I guess some people have it and some people don’t….
I’m not talking about “the look” in a fashion sense either. I’m talking about when things get serious.
Chances are it came from somebody in your family, most likely, your mom or your dad. Maybe it came from a teacher you had when you were growing up or now, maybe that you’re a little older, it can come from the guy sitting across from you at the bar when you’re a little too drunk and are getting a case of courage brought on by the over consumption of your favorite beverage.
My dad had it, in spades. That guy could’ve melted a glacier with his eyeballs. There were no words needed. All it took was sidelong glance in my direction, his eyes squinting, his lips pursed and I would freeze in my tracks like the proverbial deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming semi. The silent alarm that went off in my head when I got “the look” was enough to let me know that danger was on the horizon and I should immediately cease and desist whatever I was doing or there was going to be some hell to pay. It was like a ship, caught in a thick fog, blasting its horn, letting me know that he was there, watching my every move. It didn’t matter if what I was doing was right or wrong and could rear it’s head on the drop of a dime..
I think I inherited part of “the look” from my dad. My kid gets it every so often when she’s acting up and there are still some people I can freeze with it when the reason occasions. Mostly though, they're drunks and teenagers.
I think my “look” is a little different though. Instead of the cold steely stare my father was so good at, behind my eyes there lies a certain sadness and kindness. It’s a “look” that I hope asks the question of “Why would you?” rather than “How could you?”. It’s mostly delivered with a smile and a nod but the method of delivery doesn’t diminish the message I’m trying to get across. I dread the day that my own child becomes afraid of me because that means that I’ve somehow failed and that I’ve learned nothing. I don’t think anybody wants to aspire to that.
These days, the pillow somehow seems a little softer, the dreams somehow a little sweeter and “the look” somehow a little more meaningful.