Free Leaf

"Don't gain the world and lose your soul, wisdom is better than silver or gold..."

Name:
Location: Falls Church, Virginia, United States

I have a lot more questions than answers, but I just keep asking. I constantly want to leave, but somehow manage to stay. I am both perfectly happy and completely miserable because of it. I think I am misunderstood but that could just be a huge misunderstanding, either way I guess the best way to put it is, "I ain't often right, but I've never been wrong."

8.31.2006

Why don’t people look each other in the eye anymore?

I doubt that this is very new but it has been bothering me lately. I don’t know what it is exactly; maybe I am the strange one for walking around with my head up, eyes forward, greeting passersby with a smile and an occasionally friendly nod. More and more people react to me by diverting their eyes, preferring to look left, right, up or down than interact with the stranger across from them. When this happens on a street I can let it go but lately it has been happening frequently at my job and at the gym, two places I would expect better decorum.

When I am at the gym I am pretty focused and intense, so conversation is out of the question but I can still offer a friendly smile to the person (especially pretty girls) next to me. The extent of my conversation at the gym usually involves whether or not someone is using something, that’s fine, I have my Ipod on and really don’t need to talk, however, I still like to acknowledge the people that I am sharing the room with. Most of us are there for the same reasons, we have things in common, how hard would it be to just smile or nod at the person next to you to let them know you are ok with their presence in this shared universe. Just last night I am walking over to the dip machine and this girl is looking at me as I walk up, now I do occasionally walk with my head down while I write things down and as soon as I look up I catch eyes for a brief second to have them turn away. I guess I am scary or something.

This phenomenon is even worse at work. I have been working on the same floor of the same building for months now and still people won’t even pretend to be nice to each other. Sure we work in a nameless, faceless, evil corporate structure but ask the guy walking past you how he is doing once in a while. This happens too me hundreds of times at work, since I drink way too much coffee and constantly take breaks I walk down the hall and always people look away. It really has to be me; the shaved head must scare people. I don’t know it just bothers me.

I know a guy who would say that this is all the fault of the baseball cap. At least between men, the women probably just don’t want to look me in the eye because I am grotesque and don’t realize it. But for the guys, it shows a certain lack of dignity, a lack of self pride that might be infecting this culture. More and more men really are not acting like men; they are acting like kids, wearing their backwards baseball caps well into middle age. Now, I won’t go so far as to say how you dress makes you this or that but the thought is there. I kind of miss the days when people used to dress better, even though my favorite outfit is a black fruit of the loom t-shirt and jeans. Maybe people don’t look each other in the eye anymore because there is a lack of confidence in society or maybe its something else entirely. I am not an expert in these things, I just call em like I see em and I don’t like what I see.

3 Comments:

Blogger Asian Mistress said...

Well for one you're not grotesque so shut up...

And two I think that sometimes I avoid eye contact with guys because I don't want to get hit on (not to sound like I get hit on all the time or anything - I don't, I'm just saying...) and don't want to have a conversation.

And honestly, half the time I may look down when I walk is because I am an idiot and worried I'll fall. Haha.

8:14 AM  
Anonymous Andrea said...

If I passed you in the hallway, I wouldn't divert my eyes, rather I would take a running start and give you a very excited high-5.

But that's just me.

8:28 AM  
Blogger Leaf said...

AM - comments on my blog, as much as they are appreciated, are not an excuse to be late to work.

Paper - thats your new nickname for today. The high five is vastly underrated in the corporate world.

8:40 AM  

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