Over The Top

I just caught myself looking over the top of my glasses at someone. Not as a theatrical gesture, but just doing it.

 Of course, the first thing I did when I got my new glasses was to immediately spend an undisclosed amount of time staring in the mirror and trying out various poses: right profile with glasses, left profile with glasses, come-hither head-tilt with glasses, big grin with glasses, serious don't-mess-with-me-face with glasses, and so on. You know what I'm talking about. Everyone does this. The purpose of this activity, as you of course know, was to determine ahead of time what never to do while wearing glasses. Looking over the top of them was one of the unanimous NOs.

  Lest you think me vain, it's not because of the forehead rendered large and glistening and the chin doubled by this particular head-tilt. It's the whole... attitude of it that I object to seeing on my face. It seems a way to perch yourself atop your pedestal via your eyeballs and look down from your lofty height at something or someone. It's more than merely: "I'm looking down my nose at you", it's "I'm so high up here I have to look over the top of these frames and then down my nose." These are not impressions I wish to broadcast with my mild myopia.

 Alas, I found myself today sitting in an undisclosed location zoning out and sightlessly staring at the action around me over the top of my glasses. The particular population who frequents this undisclosed location are a demographic that is signified, in part, by its seemingly contradictory propensity for gazing down noses and a hyper-sensitivity to being gazed at from atop a schnoz.

 Imagine my predicament. I sit here in this veritable powder keg of scrutiny, not just looking but staring down my nose over the top of my glasses. Adding insult to injury, I was thinking. Which, when combined with not paying attention to my external surroundings, produces a sort of slack-jawed frowny face. In my defense, I was thinking about cheese enchiladas which obviously requires a great deal of concentration.

 Having reached the end of my enchilada ruminations, I returned to my senses enough to realize that my glasses had slipped down my nose in my reverie and my gaze was affixed on a group of people directly in front of me. I realized what I must have looked like and immediately went into panic mode. Did they see me? Should I apologize and explain about the enchiladas? Should I just play it cool and turn around? These are the politics of frequenting such places - taxing, to say the least. But while I was settling my glasses into their proper position and settling upon a course of action, I realized the objects of my inadvertent gaze were completely consumed in an activity of their own: telling each other what I know to be outright lies.

 It appears that not many people notice nor care what I'm doing with my eyeballs, glasses or enchilada thoughts. They have their own lies to tell. Discuss.


Originally published on Periphery, where we try very hard not to look down our noses at people on purpose.

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