I was wondering today why it is that some old people look young, and some young people have a knack for looking old. Then again, why is it that some people have eyes that always seem to be smiling, while others betray their smile with their eyes?
Pretty simple thought processes going on in my head today. How we make instant judgements about the people we see and meet.
Whenever I get the opportunity, I just love to observe people. Not ogling or anything perverse (although some may think so), just quantitive observation and mild conclusion. Shopping areas are my favourite places, because people are so lost in their own concentration, they hardly ever notice me giving them the once over.
I have found that cafés are not so good, as people tend to be doing what I’m doing, so we get of a lot of embarrassing eye contact as we try and quantitively observe and mild conclude each other.
Anyway, my point is that when people are relaxed and do not feel they are being observed, they act very naturally and do not have their social guard switched on. You can really see how this works if you notice two people meeting each other by chance in the street. Their bodies snap to attention, faces take on a whole new personality and you can almost see the computation taking place as they try to remember each others name. This is usually accompanied by a lot of false smiling as well.
My favourite people to observe are in fact old people. Well, old in the sense of older than me, so that pretty well narrows it down to very old people. My fascination is with their eyes. How some seem to have a permanent happiness implanted in their eyes, even if their mouths and wrinkles point south. You can also sense a brightness or openness in their thinking from their eyes.
Then there are the young. Eyes that can betray their youth and beautiful skin. Eyes that are bored, unhappy, tired and unsmiling even though their mouths point north with a false smile.
I wonder what I look like?