Saturday, November 17, 2012
Didn't you, as a kid, wish you had magic powers like reading minds or being invisible? I did. I thought "how cool would it be to read someone's mind."
Another of my childhood fantasies, other than the standard gay child's fantasy of Prince Charming stopping by and carrying me away on his white horse to live HAPPILY EVER AFTER, was to be an invisible man. That way I could slip in and out of people's lives and know what they were saying and doing without them knowing that I knew. Long sentence there, I hope that made sense.
Guess what folks? I think I can do that. Yes, another of the many benefits of getting older. I can read minds! Yessum, I surely can. I still haven't figured how to be invisible but I don't have to because I can read people's minds.
So you ask, "How can he do that?" Very simple, body language. I think most of us, once we have reached a certain age and even those much younger recognize certain body language. Sometimes we don't even realize we're doing it, like talking with our hands but we do pick up on certain forms of body language.
I'm not going to go into all the different aspects of body language here but I can tell you that I can almost immediately know how someone feels about me from the first meeting and subsequent interactions. For instance today, I attended a HOA meeting of my neighbors here in my typical, coastal shore, semi-retirement, tick-tocky, Ryan Homes development. After the meeting I wanted to introduce myself to one of my new neighbors who I was rather impressed with when I heard and saw him comment at the meeting. No, he wasn't MY TYPE but I liked him all the same because he spoke honestly and forthrightly his feelings and, of course, was promptly verbally slapped down by my lawyer/lesbian neighbor who was chairing the meeting. Not that THAT has anything to do with it but I do think the gay/straight undercurrent in our gatherings are always there, whether acknowledged or not.
After his verbal slap down I watched him and saw where he was furious but exercised a LOT of self discipline not to get into an argument or just get up and walk out. Welcome to the neighborhood buddy!
I made it a point to introduce myself to him after the meeting. In the rush to get out of there, I managed to put my hand on his shoulder and turn him around and introduce myself. "Hi, I'm Ron. What's your name?" Hey, I get to the point. He told me his name which coincidentally is from a prominent right wing family in the area which is notorious for posting their views on their huge billboard right outside our development which I HAVE to look at every time I drive out. I didn't want to get into THAT with him, just introduce myself and tell him that I agreed with his statement. He seemed to appreciate that but I could tell from his body language that he was thinking "Who the hell are you and why do I care?" Of course I'm used to that response, I get it all the time. I also got over it a LONG time ago.
He told me where he lived and I told him where I lived which we will both promptly forget as he will my name. But I did introduce him to several of my neighbors which seemed to relax him. At least he wasn't grinding his teeth anymore and I think I even saw a faint slip of a smile cross his face.
So there we go folks, nothing earth shattering to change the course of history but I do think I changed his first impression, however little, of his new neighbors.
The Middle East may be on the verge of Armageddon again but here in our little corner of the world, I think I contributed to good feelings between a group of strangers who have chosen to live together on this minuscule speck of land on the coast of eastern southern Delaware called Covington Chase.