Thursday, 19 August 2010

Governance of Eyes

Today I have nothing to say about the Single life or men at all, except that this fantabulously beautiful flame-haired young man got on the Rough Bus yesterday at one of the Rougher Bus Stops, and I was, like, ooooo...

Flame-haired young men don't usually look like that. Often they look sunburnt and pug-like. Not that there is anything wrong with being pug-like. Pugs are sweet.

Married ladies are not supposed to stare at handsome young men, so I didn't. The Rules says unmarried ladies shouldn't stare at handsome young men either. That's what Facebook is for, ha ha ha. Just kidding. The Rules was before Facebook. Anyway The Rules says you're not supposed to stare at handsome young men because then they guess that you're into them and therefore they won't have to work to get your attention, which means you then might be approached by the lazy sort of opportunist who is out to see what he can get with the least amount of effort.

If you have read my book, you know all about Max and have a prime example of how beautiful young men can make somewhat older women go a bit nutty just by hoving into view. I wonder how old you have to be before this stops. My late 80-something grandmother was thrilled when handsome young paramedics would rush to her aid when, occasionally panicking, she phoned for an ambulance. (Yes, I love this story.)

Marriage does not, in fact, completely cure you of noticing when young men are beautiful. In fact, married ladies turn out to be quite a lot like married men: married but not buried, as one of my friskier bosses once said. However, just like clever married men, clever married ladies learn to stare at the floor, or out the window, or at the sign saying that all attacks upon the bus driver will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. We practise this incredibly useful discipline called "the governance of the eyes."

Nuns used to be very good at the governance of the eyes, and some of them had habits that actually blocked their peripheral vision. Without wanting to join the legions who trash anything nuns did before 1965, I must say that I think that a bit too, too. You don't need blinders not to stare at beautiful men; you just need a bit of common sense. If a man is really that beautiful, anyway, you can ponder the beauty of the Creator through His creation through the phantasm burnt upon your memory at first glance.

But this is advice mostly for married ladies, nuns and consecrated virgins. I think Searching Single girls should have a little more visual freedom, as one of the many small perks of being Single. I am inclined to think that you can gaze until you are caught, but only if you promise to smile when caught. Then you must look out the window, or out the window, or at the sign forbidding you to attack the bus driver. Your little smile should be enough to signal that you might be interested in talking to this very handsome individual, and your subsequent governance of eyes should suggest that you don't talk to just any handsome individual.

Of course, all this depends on the context, too. Beauty is only skin-deep, and goodness knows what that beautiful flame-haired young man was up to before he got on the Rough Bus.

Update: B.A. reminds me that this is more commonly known as "custody of the eyes." That sounds like they are on their way to jail, though!


Anna said...

Uuum what about staring at a very handsome man who is also the lead singer of a really good but little-known band? I can't help but stare at handsome men who are also great singers.....they're so magnetic.

Seraphic said...

Well, maybe for as long as he is on stage... Don't forget how Oasis warned us all from putting our happiness in the hands of a rock and roll band.

It's very interesting how a stage can make even a very plain man seem absolutely magnetic. It can't be them--it must be something in our heads. I wonder what it is?

Meanwhile, we women do seem to behave very oddly around singers, musicians and actors of all kinds. I think we need to watch out for this groupie tendency in ourselves, to the point of firmly checking our thoughts.

Alisha said...

The easiest way, if you are a NCG, is to remind yourself that the majority of musicians, singers actors and dancers are not NCBs and thus not marriage material. Take it from one who knows...though I adore them all just the same, and they are, often, more interesting than the NCB. NCB should, therefore, if they have inclination, enter those fields for the searching singles out there.

Seraphic said...

Agreed. Men who are both good artists and good Catholics are few, rarer and more precious than gold.