Women give funny looks

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Let me paint you a picture. You are at work in a large office. You don’t know nearly everyone who you see every day, but you recognize most of the faces. You pass by a woman in the hall. She looks at you and makes a face. This face is not a smile. It is as if she has started to smile, but her lips are stuck together, and she forgot that smiles usually convey happiness. This look simply acknowledges your presence. You can make this face, too. Start to smile, but stop yourself before the corners of your mouth turn up, and think of something you don’t care about very much. I believe that this is the female version of The Nod, a universal greeting between males who recognize each other but have never spoken. This Nod can speak 1,000 words. It is a conditioned automatic response. With The Nod, you can say, “We have made eye contact. I do not know who you are, but I have seen you enough times to know that we must have something in common, even if that thing is only that we work in the same building. However, this commonality brings with it a small amount of respect. Since we occupy the same space so often, in order to uphold my self-image, I must assume that your presence here is for some lofty purpose or goal. To deny you this respect is to threaten the foundation of my own self-respect. This I can not do.” I don’t know what the female-equivalent look means. I could guess, but I’d be wrong. If you are a woman, or if you understand women (Read: you are a liar), feel free to leave an explanation in the comments.