Picture this: you’re driving around in an unfamiliar neigborhood, belting out the top 40, when you look on the opposite side of the street and notice a couple walking their dog. Locking eyes with the couple, they both smile and wave to you energetically as you drive by. If you’re from the quaint town of Madison, Mississippi, where I was raised, you smile, politely wave back and go about your business.
Now, if you’re turning the corner of 10th and C Street, the couple might as well be pushing a cart instead of walking a dog, and drinking a tall can out of a brown bag rather than a tall glass of sweet tea, because it seems like someone would have to be crazy to go out of their way to say “hello” to a stranger in San Diego.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not talking about making conversation and exchanging family recipes. What San Diegans are missing in their lives is the tiniest amount of human acknowledgment. Is it just me, or has eye contact seemed to fall out of fashion like Ugg boots and a mini skirt? Maybe it’s all one big misinterpretation.
Here’s what I mean:
Guys, when a girl walks by you, makes eye contact and smiles to acknowledge your existence, it means she is confident. What is does not mean is that she has one more hour until checkout time at the Hyatt and you, my friend, are the lucky winner. Look at her like a juicy piece of steak and you can pretty much guarantee that she won’t acknowledge the next man that walks by because “sigh…they’re all the same.” She was just trying to be nice.
Ladies, when a man walks by you, makes eye contact, and smiles, smile back. Avoid returning to your friends with your latest edition of “the weirdo who smiled at me today,” and take it as a simple, kind gesture from one human being to another. Looking at him like he is a degenerate will keep the poor guy from looking up from is shoe laces all day long. He was just trying to be nice.
Of course, this epidemic of ignoring one another could easily be blamed on innovations such as the Blackberry, MySpace, or the Ipod. Students like us lead fast paced lives, and in the midst of it all we =) and we =( and we forgot how to tear our bloodshot eyes away from the glowing screens long enough to connect with somebody right in front of us, if only for an instant.
So come one, lets hear it for looking people in the eye and while were at it, good posture and firm handshakes. Because lets face it, some things should never go out of fashion.
Whitney Lawrence is a City Times staff writer