March 16, 2011

Staring Contest

What is it with the staring?  There are days when I ignore it and days when I tolerate it but mostly it just annoys me.  I don't think I'll ever be used to it.  As I was waiting to shower my kids after swimming class last night, two little girls gawked at us as we spoke in English to each other.  Then in the parking lot a kid literally walked up to us and stood there staring at us long enough for it to be weird.  I know we speak a different language and I also know that kids stare a lot ... but it still annoys me.  Usually it's the adults who stare and like the kids, they don't easily look away.  I know that people are curious but why is it so culturally acceptable to gawk?  (And don't even get me started on people breathing down my neck when standing in lines...I'll save that rant for another day.)

I remember on my first anniversary, my husband and I took a trip to New York City to celebrate.  It was our first time there and we really loved visiting all the tourist locations and meeting up with friends.  But of all the awesome experiences we had there, the part I remember most fondly is that NOBODY stared at us.   Nobody cared what language we spoke or what we looked like.  It was great.  I loved hearing snatches of all different kinds of dialects and languages and seeing the cultural variety of people.  Maybe it was me doing the staring, but just a little.

I wonder if the staring is worse in smaller towns.  What do you do when people are staring at you?  


  1. I live in a pretty small town here in Mexico and have not noticed anybody staring. I get questions about where i am from alot and people tend to talk about me like i am not there, usually because they think i don't understand them. Staring though has never been something that has been an issue. Alot of people here are lighter skinned though and it isn't unusual to see blue eyes or naturally lighter haired Mexicans.

  2. Just stop whatever you're doing and stare back! That's what my dad used to do when people stared while we spoke in Hebrew (imagine what THAT was like!) Dalit

  3. I read this post and chuckled to myself.

    I am Mexican American and even I can't stand when people stare. I dare say it is a culture thing, which explains why you enjoyed New York, they are very diverse. In defense of the poor souls that breathe down your neck while standing line I must say this; I have found that customer service is not the same as in the states so if you want to get helped you have to be a little pushy. I don't mean to generalize but alot of times there isn't any organization with tending to customers.