Someone is Watching Me

Be warned, dear gentle reader.  This is one of those posts which sort of wanders from one point to another without a clear direction or even much connection and even I don’t know where it will end up.

I guess it all starts with Steve’s rather suggestive post on Bloggertropolis which was about us taking that ‘double take” or even worse, the long stare when we see a stunner in hot pants or a well chiseled set of pecs walk by (depending on your orientation).  He was wondering what we look like when we are caught in the act of ogling or staring.

Somehow that post seemed to have heightened my awareness of this game of staring and being stared at.  So when I went to a coffee shop yesterday afternoon to get some takeaway, I was suddenly conscious of this attractive woman staring at me.  I was seated at a table waiting for my takeaway to be ready and there she was at the table across from me…..staring.   Her husband was sitting directly in front of her with his back to me but she was staring straight at me.  When I caught her gaze, she immediately looked away.

I was reading a newspaper but on several occasions , I looked up and caught her staring.   Each time she looked hurriedly away.  This only came to an end when her food arrived at the table and she buried her face in her food and never looked up again.

My immediate response was to think, “What the heck is she looking at?”  So the very first thing I did was to check if my fly was undone or if I had worn my underwear on the outside. But no, everything seems to be in order. ( I actually have a recurring nightmare where I find my self at school or at work and everyone is staring at me and then I realise I didn’t wear any trousers).  Safe to say, I have no pecs to speak off.  So it can’t be that.  Maybe she likes my beer belly.  Who knows?

Moving along to a closely barely related point, kids and toddlers also tend to stare at me …… a lot.  All my friends with kids notice this.  Whether it is their 6 month old baby or their 4 year old toddler, they all tend to stare at me the very first time they see me.  You can even see them stretching in their toddler seats to get a better view of me.

Somehow kids like me.  Most kids naturally gravitate to me.  For example, recently, an 8 month old who had just learned to walk, met me for the first time.  First he stared at me for a good five minutes and then, unbeckoned, he left his mother and staggered over about 10 feet to where I was sitting.  He then turned around, leaned against me and actually supported himself by resting his left elbow on my knee.  I lifted him up and he sat quietly with me for about 15 minutes.

My wife has a theory on why kids stare at me and cuddle up to me so easily.  She says that when the kids look at me, what they are really seeing is a well cushioned and comfortable La-Z-Boy recliner seat (that’s her hinting that I should go on diet).

What Kids' See in Me --- the La-Z-Boy 2010

When people stare at you?  What are they staring at?  Do they see a sports car, a wild stallion, an ATM machine? What do you think they see?


23 thoughts on “Someone is Watching Me”

  1. lol – If your wife’s lazy-boy theory is true I think you’d attract older men carrying beer and t.v. remote controls instead of children. 🙂
    Kids are so intuitive and perceptive. They can tell when someone is kind or gentle spirit. Sounds like you have a gift.

  2. I was going to say…maybe those children are attracted to you because you’re like a great big teddy bear. 😀 That said. Not sure about the woman. Maybe she knew/knows your from somewhere?

    Pretty sure no one has started at me. I find myself starting at people, though. In fact, just the other day I was starting at someone (a family actually) and John said I was making a funny face. Oops.

  3. Mr. Squirrel…
    You could be my Mr. Cheeks in disguise! Children love to look at him, freely smile at him and even start conversations with him – all unprompted. I was puzzled by this for a long time…until one day I looked at my husband of 25 years. I mean really looked at him. He has such kind eyes. They smile even when his mouth doesn’t. This is why I fell in love with him, and why children love him…and I’m confident you must be the same. Mind you…I suspect children think my husband is Santa….except he’s not quite all the way gray!
    When I catch someone staring at me…I smile and wink.

  4. You must be good to look at for someone to stare. I haven’t had anyone stare at me that I know of. The only reason someone would stare at me is because I like to talk. Don’t get a chance to do that very often living alone.

  5. Honestly, i haven’t a clue & don’t really want to think about it.

    When i’m at home & relaxed, 90% of the time i’m comfortable with the image in the mirror. But when i’m out & about & catch a glimpse of myself, or see myself in a pic i didn’t know about, i see an overweight ogre. Yep.

    So i’d rather NOT use my imagination of what a kid would see. Don’t want to know, thank you.

  6. Laura,
    Well, I am glad that I don’t get stared at by beer swilling, TV remote toting, old men. I don’t mind children using me as a comfortable perch to doze off on. I just tell the parents to insert another dollar every 5 minutes ……or the ride ends. 🙂

    A big teddy bear,eh? I could live with that. Actually, one 4 year old recently called me the Kung-fu Panda. So I told her, that next time she should remind her parents to bring dumplings to fee the panda. Yes, I know. Shameless.
    So what made you stare at that family and why were you making a funny face?

  7. Dear Mrs. Cheeks,
    I am flattered that you compare me with your husband and in such a favorable manner. However you say of him, “His eyes smile even when his mouth doesn’t.” But my eyes are not so much smiling as sleepy. I would be better described as “His eyes sleep even when he doesn’t snore.” Anyway, you are one lucky lady, Mrs. Claus. Many of the kids just call me “Big Guy” which was originally quipped by my PR executive …….my wife. More recently, I have been dubbed “Kung-fu Panda”. Could have been worse. Another friend has earned the moniker “Shrek”.

  8. Joyce,
    Perhaps you are just not aware that people stare. People stare at me all the time. I don’t think it is because I look good as you suggest. It’s more likely I just stand out. Like a sore thumb, I mean. I am more likely to be the guy dressed in a Hawaiian shirt at a party where the dress code was exotic Batik. Or dressed in torn jeans and mingling at a black tie function ( I actually love doing that). Or wearing a rugby t-shirt at an ice hockey game. As for loving to talk, isn’t there a social club that you could join like toastmasters or a book club where you get to meet like minded people? Apart from blogging of course……which while great, the conversations can ivolve a response delay.

  9. Kathryn,
    Please excuse me if I am a little crude here. But I think that it’s a fact of life that kids have very simple, innocent, functional views of people which have not been corrupted by prejudices and the like. For example, most young kids visualise their mothers as either a food vending machine (insert a few screams and food is delivered) or as June Cleaver (of “Leave it to Beaver”). In the same way, many fathers are visualised as “ATM machines” where they withdraw their weekly allowances. I doubt it that kids think of you as an ogre (though that may be your own perception). Even so, I would point out that Princess Fiona the overweight ogre from Shrek is very popular with the kids. As I said above to others, I was recently dubbed “Kung-fu Panda” …….. I secretly think being the “Donkey” from Shrek would be cool.

  10. On Friday afternoons when I do my crossword puzzle in a bar, I suspect they are just interested that I do my puzzle in ink. But I do have red hair and am a bit chesty so those things also get looks. Who knows?

  11. I don’t seem to be attractive to kids, but I am to cats and dogs. For some reason, when at a friend’s house their pets always come over and hang for a while. Maybe because I’m somewhat boney. Like you, I’m very uncomfortable when I catch someone staring at me. Something that gripes me is women who dress seductively but give you an angry look if you look at them.

  12. Cats come and rub against my legs, dogs seldom, but they go away when I tell them. Little kids look at me often in a searching and curious way, but do not come over. They are not afraid either.
    I think people do stare at me very seldom, I am in no way outstanding – most people do mistake me for somebody else or think they saw me before, but I do not believe they could describe me, I am simply too average. I can blend in and vanish, wearing a grey suit I can become invisible. I can even evade security people, because I seemingly belong to the surrounding. IF someone stares at me he sees someone different or tried to figure out where from he knows me. Very seldom women stare at me, astoundingly such younger than me, in her thirties. I have no idea why and what they may see.

  13. geewits,
    You are very modest. Based on your daughter’s wedding photos, it is clear people stare at you cause you are a stunner and perhaps because you hang around a Cary Grant look a like.

    I think you are a softie wrapped in a gruff Ogre outside and you don’t really barbecue squirrels.

  14. Mr. Charleston,
    Haha. Have to strongly agree with your gripe about women who dress up as eye candy and then get annoyed with us for looking. I would never have pictured you as “boney”. If the dog wags his tail, good. If he licks his chops, run.

    If you just look at all your female readers, it’s clear that you stand out to them. Those same qualities probably make you stand out in person too.

  15. LGS, I am actually less concerned about people staring at me and more concerned when animals start to stare. There is something very unsettling about the fixed gaze of an animal when you are the focal point. I have had more than a few squirrels and prairie dogs set their sights on me and lock their eyeballs in my direction. I don’t quite know what to make of it. And then there is Flo, my appaloosa. When I am saddling her up and she is staring right into my eyes, I have to wonder what she’s thinking: “Don’t make that girth too tight or there’ll be trouble?” – or perhaps “What is the meaning of life, no one else here in the barn seems to know?” We may never know.

  16. Lol of course kids love squirrels. I think it is a great sign that kids attract to you in my eyes it means you are genuine and kind. Children don’t need words to see that.

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