I want to stare back at you. I want to imitate your face with my face and show you how ridiculous and awful you look — eyes bulging, mouth often open because your jaw has gone slack with incredulity. But I don’t, not usually, not unless I’m in a particularly perturbed mood and feel like a confrontation, which I know you won’t accept. It’s not only because I want to keep him focused on me and how I don’t think he’s at all strange, of course I want to do that, but it’s also because I know it’s not polite. Didn’t your mother tell you that?
It’s not nice to stare. Don’t stare! Quit staring! Remember?
I can understand when children do it. They don’t know any better and have to be constantly told most things until they learn them. But adults? Give me a break. Children stare with curiosity. Adults stare with disdain and discomfort, letting everyone know that they can’t believe their precious experience is being disturbed by something they’d rather not see.
From an evolutionary perspective, staring is supposedly meant to indicate dominance. Someone wants to assert power, so they lock their eyes on the threat. The object of the laser beam then interprets that they are somehow inferior and cowers from the starer. Whether my son feels inferior because of your rudeness or not, I don’t know. He doesn’t really seem to. But then his face might not register the correct emotion to go along with what he’s feeling. I’m told that he can be sad while uproariously laughing. That you would potentially hurt him, that you would try to make him feel inferior, boils my blood. Is it okay with you to know you may be doing that with your insensitivity and inability to mind your own business? That’s part of it, though. You’re not thinking are you? It is my hope that your attention just bolsters the sense of cool that he already has. I hope he says to himself, “Look at that pitiful jackass. They’re so square and normal they don’t know how to take in the awesome being that I am.”
I pray. I doubt. I sometimes think I see his face fall just a little bit when he feels someone boring holes into him with their unintelligent eyes. He gets a little quieter, his movements become a little bit less large. Some would argue that that’s a good thing, but I would suggest someone changing themselves because of someone else’s disapproval or bewilderment only serves to make us all go more toward the middle. Gag. Yuck. Gross. No, thank you.
And by the way, do you think you’re so very void of unusual traits? Maybe your constant throat clearing and nose wiping strikes me as odd, annoying, and even repulsive. Maybe your verbal tics and slew footedness make me want to cross the street to avoid you. But I tend to remember what my Mama told me. I wouldn’t want to make you feel uncomfortable because you’re different.
Happy Monday, Y’all.