Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Ol' Staredown

We've all received it. We most likely have all given it. But what exactly is "the old staredown"? Most of the time, people want to confuse the old staredown with the evil eye, or the stink eye, or the crazy eye, but it is it's own entity entirely. It is not a top to bottom lookover, as one blogger relates. It is not a perverse leer, either, as I'm sure most young women have felt at least once in their life.

The old staredown is that moment that seems to drag on forever when a person just keeps looking at you. It's not creepy, nor is its intent of a negative origin. For whatever reason, this person just feels the need to keep looking at you. There's nothing visibly wrong with you; your fly is zipped, your face is clean, your hair is relatively neat. But this person just keeps staring.

Many people want to overreact in this situation. They choose to confront the person and demand they stop looking at them. Or they quickly avert their eyes, as if they were the ones that just got caught with their hands in the cookie jar. My response to this situation is to continue my usual conversational manneurisms and make a casual reference to receiving the old staredown. The worst thing one can do is draw unnecessary attention to the situation.

Just remember two things when it comes to the old staredown. Don't confuse it with the evil eye or anything else of an ill-nature, because its intentions are not such. And don't make eye contact with the giver of the old staredown as that could be justification enough for them to switch from a curious look to the aforementioned evil, stink, or crazy eye.

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