If You’re Going Stare, Wave.
Didn’t your parents tell you it was impolite to stare? When my contemporaries and I were small children, not listening to or disobeying what Mom and Dad said to do met with serious consequences. We learned at an early age that looking at someone for an extended period of time generally was not complementary, with that being said one puts oneself in a very precarious position and no small child should have such an option.
On that note I am going to make sure it is understood that staring is something that I RARELY do. While my preference would be to say never, I refrain from using such an adverb. Human Beings do not exist in a state of absoluteness when we talk about emotions, personality traits, and such. Therefore, I am sticking with “rarely”. It is just plain rude.
Now I am sure we all can reference doing this very same thing and it was far from insulting. There are some very beautiful beings and they are very worthy of taking notice of. One can be easily caught off guard and in those cases excused for the act.
Upon our move south some 18 years ago we met a very southern woman and her equally southern husband. We will call her CeeCee and her husband Carl. To characterize CeeCee, she was a curly-red haired imp. I imagine there was a bit of Scots-Irish in her. She and I hung out together for a bit. Our families even traveled to the North Georgia mountains, that was a trip and a half. We were introduced to, in my opinion, horrible boiled peanuts and dining with strangers. CeeCee and Carl loved these traditions. My spouse, forever the “yankee/militant former black panther” type, was not so enthused. He had noted on numerous occasions since our arrival of the locals extended gawks. CeeCee said,” We do stare a lot in the south”. Let me get back to what this was really about though. Staring was just a jumping off point for me. Is there ever really an excuse for being rude?
You see given enough time one can find an explanation for virtually anything; but just because you can explain it, doesn’t excuse it. You may say, “I didn’t mean anything by it or I always do that”. You must understand that perceptions play a key role in how particular acts are dealt with, so you don’t get to tell someone else how they should feel about a given situation.
Culture, age, region, and religious influences will affect the way we respond to one another. If only “When in Rome do as the Romans do” were a practicable rule of thumb; unexpected release of gas, loud outburst of laughter, and yes lengthy uninterrupted looks would be accepted and disregarded. Since that is NOT the case the next time you find yourself involved in such a situation, if you are the one staring do a save and throw up a greeting with a wave. If you don’t there is a possibility the one who is being stared at may in a not-so-subtle way throw up a greeting to you, but keep a few of their fingers in the down position.