Monday, November 5, 2007

The Eyes Have It

Fascinating things, eyes.

They dance and sparkle, twinkle and glare, approve and abhor, accept and reject.

All, without uttering a single syllable.

Mighty weapons.

I have a memory from my teenage years that comes back, occasionally, to haunt me.

On the periphery of my circle of friends and acquaintances, a shy, gentle, beautiful girl hovered. She didn't attend the same school as we did, she was conservative, not at all on the wild side, her family were wealthy, she lived in a very large, secluded house in a very select area. She was extremely pretty, with long, blonde hair, big, blue eyes, dressed in the finest clothes and perfectly groomed, never a hair out of place. Her name was Lisa. We all, secretly, wanted a bit of her, apparently, idyllic existence. I often felt that she disapproved of us, but still she hovered. We wondered about her. Why did she keep hanging around? What did she want? Why was she slumming it? The reason became clear, one Sunday afternoon, after she was seen wrapped around one of the main stags of the herd at the weekly disco. Aha. As far as I was concerned, she was more than welcome to him. He was a tall, good looking fellow but way up himself. Obnoxious, even. Big, loud horsey laugh and very little of interest between his ears. They made an extremely odd couple. She so dainty, him so large. She so refined, him so uncouth. But then he got bored, as 17 year old, cerebrally challenged males tend to do. She was heartbroken, and once again, on the periphery.

We met, a couple of weeks later, again on the highlight of our week, at the Tabu Club (the infamous Sunday Afternoon Disco for Wayward Teenagers). There were 5 or 6 of us madams, checking out the talent, discussing the pros and cons of certain tactics, bemoaning the severe lack of God's gifts to women. I hardly spoke more than half a dozen words directly to Lisa and can only remember being slightly bored with her. But, later, I heard from a mutual friend that "I scared her" that she thought I had put a "hex" on her relationship with the aforementioned Lothario, that I was "a witch" and that my "eyes were frightening, like devil's eyes, she was afraid of me".

I was gob-smacked, to say the least.

What had my eyes said, without my permission?

It got me thinking. What if we had to remain speechless for a day, a week, a year, forever. If we just had our silent eyes to communicate. Would we thrive and prosper in improved, noiseless, communication?

Or would we become extinct, murdered by misunderstanding?


Tanya Brown said...

Oh, dear. I don't want to denigrate the power of your eyes, which I'm sure are very formidable, but I do wonder if Lisa had a touch of a mental illness? At the very least, her reaction was quite strange.

Molly said...

"The windows of the soul." You devil, you!

Barbara said...

What an interesting thought to ponder! The eyes of a person say so much. What ever became of Lisa?

Tracey Petersen said...

You scared her with your eyes?

Sounds to me like a girl trying to get attention by being delicate.

sMC said...

I can understand. Having to manage 3 kids under 3years old alone. Including Drs. Dentists etc. etc. I found I could control their behaviour when out by a look in my eyes. Definitely eyes do a lot of talking in my book.

meggie said...

A very thought provoking post. I often wonder about people, who seem to take a dislike to me. I wonder what they thought they saw, or see.
I think children know, when you smile at them, if the smile is in your eyes, they smile back.

crafty said...

Hee hee. I love Tracey.

Pauline said...

an interesting question - how much do our eyes say that we are not aware of...

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

It's amazing the opinions some people form of us that we'd never expect.

I'm told that I can speak quite clearly (and sometimes loudly) with my eyes.

Diana said...

You can say volumes with your eyes, especially if the eyebrows are allowed in on the conversation.

riseoutofme said...

tanya .. denigrate away! I think, now, that Lisa was a sad, insecure girl in spite of appearing to be the opposite. Her reaction to me? Strange indeed.

molly ... what soul?

barbara ... Lisa married her Lothario, had 2 children and then separated ... her Lothario spent time at her Majesty's Pleasure. She died last year from leukaemia. Rather sad.

tracey .. Maybe. I'll never know now.

birdy ...they can speak volumes! Libraries, even.

meggie ... thats it exactly! The face can do what it likes, but if the eyes don't have it ...

crafty .. me too! But she can be very naughty sometimes.

pauline ... and if we were aware of what our eyes WERE saying, would we change the workings of our mouths or our limbs?

whim ... sometimes we use our eyes to speak because it is the wiser option ... amazing how many people hear us ... and mis-hear ...

diana ... Groucho Marx immediately jumped into my mind reading your comment! Made me laugh! Thanks!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

Wow. That's quite a story.

I don't suppose there's a follow-up, what happened to Lisa over the years?

At that age, I would have been thrilled to be mistaken for a witch, though.