Sunday, June 22, 2008

Four legs good; two legs bad?

So when I pass other residents of my condo complex, I find this happens:

If it's a solitary person (male or female), they almost always smile and say hi.
If it's a couple, they look down and avoid eye contact.

Has anyone else encountered this phenomenon? Is it selfishness (I don't need to be nice to you; I've got companionship), or,

well, selfishness is all I can come up with.

8 comments:

SP said...

What's "make or female" mean?

JC said...

YOU are in no position to make fun. You WE'd me and had beehive sex.

SP said...

Yesh. We're very sixties. See that? We.

JennyG said...

It could be (very misplaced) "civil disinterest," the same phenomenon that makes us look away when we pass someone disabled, or in emotional distress. I'm sure you've encountered the attitude of, "Oh, you poor thing, I'm sure you don't want to be single." And to the extent that these happily coupled folks view singledom as some type of handicap, they may be avoiding eye contact to spare you the embarrassment of being seen walking (gasp!) alone. Other folks who clearly have no problem being out on their own (as evidenced by the fact that they are out on their own), see no such problem, and thus can be civil without being disinterested.

JC said...

THIS is why I have smart friends with degrees in social psych. I like your take, and it makes sense. Although I've noticed some interesting corollaries: when I make conversation with women, they tend to be friendly; when I make conversation with guys, they tend to assume I'm hitting on them and become sort of awkward. Or their wives/gfs make it a point of introducing themselves. It amuses me. Me, the threatening predator.

JC said...

Oh, and to follow up on your theory, there are times when I've been out alone in a restaurant, and a member of a couple will spot me and not very subtly do the "Look, but don't make it obvious. That woman over there is eating alone." Then the partner will slo-o-owly turn around, glance at me, and look quickly away. And I laugh to myself and think, "I'm eating dinner, not being hit by a car!"

Partially it's being single more often than not, coupled with a history of dating men who make no social time for me, but I'm used to eating/going out alone a lot, and to me it's perfectly normal and comfortable. I forget that to some people it's tragic.

Thanks Jennyg! You nailed it!

SP said...

So anyway! Beehive sex!

JC said...

I hear someone has a tiny stinger.