Confession: I Can’t Make Eye Contact
Eye have a problem: I can’t make eye contact.
To clarify, I can make eye contact with people I know, but even that is sometimes a bit painful. Sometimes, when someone is talking to me I can’t pay attention to what they’re saying because I’m all like, “OH SHIT, where do I look?! I don’t want to look into their eyes because they’re going to suck my soul out of me, but I don’t want them to think I’m rude so I’ll just stare at their nose oh shit they’re going to think I’m staring at their nose because it’s big OMG WHERE DO I LOOK!!!!”
As you can imagine, this is awkward for everyone involved.
Anyway, I turned 30 this year, and I made it my resolution to learn how to make eye contact. Not only is it a good life skill to have (ha) but I feel like the fact that I can’t make eye contact is making it really, really hard for me to meet guys – mainly because they make eye contact, I pretend to find something else (like a fly on the wall) incredibly interesting, and they end up getting the impression that I’m not interested. (Did I mention that I’m socially awkward?)
Needless to say, I’m about eight months into this “resolution”, and I’ve failed miserably.
Recently, an attractive guy at Starbucks kept trying to catch my eye. I walked past his table on the way to the bathroom and he turned to look at me. Of course, I decided to reciprocate interest by finding the floor very interesting. About an hour later, I stepped outside. Despite the fact that he had just been outside for a cigarette minutes before, he followed me outside, faced me and tried to make eye contact in order to initiate conversation.
Of course, I didn’t reciprocate eye contact. Instead, I pretended to find the road construction taking place down the street extremely interesting, and went back inside as soon as possible.
Fifteen minutes later, I noticed someone approaching my table out of the corner of my eye. I thought to myself, “Yay! Hot guy is approaching and I didn’t even have to make eye contact! He saw past my awkwardness into the depths of my soul! It’s true love!!”
I looked up, and it wasn’t the hot guy – instead, it was a strange man that I had accidentally made eye contact with earlier.
After a few seconds of him awkwardly lurking over my table while I pretended to ignore him, he spoke, asking, “Don’t I know you from somewhere?”
After wracking my brain for a few seconds, I responded, “No, I don’t believe so.”
Him: “I swear I know you from somewhere.”
Me: “Sorry, you must have me confused. Happens a lot.”
He stood there and stared at me for a few seconds, then asked, “Are you Latina?”
He then looked at me with a doubtful expression, as if I was trying to pull one over on him and said, “Really?! You look Latina.”
I responded, “Unless I was secretly adopted, no, I am not.”
Him: Well, what are you then?
Me: Serbian and German
Him: “Hm.” [awkward pause] “…Is your last name Solis, by chance?”
Me: “Nope, sorry.” (Seriously – does he think I’m lying?!)
Him: “Well, are you at least involved in the Latin community?”
Him: “Are you sure you’re not involved in the Latin community?”
Me: “Pretty sure?” (But I’m really not sure… because I don’t know what he means by “involved in” – is he asking if I hang out with Latinos, or if I volunteer at Spanish-speaking soup kitchens or help ESL students after school or something? I’m so confused.)
Him: “Really? I know I’ve seen you at several fundraisers for the Latin community before.”
Me: “Uh, wasn’t me. Sorry.”
Him: “Well… do you at least have any Latin friends?”
Me: “Yes?” (Is this some sort of strange test?)
Him: “Do they attend fundraisers for the Latin Community? Is that it?”
Me: “I have ‘Latin’ friends, but they are not involved with the ‘Latin Community’, sorry. (What is this guy’s obsession with me being involved with the Latin community?!)
As he continued to stare at me with a doubtful expression, I blurted out “NICE TO MEET YOU!” and began typing in an effort to get him away from me. He hovered awkwardly over my table for a few minutes, and then trudged off back to his chair, looking rather dejected.
Of course, my luck couldn’t just end there. Because I’m an idiot, I continued to accidentally make eye contact with Latin Community Guy, which resulted in him approaching me one last time to give me his number in case that I’d like to attend any Latin Community events with him.
…And THIS, my friends, is why I don’t make eye contact.