It’s Not Just Children Who Stare

It’s Not Just Children Who Stare

Whether you have kids or have found yourself around them, you know the stare. They can’t seem to help themselves as they stare intently at a stranger. Sometimes it’s unblinking without the hint of a smile. Sometimes there are a few blinks and a partly open mouth. And, no matter what you do, they won’t turn away, won’t smile, won’t say a word. They just stare.

My kids don’t do this often, but it’s still a bizarre experience.

But it’s not just kids who have mastered this stare. Or perhaps adults have simply remembered how to do the stare. That’s right. Adults. People older than my kids and people older than me.

Maybe it’s because we live in the city. Maybe it’s because I look more like a big sister pushing around her two much younger siblings. Maybe it’s because some people think I must have been a teen mom. I don’t know why, but I think adults doing the stare are much creepier than kids doing it.

My son’s preschool is close by, so I walk my kids over when the weather permits. Considering we live in Los Angeles where a car is almost as essential as breathing, we don’t actually encounter too many people. There are the occasional joggers and frequent dog walkers, but that’s about it. I don’t mind them; they’re too busy to notice me.

But sometimes there will be an older man or woman or couple walking by. If they’re not alone, they’re busy chatting to each other until we come close to crossing paths. Then they go silent and the stare starts.

I used to watch them out of the corner of my eye. They would stare until they passed me by. It didn’t take long for me to just keep my eyes forward and my feet moving. It’s the city; I’m not going to make eye contact or flash a smile. You never know when it might trigger someone, as strange as that might sound. Though there is a more than good chance they’ll just ignore it and continue that stare.

It’s not just kids who stare, but I’ll take one of them over a staring adult any day. It’s not cute.

And, no, I’m not going to give a pretty smile and wave like adults do to my kids when they stare.



13 thoughts on “It’s Not Just Children Who Stare”

  • Same. I contribute it to them either staring at my kids or being taken aback that I, a father, am doing what I’m supposed to do… be a father! Or maybe I just have purty eyelashes lol. Regardless, I shrug it off unless they step within my safety zone, then momma bear comes out to protect my kiddos.

    • Well, I have to admit I can’t help but stare at beautiful lashes! I totally agree; as long as they keep their distance, it’s easy to brush off. Personally, I can’t help but smile at dads who are out with their kids, and wish more would do it. The time for when dad’s can be out with their kids sans a female companion and no one bats an eye can’t get here fast enough.

  • I find myself staring without meaning to at times. I’m just looking and thinking about something else. Other times I figure they stare because they are amazed that despite how heavy I’ve got over the years I still look aaaahmazing 😉

  • I know what you are talking about, it is creepy. My husband and I talk about “The stare” that seems to be taking over everyone. I started noticing it with some of our neighbors too, neighbors that we know, speak to, give food and gifts to.

    When I has excited about showing my neighbor around our garden one day because he was going to be watering the plants while we were away and I smiled and said I leave out one water dish for the birds and bees…he just stared.

    We used to water his garden, feed his chickens, and take care of his pets when he would travel all the time and now he asks the neighbors next to him to do that, ever since I was excited about showing him my garden.

    His wife still wants to use our pool though, as long as “That shit from the tree is out” she always says laughingly. She even said she would get rid of that tree and that is when her husband said ” I would get rid of the pool before the tree”. It is creepy. I have to agree though about that tree, I would keep it over a pool any day, love my trees.

    The stare seems to come out when I am trying to be happy, sharing something positive, then that creepy silence and not contributing to the conversation all the while staring. It is awkward too. This is from people we have known for years.

    Living in a big city like Phoenix we do get a lot of stares but now people we thought were our friends and neighbors are joining in. Anyway, great post, just wanted tom let you know I have noticed it too. It is like that movie the Body snatchers…creepy, creepy.

    • Gosh, that is really creepy. On kids it’s adorable. On adults it’s just weird. I can’t image how bizarre it must be from someone you’ve known for years. Having recently moved to a big city, it’s taking a lot of time to adjust to it and, I have to say, I’d rather have a child stare at me in a restaurant. I think kids do it out of curiosity. I wonder if it’s the same for adults. Otherwise, I’m not sure if I want to know what they’re thinking. It is creepy. Very, very creepy.

  • How bizarre! My husband’s rubbed off on me. I’ll play the social experiment and stare back with a “what’s up” kind of look and a smile. Can’t say I’ve ever noticed the ‘stare’ though, like what you’re talking about. Perhaps it’s because I don’t live in that big of a city.

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