Monday, July 12, 2010
Day 9: My Trip to CVS and Further Questions (With a Big Revelation?)
Waking up today was difficult. My body is letting me know I spent four days flagging and on top of that I forgot my tennis shoes so I did all those races in dress shoes. Believe me when I say I will NEVER make that mistake again!
After multiple returns home due to forgetting numerous items, I finally made it to the Interstate that leads me to the office. Once there, at the red light, I realized I forgot my phone, but I wasn't making a 4th return trip. I can't tell you how exposed I feel without my phone. I hope I don't get any important calls today because that always seems to be the case.
On my way to the office I needed to stop at the CVS to get a mailing envelope. This, I decided, would be a great place to write about because everything else in my research project has been food related.
Walking into the store, I went unseen. No "hello" or "How are you, can I help you?"
I walked past the counter towards the drinks section because I, more than most days, needed a Red Bull to kick-start me out of this zombie like state and noticed the employees behind the counter. Oddly, neither of them looked at me.
What makes this lack of them looking at me relevant? In my mind, I am always being looked at. Using my line of "I think therefore you should know" applies to this. If I am afraid of being looked at this means I assume everyone is looking at me and because I never look at people this has never been proven to be false.
I got my drink and mailing envelope and proceeded to the checkout counter. My goal was to fight the reflex that has been prevalent so far in this experiment, avoiding eye contact. I wanted to fight it, but the cashier never once looked at me. It was odd for me to be the one sustaining eye contact and having the other person be the one looking everywhere except at me.
If I had been wearing my normal glasses I would NEVER have known the other person wasn't looking at me and assumed that they were looking at me the entire time.
My secondary goal was to try and remember features of the sales clerk, but as I left the store I instantly forgot her details. I don't even know what color her shirt was, what color her hair was, or even her height. This saddened me, somewhat, because I was trying to remember, but my mind, when it is thinking, doesn't put a large emphasis on remembering the people around me.
So that was my trip to CVS, but this entry isn't over because after I wrote yesterday's "What I've learned" article I continued to dwell on the mysteries of eye contact and I have a few hunches.
I am a private person. I won't tell you what I like (I can go on all day about stuff I can't stand, like the music in EA's NHL 10 video game) and I don't want you to know if I find something interesting. With that being so, could my eyes reveal to the person I am with that I may like something of find something interesting?
That could be a huge statement, I think. I am mostly afraid to ask for something and I know, from observation not practice, that when one person wants another person's attention eye contact is made. For me, asking is difficult and eye contact would simply add to the degree of difficulty. Could it be that if I don't make eye contact it allows me to make it impersonal?
I think this line of thought that spurred this question could be monumental. Could it simply be that eye contact, in my mind, allows you to know too much about me? If this is the case, it isn't that you are looking at me, but me looking at you. I never knew which way the issues were, but if this example of asking for something and the need for privacy goes across the entire board, then it is 100% me looking at you that is the issue.
As the next 21 days progress I may change my mind on this, but for right now I will continue thinking about this and hopefully will be able to provide my insight on this as the experiment continues.
Later today I will be returning to the police academy to give my presentation on Autism to the class currently going through Crisis Intervention Team training. This will be a moving experience for me because this will be my first time back since my last in-service training (http://lifeontheothersideofthewall.blogspot.com/2010/05/end-of-my-in-service-police.html) and I know I owe my ability to make presentations to those presentations I gave. If I have any more experiences or thoughts today I will most certainly share them with you later today.