doofus

One of my things for this year is working on a bad habit I have, I call it Teflon eye-contact which I think is pretty self-explanatory, and it bugs the hell out of me when I catch myself doing it... which is quite a lot. I'm told that back in The Beginning, tinyPatrick was a brightly inquisitive, friendly little person, remembered most for his grin. A socially quite adventurous toddler who looked and smiled at everything and everyone... to the point where fustily socialised grown-up doctors wondered if there might not be something wrong with him (there wasn't, he was just happy.)

Somewhere along the way from there to here, in the business of growing up and getting socialised myself, I withdrew a bit more than I think I probably meant to: I spent more of 1988 to 1998 looking at paving slabs than I did looking people in the eye - I realise that as a grown up it's inappropriate for me to reprise that same kind of wide-eyed happy wonderment (at least on the outside) but I still feel that the ideal spot on the continuum (I think) is somewhere a bit closer back to tinyPatrick's approach than I've managed to get as yet.

Anyway that's all by way of a preamble to a story about me being a doofus (hence the title) Last night Anita and I did our usual weekly trip to the supermarket, which incidentally are a great example of why I love living with my friend - we have fun doing the shopping, not the kind of fun you'd keep going back for if the fridge magically stocked itself, sure, but it's certainly never a chore. So while we were walking from one aisle to another talking happy rubbish to each other and laughing as usual I realised that I was looking right at the (really very attractive) security guard who was walking towards us, and by the time I'd realised it, it was abundantly clear that he had too.

As a rule attracting the attention of security guards in shops is one of those things you know you just don't do: they instill that same vague sense that you're going to get into trouble (in spite of having done nothing wrong of course,) as a police car in the rearview mirror does: on the whole we keep our heads instinctively down and just hope they pass us by... and I hadn't, I'd let my guard down (so to speak).

At about this point, when part of my brain was slapping itself on the forehead and muttering "stupid, stupid" while picturing our getting followed about the store and watched suspiciously for the next half hour, some new unconscious reflex I hadn't realised I'd developed kicked in - instead of looking quickly away (as I expected myself to) I held his gaze and smiled quite genuinely at him (which was very easy) and to my (and, I think, his) mild amazement he smiled back just as warmly.

You know that bit in the Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy (I forget if it's in So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish or Life, the Universe and Everything) the bit where Arthur Dent discovers that he can fly, but only if he doesn't realise that he's doing it? well it turns out that something remarkably similar happens when you notice yourself casually pulling off eye contact with a cute security guard, and of course this is where my damned Teflon thing kicked in: having made eye contact I looked away. The moment (such as it was) was gone.

Of course he was just smiling. I was just smiling. There wasn't anywhere else for that little interchange to go, unless we lived in my imagination, (which is a fun place to visit, it's just harder to keep the fridge stocked there) but sometimes when that happens there might be more to it mightn't there? there might be a new friend to be made at the very least, and so now I've noticed this new reflex to be engagingly friendly, the old shy reflex bugs me even more than it already did.

doofus
Comments



archives...

Apr 2021
Mar 2021
Feb 2021
Jan 2021
Dec 2020
Nov 2020
Oct 2020
Sep 2020
Aug 2020
Jul 2020
Jun 2020
May 2020
Apr 2020
Mar 2020
Feb 2020
Jan 2020
Dec 2019
Nov 2019
Oct 2019
Sep 2019
Aug 2019
Jul 2019
Jun 2019
May 2019
Apr 2019
Mar 2019
Feb 2019
Jan 2019
Dec 2018
Nov 2018
Oct 2018
Sep 2018
Aug 2018
Jul 2018
Jun 2018
May 2018
Apr 2018
Mar 2018
Feb 2018
Jan 2018
Dec 2017
Nov 2017
Oct 2017
Sep 2017
Aug 2017
Jul 2017
Jun 2017
May 2017
Apr 2017
Mar 2017
Feb 2017
Jan 2017
Dec 2016
Nov 2016
Oct 2016
Sep 2016
Aug 2016
Jul 2016
Jun 2016
May 2016
Apr 2016
Mar 2016
Feb 2016
Jan 2016
Dec 2015
Nov 2015
Oct 2015
Sep 2015
Aug 2015
Jul 2015
Jun 2015
May 2015
Apr 2015
Mar 2015
Feb 2015
Jan 2015
Dec 2014
Nov 2014
Oct 2014
Sep 2014
Aug 2014
Jul 2014
Jun 2014
May 2014
Apr 2014
Mar 2014
Feb 2014
Jan 2014
Dec 2013
Nov 2013
Oct 2013
Sep 2013
May 2013
Apr 2013
Jan 2013
Nov 2012
Oct 2012
Sep 2012
Aug 2012
Jul 2012
Jun 2012
Apr 2012
Mar 2012
Feb 2012
Jan 2012
Dec 2011
Nov 2011
Oct 2011
Sep 2011
Aug 2011
Jul 2011
Jun 2011
May 2011
Apr 2011
Mar 2011
Feb 2010
Jan 2010
Dec 2009
Nov 2009
Oct 2009
Sep 2009
Aug 2009
Jul 2009
Jun 2009
May 2009
Apr 2009
Mar 2009
Feb 2009
Jan 2009
Dec 2008
Nov 2008
Sep 2008
Aug 2008
Jun 2008
May 2008
Apr 2008
Mar 2008
Feb 2008
Jan 2008
Dec 2007
Nov 2007
Sep 2007
Aug 2007
Jul 2007
Jun 2007
May 2007
Apr 2007
Mar 2007
Feb 2007
Jan 2007
Dec 2006
Nov 2006
Oct 2006
Sep 2006
Aug 2006
Jul 2006
Jun 2006
May 2006
Apr 2006
Mar 2006
Feb 2006
Jan 2006
Dec 2005
Nov 2005
Oct 2005
Sep 2005
Aug 2005
Jul 2005
Jun 2005
May 2005
Apr 2005
Mar 2005
Feb 2005
Jan 2005
Dec 2004
Nov 2004
Oct 2004
Sep 2004
Aug 2004
Jul 2004
Jun 2004
May 2004
Apr 2004
Mar 2004
Feb 2004
Jan 2004
Dec 2003
Nov 2003
Oct 2003
Sep 2003
Aug 2003
Jul 2003
Jun 2003