Bitch on the Blog

March 31, 2014

In the tail

Filed under: Amusement — bitchontheblog @ 04:53

Contests don’t interest me. So I have never entered a staring one. Don’t even understand what the purpose is. Unless you are a dog I am facing.

Yes, eye contact. I have to remind myself to not lock eyes with my opposite. I do look at people intently. Children are good that way. They do too. And then we smile at each other – complete strangers, and yet and yet and yet. There is an understanding. As fleeting as a thirty second encounter somewhere on the High Street may be. I love children. Of any age. And they know it.

Where were we: Eyes. And then there is body language. You may be as good an actor as … (name your favourite) but you can’t cheat what your gestures, the way you hold yourself, tell. Talking of acting: There are people in management (and possibly the ‘caring’ professions) who have been taught to “mirror”. A sort of forced empathy. Though mirroring can come natural. Many years ago the Angel pointed out to me that when I fed him I’d open my mouth as he did. Well, let’s stir away from one of my hobby horse subjects, namely that a parent’s facial expressions  are  ‘a mirror’ to a child’s world. The one they can’t yet make sense of. Which is why a buggy should always face the one pushing it. Feedback by another name.

Body language. Whenever someone crosses their arms my alarms not so much ring as I think: Don’t barricade. Keep an open mind.

One which amuses me no end – and so many people do it unnoticed by themselves: That nervous tick of the foot when you sit with your legs crossed (you shouldn’t cross your legs, it’s bad for your legs’ circulation, not that that stops me doing it). Yes, so a dangling foot flicking up and down being a dead give away that the other person finds you or what you are saying irritating. As you know I am nervous of irritable people. Which, the Angel said to me the other day, is rich coming from me. However, he got it wrong. I am not ‘irritable’, not at all. However, I do get irritated by certain things. Fine difference. Difference nevertheless. We then discussed semantics. I did prove my point. He conceded.

The difference between being irritable and irritated a bit like wasps. Some people (the irritable) fling their arms as a wasp buzzes around. Others (that’s me) don’t flap, but will be irritated when stung.

If you can’t follow most of the above, don’t worry. I have a reputation to uphold.





  1. You can console yourself that there are people like me with replaced hip joints who cannot cross their legs even if they want to, unless they are prepared to get back up on the operating table. One gets used to not doing it and it is quite comfortable really. I haven’t crossed mine since 1981.

    Comment by Rummuser — March 31, 2014 @ 07:34 | Reply

    • Interesting. Never thought of what a hip replacement does to your ability to cross legs. My only excuse being that no one in my extended family (even the truly old ones) or anyone else close to me has ever had a hip replacement. This morning – after reading your comment – I forced myself to keep both feet on the floor. For hours. The best one can say is that it makes you feel grounded and virtuous. Have given myself time off at this water cooler moment (right over left). Shall I ever get to the bottom of why it feels so good I’ll let you know. In the meantime, Ramana, by way of scant comfort: You are not missing anything. 1981? 33 years. Wow.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — March 31, 2014 @ 13:10 | Reply

  2. i followed every word! i must be getting used to you or you are drinking less 🙂

    in the last few years i have developed a compulsive toe wriggling thing that would appear to be irritability but you would be mistaken, its inexplicable. it does irritate me when it is really compulsive and i’m tired but it still happens!

    Comment by kylie — March 31, 2014 @ 11:16 | Reply

    • What do you mean “drink”? I don’t need drink to slur my words, garble them and generally confuse everyone with my verbal outpourings.

      Thanks for warning me about your toes wriggling. After all, meeting you in the flesh I might take that as a signal. Say, “Go away, you pesky fly”. Please note that it rhymes.

      How is the chaperoning of pregnant women going?


      Comment by bitchontheblog — March 31, 2014 @ 13:04 | Reply

  3. Bobbing foot when one leg crossed over the other…. so often due to a pulse being magnified… try counting and working out the pulse rate and then really irritate the subject and see if the pulse changes. Funny, I’ve only just thought of that…….
    We used to have “staring out” competitions at school. Who would blink first? I culd beat most people… and have even beaten a cat . Don’t ask why we did it. I have no idea.

    Back in about 2007/08 there was a woman at a zoo who (wrongly) tried to bond with a gorilla by staring….this inspite of being warned not to… the gorilla appears to havebecomeincensed and jumped the “moat” and attacked her.

    Comment by magpie11 — March 31, 2014 @ 12:04 | Reply

    • A variation on bobbing is circling your foot. Whichever, it’s a sign warning you off.

      A far more amusing (and harmless) way of body language when people start preening themselves, touching their hair. And whenever FOS was stressed out – and I can see it to this day – he’d make that gesture where you put your hand behind your neck. Clutching it. Whenever I see that in anyone I know the lion will roar any second now.

      Two fascinating aspects to body language: People are not aware of it as and when it happens to ourselves. Secondly, and of even greater interest to me, that body language crosses national, ethnic boundaries.

      As to your remarks on blinking and the Gorilla. Tell me not to blink and I will. I wouldn’t have done if you hadn’t mentioned it. But there it is. Ask me not stand on your toe – I wouldn’t have done but now that you have drawn your toe to my attention it’s a close call. Animals – animals are difficult to read – and there is lots of conflicting advice. If I understand the theory (my theory) correctly the one who holds a gaze is superior in rank. At least that’s what I told myself when once faced with a dog of some stature and teeth to match. It worked. On the other hand, the Angel swears that – particularly after closing time in England – your best bet (at least as a man) to avoid eye contact with another man. Made me laugh. Reminded me of, I don’t know was it Robert de Niro or Clint Eastwood, “:Looking at ME, Punk?”

      Yes, someone please make my day.


      Comment by bitchontheblog — March 31, 2014 @ 12:49 | Reply

      • Children, particularly boys, from certain cultures would rarely look one in the eye (as a teacher) if they did then trouble could well be on the way.
        Apparently the gorilla saw the stare as a threat.
        As for the large dog…. I remember dog training classes when I was taught that dogs find staring them in the eyes a challenge…

        Comment by magpie11 — April 1, 2014 @ 17:41 | Reply

        • As I said, Magpie, there are many differing theories. I’ll look any oncoming stranger in the eye. And have never met with more than either a wink or a smile, worst case scenario indifference.

          But yes, apparently men, between themselves, work on slightly differently parameters out there in the jungle of midnight life. Reminds me of one time when the Angel walked home through the park – in the dark. He reckons the park safer than the High Street. “Mama, you don’t know how many nutters are out there.” Brilliant. That’s all I needed to know when the apple of my eye is out.

          Yes, so he walked through the park when this guy approached him. Huge. And out of it. Could have gone either way. Now this is where the Angel’s emotional intelligence kicks in. He engages. On the level the other person is at. Twenty minutes later, by the time they parted ways at the top of our street at three in the morning the Angel was assured that should he have any problems with riff raff in the neighbourhood BIG guy and his gang would take care of them. Thus are friendships forged. In unlikely places. Meanwhile I try to keep my hair not standing on end. At least not visibly.

          As to dogs. I don’t trust little yappers. The smaller the dog the more likely they’ll snap at your heel. Which I understand. Who wants to be the underdog.

          I grew up with a majestic Alsation. Black. Best dog in the world. Ever. Will send photo once my scanner and comp are on speaking terms again.

          What I was taught in terms of strange dogs that they will smell “FEAR”. Smell being their most advanced sense. I took that advice on board so much, Magpie, I have never ever been afraid of a dog. Only its sense of smell.


          Comment by bitchontheblog — April 1, 2014 @ 18:28 | Reply

          • I have taken to smiling at anyone I see… that and the eyebrow raising that apparently says “Friend”…. I think there may be asociologocal (if not psychological) study there. There are varying responses from ignoring through nervous half smile to full blown greeting. And that’s just from the strangers. Apparently I’m world famous locally for my smile and friendliness…… years ago youngest and I were walking down the road and he asked, “Do you know everyone in.(name of town)? Theya lls eem to know you. It’s embarrassing.”

            I agree about little dogs…. people do not know that more people are bitten, often quite badly, by Jack Russells and similar sized yappy snappers than by Staffies or larger dogs yet it never makes the news reports.

            Pst! We on “This sceptred isle” are no longer allowed to call them Aslatians. That name was used in previous times when there was some difference of opinion between our respective countries of birth. Now we are supposed to call them German Shepherds. Well that’s how I understand it. Aren’t people so often silly?

            Comment by magpie11 — April 2, 2014 @ 19:27 | Reply

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