The Hairy Eyeball

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The hairy eyeball.  Its happened to all of us.  That moment when you catch someone staring at you – the up and down.   My Mom calls it “unzipping”.  My reaction is to always go negative – they must think my outfit is stupid, they notice the chipped nail polish, the zit on my chin, the peanut butter finger prints around my knees, the bad hair day.  Or worse, the way I’m handling my kids, the food in my grocery cart, the difficult business call I am taking on my cell.  I always go negative and assume the worst.

The truth is however, if its me doing the staring its generally positive – a cute haircut, nice outfit or impressive feat of juggling that has caught my attention.  I notice myself doing the staring and feel remorse.  Its at those moments I wish it was socially acceptable to yell at strangers:

“Hey – I love your hair!  Who cuts it for you?  Did you need a flat iron to get that look?”

“OMG those shoes are fantastic.  They look amazing with those pants.  I wish I could pull that off.  Good for you.”

“You are amazing.  You’re carrying your toddler on your shoulders, juggling bags and groceries and are heading home to start cooking dinner.  You are my hero and you deserve a medal!”

I fantasize sometimes when driving the car or pushing the shopping cart that I can hurl these compliments on the unsuspecting women passing by.  Social conventions prevent me from doing so, but next time you see me staring you can be assured that I think you’re awesome!

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