I am sitting across the table from her and it is nearing the end of our dinner date…our first meeting. I say, “You have confused me a little tonight…there are a few things that I have come to expect from these encounters…and you know, you are not doing what you are supposed to do.” The last words trail off with a whimsical smile.
She says “Really?, like what?”
“You may not know this, but if you go into an veterinary exam room and there is an unstable dog in the room, you can very easily make him uncomfortable or illicit predictable behavior from him by just looking at him. If he is unstable, and you look directly at him, he will immediately feel threatened. Often, he will begin to growl or bark and sometimes he will even begin to pace or try and hide behind his ‘parents’. A stable dog could care less if you look at him. He doesn’t perceive a threat or an ulterior motive just from a look. If anything, he might look back at you and smile…or even get up to greet you…..and maybe seek a hug or some positive form of attention from you.”
Progressive intrigue lights up her sparkly expressions even more so than before and she says, “Do you see a lot of unstable dogs at your hospital?”
“Believe it or not, probably sixty to eighty percent in varying degrees, some are much worse than others. I know that sounds crazy, but its true, I promise you….obesity has the same unbelievable ratio, sixty to eighty percent of all my patients are obese too.”
She replies without any sign whatsoever of feeling judged or accused or over-talked. “Sadly, I think I can believe that…though it is hard for me not to wonder about my own dog right now.” Smiles…sparkles…she glows with positive energy.
“Well, you are the first person in a long, long, long time that hasn’t been disturbed by my gaze. I am so used to the women that I date becoming disturbed and offended and uncomfortable because of the way I look at them…it just happens all the time. I don’t do it to be creepy or weird or intimidating…I just look at things the way that I do…its natural for me…its not judgmental or meant to make them feel uncomfortable in any way. It really isn’t. Its the same way that I have been looking at you all night long…and for whatever reason, you don’t seem to be offended or disturbed in any way…that intrigues me more than you know.”
Still smiling…and listening…really listening to me, she tilts her head ever so slightly and says, “Don’t they know that you are looking at them to see them…I mean to really see them….who they really are? I want to be looked at. I want to be looked at like that. I wasn’t looked at for seventeen years.”