While spending some time with my man friend (aka the love of my life, Dan) at a local mall, I had an almost encounter that filled my chest with feelings of amusement, anger, and a pinch of embarrassment. I classify it as almost because the encounter had happened when she was already behind me. Allow me to explain:
Have you ever had a moment where you’re sort of lost in your own thoughts, eyes mindlessly drifting from face to face as you pass through a crowd? You are aware that you are looking at people, and not just space, even (especially) when you catch their eye, but you look anyway because, you tell yourself, it is only for a split second. And it’s always a mutual agreement between you and that person – it’s harmless. Still with me? Okay good.
That’s normal. However, there are the rare cases when something about that person catches your attention, unintentionally. You’re still “staring off into space” but now you are slightly more aware that you are staring at someone because you choose to stare longer. It still only lasts a matter of seconds, but this unexpected “overtime” causes a severe misunderstanding in your subject; now that you have exceeded the split-second window of acceptable staring, you are officially “grilling” them. This is a serious no-no.
I got schooled on the topic of (in)appropriate eye wandering by a girl, walking towards me, who must have been at least 5 years younger than me. She was walking with a boy who had noticeably dyed his hair platinum blonde in the last week or so. Actually, of the two, he’s who originally caught my eye, for obvious reasons. I was going to look away, returning to Dan and what we were talking about, when all of a sudden, before I knew it, I was looking at Judy Attitudey. And what’s more, my eyes had overstayed their welcome in her general direction.
To make a frighteningly long story a little shorter, she was pissed. As we were escaping each other’s peripheral vision, she raised an eyebrow, practically curled her upper lip into her nostril, and her face took on this absolutely disgusted look (similar to the one happening in my brain when I saw the life-size Ken doll and his wicked ‘do). She waited until I was well out of reach to shout “Why was she looking at me?!” And for those who are not familiar with the language of Bitch, allow me to offer a phonetic spelling and translation:
How it was said: “WHY was she looKINGggggGgg at meeeEeE-YUH???!” (I’m sure there was a seizure-like eye roll to boot)
What it meant: “Why do I hafta be so ridiculously good looking that strangers in the mall have to stare at me? What, is she gay or something?! My life is so frustrating because of this overwhelming beauty… *le sigh*”
If you don’t believe me, well… you should. Girls like that assume that anyone who looks their way must be infatuated with them, male or female. Must be because they are so breathtakingly fantabulous. I know this because I was friends with a girl like this, and it was torture.
At first, I was slightly embarrassed. Probably because she misinterpreted the situation and was now shouting about it on the 3rd floor of the mall. Probably because innocent passers-by are now looking at me registering that I’m that person. I know with people like that – who you pass by at the mall – you can only recognize that you’ll NEVER see them again, but for that brief moment a tinge of humiliation can’t help but seep into my bloodstream.
But because I was with Dan and didn’t want to seem childish in that moment, I decided to be amused. It was pretty funny how pathetic it was. But then, in an instant, my blood started to boil. What an obnoxious little bitch! It got me thinking about why girls (obnoxious ones) act that way. My guess (writing under the pseudonym of Captain Obvious) would be that it’s an insecurity thing. Instead of assuming that I wasn’t paying attention to where my eyeballs were turning, or wondering if something was wrong with her (a train of thought her frosty friend should take up), she assumed that I was staring out of jealousy or something trite of that nature. Fact is, I get incredibly paranoid when someone else is experiencing those pupil-malfunctions in my directions, and especially if they’re deliberately staring. I assume I’m the one with the problem. Maybe that’s how she felt too. The difference is, I internalize it, or just downright ignore it. She turned it into a one-man Jerry Springer show, minus the midget body guards. And there, my friends, is the first of many differences between me and 99% of the female population.
If I cared enough, I would’ve marched back to her and said, flatly “Get over yourself.” She needed to hear that. But because she lacks maturity, she probably would’ve reached for my scalp and pulled my hair out with her freshly sharpened cat claws. Instead, I walked away and laughed about it with Dan and decided (hoped) that she’ll learn to do that someday.