The Art of Avoiding Eye Contact

Drew and I went to a show at a theatre company some time this weekend, and in the lobby I noticed someone with whom we are both familiar. Let’s call this person Pat. I said to Drew, “Hey, Pat’s over there,” and he said, “Did you say hi?” and I said, “No,” and he said, “I don’t need to say hi.”

Then we went and sat down, and after a minute he grabbed my arm and I intuited (from years of having things like this happen) that Pat was now behind us. About a minute before the show was about to start Pat crossed the theatre and I said, “Don’t worry, s/he can’t hurt you now.” But then Pat ran back over and sat down in Pat’s seat very near to where we were sitting.

At intermission we went and hung out outside (and chatted with the ASM on the show who is a friend of mine), and then we went back inside. I don’t know how, during all this, Pat and I never managed to make eye contact, but we didn’t. By the end of intermission when everyone was settled back in our seats I started pondering if Pat was also avoiding eye contact with us as much as we were with Pat.

The show ended, applause ensued, and we took off in order to try to get back through San Francisco on a Sunday night (rarely a small feat). I never said hi to Pat; Pat never said hi to us. For all I know, Pat has no idea we were there, breathing the same air. But I find it more likely that we were all in agreement that a hello wasn’t really necessary.

I guess that’s the world we live in now.

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2 Comments

Filed under "Other people", Being a girl, Theatre

2 responses to “The Art of Avoiding Eye Contact

  1. Dennis

    As long as you wish them a happy birthday on Facebook, you are not socially obligated to actually make physical personal contact with anybody ever.

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