Just this past week I discovered that I have an incredibly incriminating habit. I’ve never noticed before and, apparently, no one has felt it important enough to inform me. Due to the reluctance of friends, I’m unsure of how long this has been going on. Perhaps it’s something I’ve just acquired, which would save me years of worrying whom I may have confused. The unfortunate reality is, I have a feeling that this has been a part of my life for quite some time. Years even. Which, in retrospect, would explain a lot. My name is Jenny Shannon and I am a serial winker.
I wink. At people. Not just in passing. Not only people I know, but people I don’t know as well. Please don’t get me wrong, my wink simply means, ” hello, I acknowledge you.” Similar to a hand shake, except more sanitary since no touching is involved. You can tell by the subtlety of the wink- quick and to the point, not to be confused with it’s slow, seductive counterpart which if I even attempted would result in a lazy-eye flutter as attractive as a seizure. Unfortunately, not everyone is educated in the art of wink-prowess. How many young men must have been thrown off by my ill-perceived interest? How many women? People who aren’t intuitive enough to recognize the varying wink degrees must have suffered greatly at my hands, er, eyes. There are other uncomfortable realizations as well, such as, the extra pickles the deli guy gives me for free may not just be an expression of good-will. Sigh.
I believe all of this would have gone unnoticed for God knows how long if I didn’t have a conference with my boss this past week. I was using the phone in his office to make a rather uncomfortable phone call to a parent of a child I have in my class. In between the nods and explanations and all other forms of silent communication teachers and parents alike are well versed in, he silently mouthed, “how is she taking it?” Rather than place my hand over the receiver like any other normal person and reply, I simply winked. Which, of course, in my mind simply meant, “Everything’s cool, I got it under control.” Apparently, his mind didn’t get the telepathic wink memo. Good Lord.
I have now become painfully aware of my serial winker-status. I’ve invested in a pair of wind-shield sized sunglasses to curtail the offense. I avoid looking people in the eye. I close them only when necessary, and even then I check to make sure no one is looking. I’ve developed a rather wide-eyed expression that would make Bambi seethe with envy. I’ve invested stock in Visine. I have been clean for exactly two going on three days of. Free of winkage.
In order to keep myself in check I’ve developed a theory: winking is akin to farting. If you are not around people who love and understand you and in order to avoid embarrassment for both parties, it’s best to abstain.