I’m a quiet person. I like to observe conversations before participating in them. Doesn’t sound too out of the ordinary, right? Nothing creepy here. Well, when you don’t talk a lot, you have more time to do two things:
2. Stare at people
The first has come in handy. People like good listeners for some reason. I don’t really care if people are listening to me, unless I have something important to say. Most of the time I’m just babbling on about how good my spinach burger is. And how good can a spinach burger be, really?
Watching people while they speak is polite. It’s an indication that you’re listening. Staring at people happens when you continue to smile at someone after they’ve finished speaking. Or when you watch other people’s reactions instead of the person who’s talking.
Essentially, staring at people makes you a creep.
But I can’t help it! I love faces. All so different, all so expressive. It’s not my fault that your asymmetrical eyebrows are more interesting than the words spewing out of your mouth.
When you spend a lot of time staring at faces, this happens:
Me: [Wandering up to someone I see at the mall] Hi!
Stranger: Hi! [Thinking: “This girl’s exceptionally friendly.”]
Me: Oh! Do you work here?
Stranger: Yeah. [Wait. Why else would she say “hi”?] Do you need help finding something?
Me: Oh. [Realizing this person has no idea who I am] No, I guess not.
Stranger: Oh, okay.
Me: [Awkward silence] You see, I’m pretty sure you ate at the table across from me in the Drury Commons four years ago. I remember your face.
Me: You have a red freckle right . . . there. [Touches stranger's chin]
Stranger: What the hell, lady!?
Me: It’s . . . nice. Nice seeing you. Bye! [Retreats to hide in coat rack]
You see, when you make it a point to remember strangers’ faces, you start to confuse them with people you actually know. It’s bad. I don’t recommend it. Unless creepy is your thing.