Confession: I have this glassy-eyed look thing that I do.
I worked for a local city several years ago in the Procurement and Fleet Services department. I enjoyed the work, although I was probably just an “ok employee.” I had young kids at the time and I was really just trying to supplement our family’s income the best way I could. I wasn’t looking for a career, just a job. That time of employment served a purpose for both me and the city.
Our little department would have a staff meeting on Pay Day Fridays. I had not participated in many of these staff meetings until a friend of mine (who referred me to the position in the first place) noted to me that I get a glassy-eyed look when the subject either gets too boring or gets out of my field of expertise. She would try so hard to not bust into laughter when she would look at me and I was glazed over. After a while I would blink and we would make eye contact and laugh till we cried.
Over the years, that friend and I have kept in touch and we laugh about the glassy-eyed look often. Since the time she told me that I do it, I have been very conscience of it. I can kind of feel when it is happening now. After years of practice I can catch myself and refocus, if I want to.
I have come to realize that it might be one of my coping mechanisms, too. Have you ever found yourself being lectured on something that you quite literally could not care less about, but you had to sit through it? It’s like you can hear it, but you are not listening. Your body is present, but your mind certainly is not. Right now, my husband is talking to me about politics (I’ll spare you the details) and I get all glassy-eyed really quick. You would think after being married to him for 23 years he would recognize this look by now. Nope.
A few afternoons each week I go pick up my oldest kids from after school sports and my youngest goes with me. It always seems like he has saved ALL his words up all day long, and needs to use them during that 30 minute car ride to get his brothers. He usually will tell me every last detail that I never wanted to know about Marvel and DC comic characters. Now that many of them have TV shows that he can watch he feels the need to bring me up to speed on recent episodes. I often get that glassy-eyed look during that ride.
Just last week, I had my oldest at the doctor’s office and we were discussing his ADD medications and how our insurance company didn’t want to cover them any longer. We discussed how the meds they wanted him moved to were not the same. I was all in this conversation and then she started telling me that one was a something, and one was a something else… glassy-eyed look…crickets. I was gone. And it was so funny because I knew I was gone, and caught the doctor look at me like she knew I was gone. I had to wrangle myself back in to finish the appointment. It was not easy!
I’m not sure if it is an issue or ability. Could this be considered a talent? Is there such thing as adult onset attention deficit disorder? Ha! Tell me what happens when you zone out. I need some reassurance that I’m not the only one that does this.