Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Staring Game

So there I was, standing in line at Thundercloud Subs. And today I had an interesting and highly annoying experience which got my mind churning on the subject of staring--namely, men staring at women.

(Note: I do recognize that women stare at men, too. But come on, I think anyone would agree with me that men stare way more than women do. So that is why I'm writing this post particularly about men.)

Some guys can look at women and be fairly appropriate about it. (I say fairly because, just in case you guys out there didn't know, girls always know when you're looking at them. Always. It's like a sixth sense we have. And we're either creeped out or we like the attention. But mostly we're just creeped out. You can look, but please don't stare. Ew.) Some guys can stare at women and be completely inappropriate about it. And the latter describes Creepy Guy sitting at Thundercloud around 12:30 this afternoon.

So back to where I started. I walk into Thundercloud and stand in line. I get that weird feeling that someone is looking at me, so I glance to my left. There he is. He's sitting at a table not five feet away from me. At this point, when I glanced over to him, he should have looked away. Most guys would've, I would think. "You got caught, Creepy Guy. I saw you looking at me." But no, he stared at me. So I blinked and turned my head to face the front again, trying to shake the icky feeling. It didn't go away.

So I glance again after a few more awkward moments, this time looking at him with a "Seriously, why are you staring at me?" look. Not a mean look, mind you. Just a little warning look, a little raising of the eyebrows. I've looked at him twice now--get the hint, Creepy. Get the hint.

He didn't get it. He kept looking at me, as if looking into my eyes as he stuffed a sandwich into his mouth would suddenly make me fall in love with him on the spot. As if staring at me with that creepy look in his eyes would compel me to pull up a chair and pour out my soul to him. (Actually, I'm sure "true love" was far from his mind. I don't even want to know what he was really thinking about.)

And he didn't just look into my eyes. Nope. I watched his eyes quickly move up and down as I stood there, helpless. I really did feel helpless, like "I can't really move because I'm in line. . .and this guy just shamelessly checked me out." Creepy, come on, could you be any more obvious?? I feel violated and you're sitting five feet away from me! My goodness. Yuck.

I was relieved when it was my turn to order, and I got my sandwich and hurried outta there as fast as I could. And as I drove away, I thought a bit more about this experience.

Guys look at girls. It's just in their nature. And girls look at guys, too, but not near the same way. My dad is single, and well, very much a guy. When my dad and I are out somewhere together, I know immediately when he's looking at a woman. And I say, "Dad, stop staring at her" and he looks so shocked every time. He says, "How did you know?" and I say, "Dad, every woman knows when a man is staring at her. And every woman in the room can sense it, even the ones who are not the object of your stare." It hasn't helped him. I try, but over the past years, I've realized that men are men and my dad is not going to stop staring simply because I've enlightened him to the fact that women can pick up on it. And so, the above conversation happens practically every time I'm with my dad. And he's not even in any way comparable to Mr. Creepy Guy. I'm not just saying this because he's my dad, either. Anyone who knows my dad would agree--he is a very respectable, very faithful, very honest and loving man. But he's a guy. And he likes women. With that logic, what's wrong with a little stare here and there?

Really, nothing, I guess. Every girl I know has experienced an unwelcome stare. It doesn't matter if you're hot or not, guys: a stare is annoying and rude. Learn to control your eyes and it will make you more attractive, more mysterious, and more successful with the ladies. But you can look at us. It can be fun and exciting when you look at us in an appropriate, flirtatious way.

Bottom line: don't be like Mr. Creepy. We don't want to play the staring game with you.


Blogger Chris said...

You already know my thoughts on this;

however, I will add...

My dad is also notorious for staring at girls. And let me emphasize girls here. If she's obviously over 18 and fits the category of "eye candy," my dad will invariably stare -- noticeably. I've been out with him before in public (say, like the mall) and a group of fairly "hot" girls will pass by and he'll do one of those turn head and stare while still walking numbers. Even for me, it's kind of embarassing.

I won't deny, though, that there have been a couple of instances when I've stared simply because my brain ceases to function and I'm momentarily caught in a semi-euphoric (read Hormonal) moment. And I usually get caught, which is embarassing. 'Damn,' I think, 'I've been caught! What do I do? Okay, um, try and act like you were just getting reading to yawn or stretch your shoulders. Yeah! She'll fall for that!'


Maybe that is why I'm still single.

4:54 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

I guess it's kinda flattering when we get stared at. . .obviously there's a reason a guy is staring. But it's hard to not get weirded out by it, you know?

And normal guys do it, too! Like you said, you do it sometimes. And most of my guy friends, guys I respect and admire a lot, have done it and still do it. So I guess you can't help it. It's hormonal.

There are just moments, like today, when I want to walk up to the blatantly staring man and say, "STOP IT. RIGHT NOW."

5:23 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Trust me

he was biting into his sandwich while staring

I'd be creeped out too!


5:47 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

Ugh - I'm sorry you had to experience Creepy sandwich guy... we've all had those unfortunate staring experiences that leave us angry, pissed off and yup a little vulnerable. I'm proud of you for giving him that "yup, that's right I caught you staring, now STOP look" and with the added eyebrow raise, that's just inspirational.. You are truly amazing... you are my role model! I can't do that. I just ignore them and play ice princess or look for help via being engrossed with reading the menu or calling someone on my phone. If only we could turn the tables...

8:27 PM  
Blogger Becky said...

I agree that it's always nice to be "noticed" by a guy when you walk into a room. But seriously, you probably should have said something to him like you did your dad..."quit staring you weirdo, that's rude."
Obviously that's not any of your nature to go up to a stranger ant put them in their place, but someone's got to let him know that he's going to scare off any future woman that comes into his path. I sure hope it wasn't ASSMAN that was staring at you. That would be even weirder.
Whatev...good seeing you last night. See ya later.

6:49 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

aaaah! what if it WAS Mr. Assman?! Freaky.

Further proof that, um, he's not the one for you. ;)

7:05 AM  
Blogger trishy said...

Can I just put this out there:
Asian men always stare at me. I told Richie that once and he's even witnessed it a few times. It's quite strange.

7:49 AM  
Blogger Rob West said...

I definitely agree with you that it can be rude and creepy when guys do that. Other guys notice it too, believe me. We think, "come on, weird creepy guy, do you really think you have a shot? Stop drooling! You're embarassing us all!"

Still, I find it hard to find sympathy when a girl comes in dressed completely slutty and acting like she's pissed at everyone. If your pants are cut so low your thong is hanging out, or if your skirt is cut so high your thong is hanging out, you don't get to say to me "What the hell are you looking at, CREEP?!?"

(I know that's not you Laurey, I'm just sayin'.)

10:19 AM  
Blogger Lauren said...

I know, Rob, I figured that piece of the puzzle would probably come up in discussion, as well. I agree with you. Some girls are asking for it.

10:23 AM  
Anonymous Tim said...

I think some guys are just arrogant enough to think that all girls want them BAD and that they're a stud any girl would want. What girl wouldn't want their attention? And any girl who asks them to stop must seriously have no idea who it is she's talking to. Either that or have some kinda mental problem because, heck, I'm "Captian Studly!"

Pride is so stupid.

12:43 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Dearest Rob:

Does my thong hang out?


The Capn

1:26 PM  
Blogger Me Over Here said...

Here, south of A-town, we don't get stared at. Nope. We get a drive-by whistle, a honk if you're EXTRA hot, and a "nnnaaaiiiiiiiii" (that funny clicky tongue noise that some Mexican guys do). THAT is how us girls are made to feel "wanted" and "special" down here.


2:12 PM  
Blogger Lauren said...

Ohhhh yes, Twinny. I lived in Seguin for 3 years. I know how the southern boys do. Ick. I'd kinda forgotten about that.

7:57 PM  

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