My sister and I try and sneak into the wedding reception as quietly and as incognito as possible. As usual we are terribly late even though it is our cousin’s wedding. Just as we thought we had made it and miraculously found a table with two free seats close to each other, somebody taps me on the back. ’That woman is calling you’ she says. I look up hoping to ‘eye’ the person calling us to silence that person till our operation ‘sneak in’ was complete, but alas, it’s aunty Oye. our mother’s bestie. So, mission aborted, we walk up to greet her, thereby drawing a lot of attention to ourselves and incurring the look of disapproval from fellow relatives. Actually that was more bearable than the look of the madam sitting next to aunty Oye. Thankfully, as my sister and I analyzed later, the platform in our high-heeled shoes saved us from falling over. Like they say ‘if eyes could kill’. She just sat there and ‘graded’ my sister and I from head to toe, one after the other and back again. The next thing I see as I am hugging aunty is my sister dropping into a courtesy to greet the said madam. To which, madam squints her nose like she caught a whiff of a bad smell, looks her up and down and calls my sister’s name! I could not believe it. This swelled up madam with her haughty eyes, is the same age as my sister, which means she’s more than half a decade younger than me!
These looks you get walking into any gathering in this town, be it, Church, Get together, Party, Friend’s houses to hang, School run, I don’t get it. No one just smiles or says hello and wishes you a good day. Many who even know you would stare waiting for heaven knows what or blatantly pretend they haven’t noticed your entry till you actually tap them. I wonder what exactly the problem is.
The only times I am grateful that my eyesight is bad are times when I am walking into these gatherings. I usually have on my contact lens and with them on I can’t see very far and very clearly hence I miss the look as I am naturally very clumsy hence I don’t want pictures of a tumbling me all over social media!
Now I have asked many people what exactly is the reason for that look that stare, that grading or that attitude all for want of a better word and everyone knows what I mean but no one has explained it. Is it a pose? What does it signify?
I grew up, taught that proper grooming and simple etiquette dictates that when you enter a room you greet those therein.
When your eyes meet those of a fellow human being on entering a place you greet. It does not matter whether you know them or whether you are older or whether indeed you speak the same language. A greeting will always be recognized and appreciated as a greeting.
A smile changes an average looking face into something very pleasant so imagine a smile on an already pretty face! A frown makes a pretty face seem awful and I wont bother describing what it does to those whose faces are not. A smile is free and by the way so is a greeting and a compliment or a cheerful wish.
A smiling face takes at least 10 years off your age whilst a scowl adds decades to you.
In fact I have an aunty in the village and once my grandmother sees her, granny would break into a dance and a singsong saying ‘Erin o je ki oko na’ which literally translates as ‘She smiles all the time her husband doesn’t hit her’. But I am sure in the fuller picture it means her smile brings about peace.
I could rant about this for days but then I felt justified when I picked up my Devotional the other morning and there in the Book of Proverbs Chapter 6 verse 16-19 it talked about six things The Lord hates!!! Yes HATES! And the first is ‘Haughty eyes’ it is later described as ‘prideful snare’ and in another as ‘a proud look’. In the devotional it goes on to describe a look making another feel small, insecure or bad…
So since at least everyone these days either Christian or Moslem seem to be very religious, attending various fellowships and spewing all manner of Biblical or Quaranic quotes on BB, Whats app, Insatgram as DP messages. Whatever let’s be conscious of this, God hates for us to make another one feel bad just by a look. Lets check ourselves. That ‘haughty look you give, sizing a fellow human being up walking in, God hates it! Apart from that, quite frankly it makes you look less attractive, makes you look frustrated, insecure, and bears no benefit!