Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Day 205: just one look? (or several? and for how long?)

You see a cute guy walk into the café.
He’s tall.
He’s alone.
(Did I mention he was cute?)
He sits at a table close to you.
Facing you.
You watch as he orders.
Hmmm, nice smile.
He fiddles with his cell phone.
He makes a call.
Awww, he called his mom.
He sounds normal.
Nice, even.
He happens to look up and catches you looking.
You look down at your fork immediately.
Ten minutes later (using your peripheral vision) you see that his food arrives.
This time you decide to look up at him until he looks at you.
You’re determined.
He looks up at you with a blank expression.
You hold eye contact for half a second before turning your head and looking away.
You are pleased with yourself at being so brave.
Because now he knows.


Hear Ye! Hear ye!

He knows squat.
The above example does not demonstrate proper use of eye contact.
Actually it would be considered 'rapid eye movement’.
Or ‘eye twitch’.
Or ‘eye exercise’.
But definitely NOT ‘eye contact’.
I have realized in conversation with a few single friends (men and women) that the eye signal game is much too puzzling.
People are getting it all wrong and thinking they've made declarations.
When instead these ‘looks’ are ricocheting off of chairs and bouncing onto passersby!
And there seems to be two camps.
Scaredy Pants Camp (where I pitch my tent): using very subtle nuances to indicate attraction.
Borderline Creepy Smiling & Staring Camp: holding a gaze for too long without blinking or (oh my goodness) walking over to say hello.

But what is the happy medium?
I mean, is it so brazen to lock eyes and smile to send a clear message?
Does that even translate as a clear message?
Or is it just misinterpreted friendliness between strangers?
I know-- Maybe we should all carry tin bins and matches.
And narrow it down to smoke signals.
How much simpler that would be!

Small gum wrappers set on fire in tin bin: “I’m single and find you kind of cute” smoke signal.

Medium damp grass set on fire in tin bin: “I think you’re really hot and want to lip lock with you as soon as possible” smoke signal.

Large newspaper set on fire in tin bin:  (….)
…Well that’s just plain pyromania in a public setting and people should be alerted of your crazy and irresponsible shenanigans immediately...

Anyhow, you get the idea.
And until my brilliant idea of smouldering signals is considered a universal (and legal) form of communication between two hopeful daters, I think I’ll just continue navigating the single landscape with dark sunglasses on.
(I've gotten rid of the rose-coloured pair). 

1 comment:

  1. HaHa. Oh, Tanya - I love how your mind works. :) This is really good, the writing and the idea. I am all for the smoke signals because the eye contact IS confusing (and I'd throw casual touches in this pile too. You know, a laugh and touch to the arm, back, etc.).

    As a guy, it's often hard to imagine ANY way of saying hello to someone (a stranger) that doesn't necessarily feel creepy to you, but that you worry feels/sounds/looks creepy to her (and her friends). Hmmm.

    That's it. I don't smoke, but from now on I'm carrying matches, especially if I find myself in a cafe in Canada. :) xo

    "Well that’s just plain pyromania..." made me laugh out loud.

    p.s.2. must the cute guy/stranger ALWAYS BE TALL???! (ha. sorry, sensitive). :)