Jan 4, 2007

Helloooo Sunglasses!

I've always avoided wearing sunglasses. I don't like speaking with people that are wearing them, because I can't see what their eyes are doing. It's also hard to imagine what my face looks like without eyes in it.

However, my father has suffered from Macular Degeneration, and has wisely advised me to start wearing them. There was also some extra flexible spending in my health account this year, so I purchased a pair of prescription sunglasses.

It has been a breakthrough.

The company in which I work has a large campus. Often I need to walk across campus to various meetings. Also walking across campus are various other people, and I never know what to do with my eyes.

When I am walking and a person I don't know is coming in the opposite direction when do I start looking at that person. If I look to early, then I am staring and the person will either be uncomfortable, offended, and think I know them some how. So, you don't want to look at the person too early (whenever that might be). So you have to look somewhere else. Normally, I look straight ahead. That way I don't fall down. If I do that then I'm looking at the person coming from the other direction, so I have to vary my gaze.

I could just not look at anyone, but then I'm being rude. Some people expect you to say hello or good morning(afternoon, day, etc). From to tough looking tradesmen (the ones that really look believable in a hard hat and tool belt), you often get abbreviated versions of hello such as

Never understood the "yep" one since I haven't asked them a question. You also have to know if the person you encounter is a waver, nod-upper, or nod-downer. I've noticed that most Caucasians nod their heads down (if they are nodders). O.K. spell check just tried to make me change nodders to dodders. What in the world is a dodder? Tradesmen and farmers tend to nod more than wave unless they are over a block away and not heading toward each other. Then they are too far away for a nod of the head and they wave. Minorities tend to nod up as a greeting and sign of initial respect.

If I'm in my own neighborhood in front of my own house and a person under the age of 20 walks or rides by, I always nod up and say "sup". Typically the other person does the same. Some times a quasi conversation takes place in which the other person says, "Namuch boutchu?" and I would say "Namuch man." Having thus exchanged greetings there is that general understanding that initial respect and positive emotions have been exchanged.

So, back to sun glasses.

With the sun glasses, I don't have to decide if or when to start looking at some one. If I want I can stare out into the trees and not worry that the other person coming toward me will think that I'm weird or offensive.

It makes for a much less stressful walk.


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