Sunday, July 4, 2010

Sunglasses Experiment Day 1, My Trip to 7-11

As lunch time neared I got excited as it would be my first taste of sunglasses. I wanted to duplicate yesterday's tension filled trip so I went to the same place I did yesterday, 7-11.

I left the house and silently complained about the oppressive humidity and heat here in Saint Louis today. "Sticky" would be an apt word to describe this weather.

My car ride was only 3 minutes and then I was there. I have been to this 7-11 near 1,000 times probably since 1994, but this time I had more purpose than my usual Red Bull or nacho run.

I entered the store somewhat secretly wanting someone, anyone, to notice me. This is a complete opposite of my usual life that has me wanting to be invisible, but now I wanted to be seen.

I grabbed a Red Bull and then a hot dog and proceeded to the cashier. No other customers were in the store which is somewhat of a shame because I wanted to see just how much eye contact is made by random strangers.

At the cashier I was yearning for eye contact, or rather the chance to make eye contact, but the sales clerk was busy inputting inventory and his attention was elsewhere.

As he was scanning my items I stared at the clerk. I took notice of the lines in his face and the subtle features that sets all of us apart. I don't usually take notice of anything about a person's face. I see it, but it doesn't really get processed. As I stared though I was flooded with information and just like yesterday's freeze up of sorts when eye contact was made I too today was somewhat frozen. It wasn't anxiety, but more like a flood of information that took so much brain power to make sense of.

As I gave him the money he looked at me and as a reflex I looked away. I tried, and as he handed me the change I made eye contact! ... for a split second and then I looked over him and the advertisement that said, "Buy fresh products from FarmVille here at 7-11" which confused me. There was real food under the sign so I thought, jokingly, "Is there anything technology can't do?"

So that was my first experience. I didn't expect to be able to drill the eyes on day one, but this is a good start. Should I have another experience today I will most certainly share it, but it is the 4th and fireworks will be going on (I don't like them at all. Big ones downtown are fine, but the ones people buy and set off scare me to no end) and the weather is "Sticky" so we shall see.


  1. Interesting experience. I wish you luck!

  2. Good job! Just noticing facial features is a step in the right direction.

  3. I love your social experiment with you as the participant. Good luck with the sunglasses -- I hope you are able to use this new tool to your advantage.

  4. (Due to Blogspot fail comments were lost, I will type what others said)

    Margarida said:

    "Way to go Aaron!"