I’m perfecting the art of eye-rolling. I realize it’s not as much of an accomplishment as, say sword swallowing or creating the perfect soufflé. But it’s a practical skill and part of my personal worksite wellness program.
Not sure when I chose eye-rolling over teeth-gritting, as the politically-correct solution to tacit disagreement or open hostility. I guess it’s been more of an evolution than any kind of conscious choice. But it serves as a non-confrontational response that reveals what I’m thinking when it suits me or affords an undetected protest, when it doesn’t.
Eye rolling also serves as a “do you want to rethink that” suggestion that, when appropriately applied, could deter hasty decisions or heat of the moment actions. Think about it. Taking such a pause might have saved Marie Antoinette’s head or caused John McCain to leave Sarah Palin gazing out the window at what she thought was Russia or dissuaded Geena Davis from wearing that ridiculous dress to the Academy Awards in 1992.
And, although I hate to admit it, my eye rolling has saved my sanity, as I dutifully listen to my mother’s repertoire of complaints and news flashes about my dimwitted cousins in California. Same old stuff. Because she doesn’t see well, I can roll my eyes until they’re spinning around in my head like pinballs and she doesn’t have a clue. I know. I disgust myself, too.
But I’ve come to think of twirling the old blues (or in my case, greens) up into my head as a kind of a release valve, where I can stay true to myself while silently, albeit vehemently, opposing what’s being said. In my experience, screaming “my God, have you lost your mind?” or banging my shoe on the table like Khruschev affect quite different outcomes, neither of which have advanced my career or enriched my relationships.
Guess I’ll stick with the orbiting eye balls until some other untapped talent reveals itself. Removing my own tonsils or patching the driveway with my culinary creations wouldn’t look nearly as good on a resume.