Didn’t your mama ever teach you that staring is rude?
It was your typical Tuesday morning. I woke up around ten, went upstairs to get a glass of water-thinking I’m home alone-when I see Kyle laying on the couch in his thermal underwear. He misses school at least once a week. He’s the best. But as I was walking past, minding my own, he turns his head to me and stares. For quite some time. This is something that he does frequently. He slowly turns his head, and stares at you. He doesn’t say a word because he assumes you that know what he is thinking. But I don’t. Ever. All I can guess that is going on in his mind is, “I am AWESOME. You are not. APPLE. I love Roller Coaster Tycoon 17. I love making people feel awkward.” Yes, we may share the same freckles, “3rd through 8th grade” awkward stage, blue eyes that spasmodically go lazy, sense of humor, ghastly laugh, and love for technology, but I assure you: I do not know why he feels the need to stare at me. It’s not even a pleasant stare either. It’s this paralyzed face stare that makes you turn around to see if there’s someone behind you. I looked up the word “gawk” because I thought maybe that would describe it. As a verb, it is to stare stupidly, like if you were to see Lady Ga Ga in Meat Suit. No, that doesn’t describe Kow. But as a noun, a gawk is an awkward, foolish person. THERE IT IS! Kyle is a gawk when he stares.
After getting my glass, I go downstairs to do a little Insanity…This is a workout DVD that not only makes you feel like a whale, but takes over your life. When I was living in Rexburg, McKay, Ali, and I made it 2 weeks straight of Insanity madness. We gave it up due to actual diagnosed insanity. This particular morning, I was 30 minutes into the Power and Resistance video, when Kyle slowly walks down the stairs, wrapped in a blanket, and stops on the bottom step. I could feel him staring, not saying a word, and at this point I was dripping in sweat, red face and all, in push-up position. After what felt like 5 minutes, I finally snapped and yelled, “KYLE! STOP!” He spoke in the most monotone, drawn out voice I’ve ever heard, “Iiiiiisssss ttttttthhhhhhaaaaaatttttt hhhhhhaaaaarrrrrrrddddd?” I lost it. “This is the LAST place that I want to answer that question. Get out of here!” He slowly walked up the steps and didn’t bother me. I felt bad.
The next day, I went into work where I do my lovely job of filing at the Peterson Autoplex. I was in the back room, sitting on the dust-filmed floor, iPod playing Beach House, when I felt that feeling. That feeling where someone is standing on the stairs…staring. I didn’t want to look like an idiot to myself if I turned and no one was there, so I refrained from looking for a few more seconds. Resistance failed me when I whipped my head around and saw him. Grandfather. This is not the first time he’s done this. Not a hello, not a “MAAASSSONNN” to get my attention. Just a Kyle stare. I guess it runs in the family.
I’ve been spending quite a bit of time on airplanes in the past two months because of my job at Spotlight Events. We go to various cities around the country and put on dance competition shows. On the way home from Little Rock, Arkansas, I found a nice window seat at 6 in the morning. I put my head against the side and instantly fell asleep. In that groggy moment where you’re about to pass out, I felt someone plop a seat right next to me…even though the aisle seat was clearly open. I knew that this was not going to be a full flight and that everyone would be able to have a middle seat open next to them…This was supposed to be my dream flight. I managed to sleep for an a couple of hours, but then I opened my eyes. That was the worst mistake I could have ever made.
“Iiiieeee sssaaaavvee diiiis fffoooo uuuuuu,” rung a high-piched asian voice. Mulan’s older sister handed me a fruit and nut bar as she scooted her body closer to me, smothering the arm rest between us. She was a teeny little thing, but she had a very large personality.
“My name is Shin-ii.” I had to ask her to repeat several times before I came to some sort of conclusion. I forgot immediately afterwards. There was an hour until we landed and I had to listen to her for that whole time. She went on about how her daughter has been living with her ex for 10 years, but now he lost her and Shin is going to find her. She gave me advice such as, ‘Never get married’, or ‘Never have children’, or ‘Eat Shipleys’. I didn’t know what Shipleys were when she talked about them but apparently it’s a donut shop that she owns. She blamed her hyperness on how many donuts she eats. I looked at her frame…she was about 5’1 weighing 92 lbs. Yeeahh right. She clearly took caffeine pills. I said about five words in that whole conversation. I learned more about this woman than I ever wanted to. I learned that she had her kid when she was twenty, that her ex husband gets crazy when he’s intoxicated, her now-husband feels like he never spends time with her because of her donut shop, she’s lived in America all her life, yet she still has a heavy Korean accent, she thinks Accounting is the most important class to take in college, she could pass as an 18-year-old yet she’s 42, and she has another daughter who goes to Berkley. And during that grueling hour of trying to seem interested while my contacts were drying in my sockets, she looked directly into my eyes. I didn’t know it was possible, but she stared at me while she babbled.