern to the point they had to mad-dash out to their car when the family paused in the coffee shop?

  29. MichelleB September 2, 2016 at 1:31 pm #

    We live out in the country and sometimes a car will turn off of the highway at the same exit and follow me for miles, around several different turns. If traffic is light, it’s really obvious and if I’ve noticed it after the first two corners, I tend to keep paying attention. One or twice, a car has followed me almost all the way home before turning off. It was obviously a crazed serial killer who changed his mind at the last minute. (Or a neighbor. Or someone visiting a neighbor….)

    Just because something trips your “mommy instincts” or your “lone woman driving home at night to an empty house instincts” doesn’t mean there’s an actual threat. It means you look a little more closely and then get on with your life once that moment that isn’t an incident is over. Without making a dramatic scene on public media and going on the local news.

  30. sigh September 2, 2016 at 1:45 pm #

    I’m trying to get the press here to cover a story of real estate fraud, someone is actually preying on vulnerable people and taking money for a project that isn’t going to get built. So far, nothing has been published or broadcast to warn people away from the dubious project.

    I should pitch an imaginary “kids in danger” angle on the issue. That seems to be the top priority for local news, and I’m sure it will air tonight.

  31. pentamom September 2, 2016 at 1:46 pm #

    MichelleB, that kind of thing is exactly what I was thinking of above. Sometimes I’ll notice a car like that following me turn after turn, which isn’t necessarily any kind of threat, because I live in a city, but it sort of makes you wonder after a while if it goes on long enough. Inevitably, because I’ve never actually BEEN pursued by someone out to harm me, at some point the person will continue on when I turn or turn in a different direction. And at that point, it goes completely out of my mind because it clearly *was nothing.* Yet this woman had a similar thing happen and felt the need to post a video about it and get even more worked up when other people said the same thing had happened to them. It’s disturbing how many people actually think there is something there, to this “nothing there, there” situation.

  32. Warren September 2, 2016 at 2:02 pm #

    No matter what bathroom I use, at home or in public the same man is there in the window watching me.

  33. Asparagus September 2, 2016 at 2:22 pm #

    My kids run into the same other kids on their walk to school every single day. Coincidence? I think not. Maybe I should be paying closer attention.

  34. lollipoplover September 2, 2016 at 2:28 pm #

    What she does with her perceived supermarket slight by comparing it to real stalking insults actual victims of stalking and harassment. Stalking is a very real crime that is so damaging to a victim’s sense of security.

    Having another couple follow you from produce to dairy then the meat department, bread, and checkout could actually mean they have these items on their shopping list, too. Imagine that. I get creeped out by other folks at stores routinely. Once, while standing in a long line trying to return something at Wally World, a very chatty man complemented how nice my teeth were several times. It was awkward and creepy to say the least. What am I, a horse?! Still, we were both in line trying to get our items returned. No store manager necessary, I’ll just thank my dentist next time I see him.

    I think many mommies and daddies have out-of-whack radars. Having others give you the heebie jeebies is not a crime. Dreaming up CSI episodes in your mind about bad things happening to your child is really an issue that she needs to take up with her doctor and not report to the local news stations and on social media. There is REAL crime and abuse against children, mostly done by their parents, that NEVER gets reported or given proper attention.
    Yet imagined supermarket stalkings get breaking news. Ridiculous.

  35. Bridget September 2, 2016 at 2:30 pm #

    I often find that I follow the pattern of those I enter the store with.

  36. Becca in Alaska September 2, 2016 at 2:33 pm #

    I’m convinced the cashiers at our local grocery store are planning on kidnapping my kids or maybe just my daughter, she is so beautiful after all. I have four kids, 7,5, and 3 yo twins who are of course always perfectly behavied and quite as a church mouse so I don’t know why people stare at us or feel the need to talk to us. The one bad thing my kids do no matter how much fear I try to instill in them is they talk to all sorts of strangers!! One day while checking out my daughter startes her usual conversation “hi my name is Tabitha whats your name…” The cashier, oh my goodness this still scares me so much I’m shaking, the cashier says “why Tabitha I’ve heard of you, all the cashiers talk about the polite little girl who ask everyone their names and how their day is going”. See it’s a plot, they talk about my kids, their going to kidnap them and sell them for some nefarious purpose I just know it!!

    Sarcasm aside the cashier really did say that they all talk about Tabitha and her brothers who always ask about their day and what they like, etc. It made me smile because I want me kids to be polite and kind to everyone they met and not be scared of people and the world around them.

  37. fred schueler September 2, 2016 at 2:39 pm #

    the math lesson the free-range daughter says she valued most from her home-schooling was: “Random numbers often appear to be clumped.”

  38. Paul September 2, 2016 at 2:45 pm #

    There’s a man on the front of the oatmeal box who is there EVERY TIME I go shopping for cereal. I don’t know how he knows I’m going to be there!

  39. marie September 2, 2016 at 2:56 pm #

    Asparagus said:
    My kids run into the same other kids on their walk to school every single day. Coincidence? I think not. Maybe I should be paying closer attention.

    Nope. Your KIDS should be paying closer attention. We practice only free range paranoia here. 🙂

  40. SteveD September 2, 2016 at 2:57 pm #

    What must a person’s life be like who is forever suspicious of strangers in common situations like that? Those “types” are probably more common than I realize – products of a fear-mongering culture.

    Years ago, when we took our son to see perspective colleges, we saw the same father and son at 3 colleges on different days in 3 different cities, 2 different states. At the 3rd college, we smiled and greeted them and had a nice conversation.

  41. Andrea September 2, 2016 at 3:14 pm #

    My favorite is when I’m driving someone and the car in front of me is going the same direction I am for miles. Yesterday I left home, turned behind a car and they went my exact route to work, so I was behind them the entire 20 minute drive. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were a little weirded out by that, but I would be surprised if it was ON THE NEWS.

  42. Havva September 2, 2016 at 3:25 pm #

    Is she new to buying groceries or something? Or has she just never been eyeing the people around her suspiciously before?

    There is basically one logical path through the grocery store plus or minus a few aisles if you know you want nothing in the category. And plenty of people hit all the food aisles to make sure they didn’t miss anything. Then you go to check out. That’s how grocery shopping works and why this happens sometimes. If she couldn’t figure it out, the “news” reporters should have. When people share their personal psychological disturbance on line the least the “news” could do is not join in and spreading gossip about that person. We seem to suggest counseling for everything under the sun. Yet when it comes to people who are too fearful to make it through and ordinary experience in life, we amplify the fear instead of suggesting they get the help they need. Fearful is no way to live, and it is catching. I wish the evening news would quit suggesting everyone share in the paranoia. Knowing that is a pipe dream, I quit watching the evening news when they started regularly “reporting” all sorts of non-news that “went viral”.

  43. sexhysteria September 2, 2016 at 3:32 pm #

    Well I certainly hope somebody called the police and the suspicious couple was hauled down to the station for an all-night interrogation and background check. People don’t just wind up in the same aisle as you and your child by coincidence. In terrifying incidents like that it’s a good idea to video the suspects with your cell phone so professional investigators can study the evidence later.

  44. beebea September 2, 2016 at 3:33 pm #

    Soooo… even if the couple were following her, what on earth can they do to an adult woman in a public place? Does she really think they will shoot her with a tranq dart, throw a bag over her head, and shove her sideways into a van? You can walk out to your car in the daytime in the busy parking lot, unlock it, get in, lock it again and drive away if you’re so scared. It’s not that hard.

  45. NY Mom September 2, 2016 at 3:41 pm #

    Wasn’t there a famous movie murder in Fargo?
    That would be hard on a community and the effect could be long lasting.
    Community counseling might help.
    Paranoia is unhealthy and saps energy.
    Good luck Fargo.
    My heart goes out to you.

  46. Havva September 2, 2016 at 3:43 pm #

    @Becca in Alaska, that was funny. I just had to have yet another conversation about strangers with my daughter. She is a lucky little girl that some of her neighborhood buddies are in her Kindergarten class. But it looks like her teacher will break them up to separate tables. She asked about what if the kid next to her is a …. stranger? Before I could finish mentally rolling my eyes, my husband recommended that she start by introducing herself, and reminded her that her very best friend used to be a total stranger. 🙂

  47. BL September 2, 2016 at 3:49 pm #

    “People don’t just wind up in the same aisle as you and your child by coincidence.”

    Coincidence should be illegal!

  48. Red September 2, 2016 at 4:03 pm #

    Hehehe.

    Yesterday evening, I left my kid’s school and was headed over to the soccer practice fields about 15 minutes away. There are two ways to get to the soccer fields–if you’re a local, you go through the hills which involve lots of twists and turns but avoid rush hour traffic. If you’re stupid, you go out into rush hour traffic on the major routes and it takes at least five minutes longer.

    So, I’m in line to get out of the parking lot turning left, and I tuck myself in behind the minivan which turned left before me. Both of us go through the various turns in the hills heading out toward the main route which the soccer fields are on. I’m not in a hurry so I’m following at minivan’s speed at a legal and safe distance behind minivan. No tail-gating or any bad behavior like that from me.

    Then the minivan starts acting really damn weird. I finally pass the minivan when we get into a four lane section and minivan actually gets over to the side.

    And I see minivan take a PICTURE of the back of my car.

    All I can think is that minivan thought I was a weird stalker person and was going to report weird stalker person.

    Then minivan turned up at the soccer fields while I was parking. It’s like, hey stupid paranoid person–LOTS of people go from school to soccer fields and know the “secret” route through the hills.

  49. Donald Christensen September 2, 2016 at 5:01 pm #

    The News has to fill their time slot with things to report. If they don’t talk about an ‘incident’ or a paranoid mom, then they will report about a child that was kidnapped 10 years ago on the other side of the world.

    I prefer entertainment such as ‘The Big Bang Theory’ or Tina Fey movies. The News doesn’t cut it for me.

  50. hineata September 2, 2016 at 5:04 pm #

    Oh how I want to move to Fargo….where nothing obviously ever happens. Actually forget that, nothing happens here either, yet we still manage to get the grocery shopping done without worrying about other people daring to be shopping at the same time.

    Heaven knows what the people of Issaquah thought for the few days we were visiting last year….the bro and I chatted with all sorts of people in supermarkets and cafes and probably ended up following the odd person. Must have missed the news reports about the creepy foreigners chatting up locals – or maybe people in Issaquah are brighter than those in Fargo ☺

  51. Valerie September 2, 2016 at 5:17 pm #

    I saw this post and thought it was ridiculous at the time. I have friends that shared it. This is the best written response I’ve seen and the comments are great, as well. So sick of people being scared to live. PS I live in a relatively low-crime suburb.

  52. hineata September 2, 2016 at 5:19 pm #

    @Red – you need a photo of a screaming kid that looks like it’s being kidnapped taped to your back car window, just to add to the excitement of paranoid types like Mrs Minivan ☺.

    My dad liked to go on holiday with either his 3ft toy gorilla, Grill, or a 2ft blowup fly named Louie sitting prominently in the back seat or staring out the back window. He and my mum loved the way kids would invariably come over to the car to ask them if they knew there was a gorilla traveling with them. No doubt in Fargo they would have been on TV for creepily soliciting little kids.

  53. En Passant September 2, 2016 at 5:25 pm #

    Quoted from McCloud’s account:

    “My mommy instincts were alerted and so I kept an eye on this couple” she says. “And I just kept going through the store. And when I went to the checkout they were right there.”

    McCloud and her daughter headed for the coffee shop inside the store, sat down and waited until the man and woman left.

    So the diabolically clever stalker couple predicted McCloud’s route through the store and placed themselves at the checkout just before she got there.

    With predatory stalkers that clever, nobody is safe. /sarc

  54. Warren September 2, 2016 at 6:06 pm #

    Yep she started acting weird so the two loss prevention security continued to follow her. She was acting suspicious.

  55. Anna September 2, 2016 at 6:08 pm #

    Hilarious! Obviously, since each of us tends to follow a pattern in our daily activities, we’re more likely than not to repeatedly encounter the same other people – since they too follow patterns. Somebody needs to study some statistics or something.

  56. Mike September 2, 2016 at 6:13 pm #

    Once I got on an airplane, and saw someone. 3000 miles later, I saw the same person! Did they stalk me all the way?

  57. Taed September 2, 2016 at 6:27 pm #

    I’m shocked that this story hasn’t gone national yet!

  58. Serena Milan September 2, 2016 at 6:41 pm #

    I can’t believe that someone was in a grocery store, filling up their cart, and then stopped at the cash registers before they left! What is going on these days? I would have needed something stronger than coffee after witnessing that mess.

  59. John S September 2, 2016 at 6:52 pm #

    Dear Heavens!
    I, a 62 y o male, just got back home from my weekly grocery trip. While there I noticed four persons, all female–two little girls, with two adults, very probably mother and grandmother. I turned into no less than four aisles and–Dear Heavens!–they within a few seconds turned into the same aisles and walked past me. Those 2 little girls were keeping a very close watch on me every time–Dear Heavens!–though the adults never even looked in my direction, it’s obvious these adults told the girls to look out for a chance to set me up for arrest. How was I able to deduce this? I saw–Dear Heavens!–they had NOTHING in their cart! It’s a very good thing that–Dear Heavens!–I was almost finished with my shopping. Still, while in the express checkout lane, I could SENSE the disappointment those four persons expressed when they realized I was slipping away from their reach! I am safe–for now. But–Dear Heavens!–what happens when I have to go back to the store next time?
    Dear Heavens!
    I’m waiting for others to join me in what is to be done next: Post online, “I’m NOT paranoid! They ARE out to get me!”

  60. chris September 2, 2016 at 8:08 pm #

    Don´t the (media) gatekeepers of society think this is atleast a little useless? People like this would be less likely to raise these issues if we were living in a society that would scoff at and not pay attention to these types of complaints.

  61. bill September 2, 2016 at 9:21 pm #

    She was in Fargo. Maybe the couple looked like Steve Buscemi and Frances McDormand.
    😉

  62. Donna September 2, 2016 at 9:59 pm #

    I just went to the grocery store and my daughter’s riding instructor came in a few minutes later. I’m shocked. She must have been stalking us since the lesson on Wednesday. How else could she have arrived at the store at the same time as us?

  63. bluebird of bitterness September 2, 2016 at 11:07 pm #

    I was stalked for real once, by a disturbed and jealous ex-boyfriend, when I was seventeen years old. Being stalked is scary. Bumping into the same person repeatedly in a public place while doing routine tasks is not scary, unless you’re suffering from a mental disorder that warps your sense of what constitutes actual risk. Someone who equates the two might be in need of a psych evaluation.

  64. Jess September 2, 2016 at 11:40 pm #

    What if they thought you were stalking them, and when you stopped in the coffee shop they saw their opportunity to get out of there without you following them further? Even funnier to think that while you were changing your shopping pattern to avoid them, they were changing their pattern to avoid you, and so you ended up in the same place anyway. They were probably creeped by you giving them the side eye while they were just trying to shop.

  65. Donald Christensen September 3, 2016 at 12:49 am #

    “Don´t the (media) gatekeepers of society think this is atleast a little useless?”

    Of course they do! However they still have to fill their timeslot with something. Actually, I like this story. That’s because it’s so obvious that she is the one with the problem. This says a lot more about News and Facebook than about dangerous stalkers.

  66. Beth September 3, 2016 at 8:22 am #

    I commute by bus, and every morning the very same people are on the bus with me, and a whole different group is on my bus every afternoon. I never thought about it before, but that is one coordinated stalking effort. I’m freaked out now.

    >heads over to Facebook<

  67. Reg taylor September 3, 2016 at 11:26 am #

    Good job for that mom paying attention to her surroundings. Keep paying attention to your instincts. She did not make herself a target and there for she did not become one. Good job!!!

  68. Steve September 3, 2016 at 12:46 pm #

    “Exclusive!” says the heading. Whew! Hey, I’m just noticing this same dog seems to be in my house EVERY DAY!?! Has he been trained to spy on me by some Islamic radicals? Some pervert just waiting for me to let my guard down? Wow. I’m so grateful to this concerned mommy in Fargo to remind me, for my own good I’m sure, that the world is a scary, dangerous place and THEY are out to get me, just like they’re out to get her and her daughter. Thank you, crazy lady.

  69. pentamom September 3, 2016 at 12:54 pm #

    Beebea, her daughter was with her! And of course her daughter is the most beautiful and precious snowflake on the planet so clearly this couple was bypassing all of the other moms with kids in the store just to focus on her!

  70. pentamom September 3, 2016 at 1:00 pm #

    Becca in Alaska, I used to visit the same supermarket at the same time every week after my daughter’s piano lesson, with my youngest son and daughter in tow. More often than not, we had the same cashier despite it being a large supermarket.

    And she struck up a conversation with me one of the first few times, and over the years we did that, she got to know us — so much so that nearly a year after I quit homeschooling and started shopping on a different schedule, I ran into her again and she asked after the kids. She got to the point where she knew how many kids I had, and what the older ones were doing, and that I homeschooled, and all kinds of scary stuff. Had I been as wise as Fargo Mom, I would have known to never set foot in that grocery store again, and would probably have called the police. You just can’t be too careful!

  71. pentamom September 3, 2016 at 1:03 pm #

    “Exclusive!” says the heading. Whew! Hey, I’m just noticing this same dog seems to be in my house EVERY DAY!?! Has he been trained to spy on me by some Islamic radicals? Some pervert just waiting for me to let my guard down?”

    This reminds me of the stupidest of the anthrax scares from back in 2001. Apparently a couple called the police because some fruit in a fruit bowl in their kitchen got some white powdery substance on it. They had to go through the whole routine of having everything locked down and tested, because these brilliant people had never thought to ask themselves how terrorists would have gotten into their kitchen and put anthrax on their fruit, and had apparently never heard of “mold.”

  72. Chue September 3, 2016 at 1:42 pm #

    Fargomom was following them, she kept track of them; watched their behavior.

    Stalking mothers need to be ________ (fill in the blank)

  73. Jill September 3, 2016 at 2:23 pm #

    This was in Fargo? Maybe they were part of the Gerhardt crime family. (TV joke.) And when people talk about their “mommy instincts” or being a “fierce mommy bear” I want to barf.

  74. Jennifer Griffin September 3, 2016 at 3:45 pm #

    Sounds to me like she was stalking them. She was watching them, she waited until they left the store, she went to random aisles so they wouldn’t notice her…

  75. Lavues September 3, 2016 at 4:35 pm #

    This is such a scary experience for the moms out there! That do mean that they love their children a lot that they are so alert in everything, nice post.

  76. Scott September 3, 2016 at 4:42 pm #

    Strangers are constantly stalking me, and also gang stalking me.

    Also the government is listening to my phone conversations and reading my emails.

    At some point they inserted implants.

    Share and like to validate my experience.

  77. Beth September 3, 2016 at 5:33 pm #

    @Jill, I hate those terms too. “Mama Bear” just puts my teeth on edge. But possibly I’m just jealous because, even though I’m a mother, I think I’m missing the “mommy instinct” gene. I have never worried about nor even observed 95% of the stuff on this site, yet my non-special-very-ordinary snowflakes made it to adulthood.

  78. Craig September 3, 2016 at 7:36 pm #

    Geez… The real story here is not the delusions a perfectly trained paranoid mom, it’s why is this a news story at all? @Jim got it.

    This is a perfect example of how news is not at all what people think it is. At best it’s lowest common denominator entertainment, at worst it is DIS-information, Psyops. (Everybody should research PSYchological OPerationS) If you get your information about the world from newspapers, TV news or most internet ‘news’ sources you only have the view of the world that some people want you to have.

    I hope that there was a time where news was about passing on facts, informing people about what was going on (although 40 or 50 years ago or further back, a lot of that information was planted and wrong anyway eg. the Spanish American war). News now is not about WHAT is happening but about how you should FEEL about what is happening, or what you are told is happening. News reporters and editors think this is good work. It’s what they learned in journalism school. Besides, they are only “doing their jobs”, completely unaware of the damage they do to the world. News producers just follow orders from station owners and tell the stories they are told to that come off the news wires. All neatly provided for them. This is a really great illustration – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxlLO2zMYKQ

    News stories now are all about victims. Everybody is a victim. If reporters can’t find one, they’ll make one. How did a local news story about Ford recalling millions of cars turn into a victim piece? Reporters went out onto the street and found the first mom holding a baby they saw and asked her how she FEELS about it, or if she felt unsafe. There are all these dangerous cars around one of them is sure to run over her baby. (I swear that reporters/anchors must be mandated to use the words Safe, Safety Risk or At Risk, a certain number of times per news cast.Count the instances next time.) All reporters questions are about feeling, not information. It’s even better if they can get someone to cry, watch the cameraman zoom in on that. They are told this is quality news. They would never talk to a person who has any kind of development or self-authority because they would never give the answers or emotional responses they want.

    News is a big part of the reason (aside from schooling, advertising and other cultural factors) why a movement like Free Range Kids is needed in the first place. Decades of ‘News” like this has emotionally conditioned people to believe that they or their kids will die if they leave their house.So people will continue to believe that a single white male walking down the street near a school is a threat to someone’s imagined ‘safety’. But people will still know nothing about how the U.S. is compelling NATO countries to park more and more troops and equipment along Russia’s borders with Poland, Ukraine and the Baltic states, while it moves its tactical nuclear weapons from Incirlik Air Base in Turkey to Ukraine. Pushing more and more every day for WWIII. It is the Cuban missile crisis all over again, but in reverse and Putin has been pleading with western media to report what is actually going on, saying “I don’t even know how to get through to you people” But nary a peep do we hear. So stop believing everything you see and start asking about why, or what you aren’t seeing. Time to start examining how you have been conditioned. You won’t like it.

  79. Greg September 4, 2016 at 1:05 am #

    Gee perhaps the mom was suspected of being a shoplifter and store security was watching them. This happens often in retail stores.

  80. JLM September 4, 2016 at 1:11 am #

    Bwahahaha, I read this to my 13yo, and she said, “That mum needs to go die in a hole.” Prob a little OTT, but that’s 13yos for you.

    However, she has a point…of sorts!

  81. Another Katie September 4, 2016 at 9:14 am #

    Craig, it’s time to unwrap the tinfoil; I think it’s pinching off circulation in your brain.

  82. Jim Collins September 4, 2016 at 11:21 am #

    Naomi gave me a chuckle. Several years ago I was grocery shopping and there was a little guy sitting in a cart. He asked what my name was? I said “Jim”. A little while later I’m in the checkout line and he is in front of me. He starts talking to me and his Mother says “We don’t talk to strangers.” He says “That’s no stranger, that’s Jim.”

  83. Red September 4, 2016 at 11:56 am #

    @pentamom: a few years ago, my husband had moved to the PNW for a job and left us in the midwest for a few months before we moved. My kid was a 2nd grader–too young to be left home alone while I did the grocery shopping, but utterly and completely a stubborn asshole about the fact he didn’t want to do the grocery shopping with me. So, I started leaving work on Friday at 3.30pm and going grocery shopping before I picked him up from aftercare.

    After a few weeks, I realized that the exact same group of women were doing the same thing at 4pm every Friday.

    Apparently the store did too. They started a 4pm Friday wine tasting. All us did our shopping and hung out tasting wine for a while.

  84. Matthew September 4, 2016 at 3:47 pm #

    It would be a hoot if that couple would post their concerns about a strange woman with a child watching their every move as they went through the grocery store.

  85. heather September 4, 2016 at 6:54 pm #

    I wonder if anyone explained to this woman that stores are designed for flow patterns and almost all people go in the same direction. I end up in the same row over and over again maybe once every few months but it happens with enough regularity that I realize it is just that we are shopping at the same speed.

    I am most interested in the idea that a male and female couple set off her “mommy alarm” as this alarm is more often triggered by men.

  86. Emily September 5, 2016 at 4:59 am #

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  87. Alex September 5, 2016 at 10:34 am #

    Just a couple nights ago I was returning home from a convention in an adjoining city. I saw a guy at the bus stop where I got on the bus and then saw him again at the bus stop where I got off the bus.

    We were both walking rather quickly in the same direction, but he had a slight head start in getting off the bus so I was basically walking 10-15 meters behind him for the whole 10 minute walk. I worried he might think I was stalking him, and this problem would be exacerbated due to the time being just after midnight and the lighting being poor along our path.

    As it turned out, we were both going to the exact same apartment complex. He used his keycard to get in through the gate and luckily I was just a few seconds slow enough that the gate had closed by the time I reached it and I had to use my own keycard. If I had been any closer behind him, he might’ve thought I was sneaking into the community behind him (unless he recognized me from living around there).

    Not only were we in the same apartment complex, but we were in the same building. I almost expected him to turn toward the staircase and go up to the same floor as me by that point, but no, we’re on different floors.

    The point of my story is that these unlikely events happen sometimes. If she were recording all the times she did NOT repeatedly run into the same person to that seemingly ridiculous extent, those times would number in the thousands (perhaps tens of thousands?). Sheer numbers make it probable that this kind of situation happens to some people sometimes without any malice involved.

  88. chris watts September 5, 2016 at 2:22 pm #

    To all the people who think they are being targeted, tracked, followed, or stalked… I have news for you.. NOBODY CARES. Ask yourself this: “Do you have loads of money? Like millions at least.” No? Stalking someone requires manpower, and manpower costs money. Who’s going to spend that kind of money to stalk a grocery shopping mom in Fargo (choose any of at least 4 states) NOBODY! I am sure your family loves you, and your neighbors, but beyond that, nobody cares. Sorry.

    chris

    PS there is no arguing with a crazy person so the above argument won’t work. But you will feel better.

  89. Havva September 5, 2016 at 10:33 pm #

    We went to the zoo over the weekend and I couldn’t help thinking of this post as we walked toward public transportation at the end of the day I noticed a couple across the street waking the same direction I had near the zoo entrance around the same time we came in, and several times over the course of the day. We neither arrived at opening, nor left at closing. I mentioned then to my husband, and he replied that he hasn’t noticed them. But had noticed several other groups we crossed paths with repeatedly.
    I guess that means our little girl is the cutest ever…. and we should be very very afraid. /sarc

  90. Bob Davis September 5, 2016 at 11:42 pm #

    My reaction was: This “suspicious” couple probably reads the same “household hints” column that you do. Writers of such columns recommend a specific pattern one should follow–canned goods and bakery products first, then produce, and finally dairy and meat items. They may also suggest how to avoid the cookies, “goodies” and salty snacks areas. This is especially true if there’s only one convenient market nearby, so you’re likely to see the same customers fairly often.

    I don’t normally watch the TV news, but my wife, being a New Englander, tunes at 11 PM in for the weather report. The so-called “news” sections concentrate on “police blotter” reports from the high-crime neighborhoods, various events that happened hours earlier, but have an “on the spot” reporter interviewing some gormless local yokel, and here in Southern California, brush fires and car chases. Events that really have an effect on most people’s lives, such as County Supervisors’ budget hearings and State Legislature debates don’t have enough “action” for the “Action News(tm)” producers.

  91. Amy M September 6, 2016 at 5:15 pm #

    The quality of locally produced broadcast news has gone way, way downhill. It’s all fear-mongering. It always starts with “It could happen to you …” or “It’s every parent’s worst nightmare …” Then they proceed with the non-story, non-event of what might have been, could have been, we’re-so-lucky-it-didn’t happen, usually a man “approaching” children. (Hey, is it possible he really is looking for his lost dog?) Then, of course, come the interviews of other parents, usually in the driver’s seat of their cars as they wait in line at the closest school to pick up their fragile little egg children who can’t possibly be expected to ride the school buses that I have to pay for. The man-on-the-street segments, or in this case, woman-in-her-car segments, are the worst of all. These are people who usually know absolutely nothing about the incident we are currently freaking out over, but the news crews fills them in and compels them to comment anyway. So it’s usually, “Oh, that’s just terrible. We must protect our children.” And bingo, we got our 5 p.m. lead story. Run the tease starting at 9 p.m. the day before, telling us about how a child is “so lucky to be home with her family.” For the first amendment rights of nitwits such as this, our forefathers fought and died.

  92. Ravin September 6, 2016 at 5:41 pm #

    In the vein of news that is not news, what do you make of the “creepy clown sightings” in South Carolina?

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/09/05/creepy-clown-sightings-expand-to-second-south-carolina-city.html

  93. ericakawa September 9, 2016 at 2:45 am #

    Sooo…. I read the original face book post before it went viral. My cousin happens to live in Fargo and liked the post. I used to live in Fargo. Now one thing you need to know about Fargo is it is a large college town, you have a lot of people coming and going. Lots of new people. Then people come from smaller rural communities to shop. Also in the past few years more and more people have moved to North Dakota due to job opportunities. This means there are people that are new and never have been in that particular store before.
    When I read this post the mom made me angry and irate. Some one that is different than you enters the same store as you, meets up with some one else in the store (by the way I am thinking it was not that big of a store), and you keep running into both of them, ohh no they are out to steal your baby. To me it sounds like some one new and not familiar with the store layout, and in a big rush. Never once did she say that she interacted with them, or they interacted with her child.
    All these other moms posting ohh good for you. Did you call the cops?? How scary. Drove me nuts. I wanted to and should have commented on the post, but I do not post on friends of friends, also didn’t want to get into it with family (She was my cousin’s friend and she liked the post).
    That women could be me. I am the stranger that stands out cause I don’t look like everyone else. I am also the one running every where in a strange new store in a hurry, not knowing the layout because I have my own children to go get. I am the one that gets the sideway looks. Not everyone that is different is out to get you.
    I almost want to say she should go in and talk to someone such as a mental health profession, but it was one time I am not going to bring my self to her level thinking the worse in everyone.

  94. Adam Kampia September 9, 2016 at 6:05 pm #

    This is a gem, Lenore. Thanks for making me laugh till my sides hurt.

    Did anyone else love the fisheye closeup on the keyboard and pc screen? That alone deserves a Pulitzer for “Best fear-mongering editing.”

  95. Brandy September 9, 2016 at 9:33 pm #

    I’m just thinking one day there will be matching Facebook post about the creepy stalker in the grocery store. Channel 5 will carry the story of the mom and her toddler who was stalked by this man and his 5 years old. Channel 9 will have the story of the man and his daughter stalked by the lady and her toddler who kept giving them weird looks.

  96. Erik Lonnrot September 15, 2016 at 1:34 pm #

    I had a similar experience the other day. This woman and her 4-5 year old child kept following me around the grocery store, I tried going up every aisle in order to shake them off but they kept following me. Now, I’m a 6’2 30 year old male martial artist, but my daddy sense told me that that 5’6 woman and her pre-school aged daughter were up to something sinister. I’m lucky I was able to make it to my car and drive home.