You know, it’s really hard for a hyperactive kid to win a staring contest. It just can’t happen. Through the years, I have been asked if I wanted to have a staring contest, and my answer has never changed.
“Oh, hell no.”
Of course, I don’t really think I said that when I was ten or eleven the first time I was asked to participate in a staring contest. I am sure I obliged, ready to stare down my opponent. But, it never happened. It couldn’t happen. I did try.
The object of a staring contest is an easy one. Stare at someone without taking your eyes off of them. The first one who breaks the stare is a loser. A big time loser. So, of course, everyone wanted to play Hyper Girl. I didn’t know I was hyper at the time. My mom never told me. She just gave me a little green tranquilizer every day and called it my “car sick pill.” You’d think that with a tranquilizer digesting and spreading calm and coolness throughout my tiny body that I would be able to sit still long enough to win a staring contest.
“Vickie…you already lost…..Yes, you did. You just looked away!!……….Yes, you did………………..Yes, you did…….Wanna play again?………………..You did it again…………..Yes, you did. I win…….Vickie, you looked in my eyes for like ten seconds and then looked away………..Yes you did.”
So, this hyperactive child learned to hate staring contests. As I grew older, I was a side-line watcher….for a few minutes. They just bored me to death. I remember one time watching a neighborhood staring contest with some older kids outside at dusk, until I saw a spider spinning a web. I was mesmerized. What staring contest? And really, in the end, what is the big deal? It’s not like it’s an arm wrestling contest. At least that’s a physical challenge. A staring contest is just an eye control contest. Unless you had a lazy eye, drifting toward the middle, or you were hyperactive or you had pink eye and your eye was leaking, anyone could be in a staring contest. Most people can look straight ahead without moving their eyes. Big whoop. Picture the Hulk Hogan winning a staring contest, and then ripping off his shirt after the kill.
“I am so tough. I just beat someone in a freakin staring contest. YES! ….. Take that, Grandma!”
Staring contests have been around for a very long time. I think boxers have the best stares. They march up to their opponent in the middle of the ring, getting right in their face, and just stare. Pretty intimidating. Did you know Rocky Balboa was in a staring contest?
So, to me, staring contests were stupid. I stayed away from being in one or even watching one. Until many years later, when the chance arose once again. I was a mother, probably about forty-four. My daughter was a spectator that day, and I believe she may have been fourteen or so. I am probably wrong, but that doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I almost died that day……because of a staring contest.
The day started like any ordinary day. It was a beautiful summer evening. My daughter and I were outside, standing on the brick patio right beside our house. I loved that property. We had wildlife visiting our place every day. I kept binoculars on my kitchen counter so I could quickly check out a new bird, or the fighting neighbors. Never a dull moment.
This one particular summer evening was one for the memory book. I spotted a deer, standing down in front of our house, taking more than his share of the fallen apples. He had his back to us. Hmmmm.
“I bet I can sneak down real close to that deer.” I said to my daughter. She stayed at the top of the hill by the house. I realize the picture was taken in winter, but just humor me for a minute. The deer was beside the tree that I have noted with the red circle. I began my trek down the hill, moving slowly and quietly. The deer did not hear me. I looked back at my daughter, smirking at my agile stalking.
I got pretty close to the deer. He turned and was shocked to see this strange creature so close to him. I froze. He stared. I stayed frozen. He stared.
He then snorted and stomped his foot on the ground. I knew what he was doing. He had no plans to leave the plentiful bounty that was lying on the ground in front of him. Them apples were for him. I stared back, and then snorted and stomped my foot. I was wearing tennis shoes, so my stomp sounded intimidating. He snorted again, raised his hoof and kept it in the air, lingering for a few seconds, and then stomped again. I snorted and stomped again. I was winning this freaking starting contest. Ha! I finally will win one. Sure, it may have been against an animal, but a staring contest is a staring contest.
Shit. I took my eyes off the deer to look back up the hill at my daughter. When my eyes went back to the deer, he snorted and charged at me. Holy shit! I let out a scream and then ran like the wind. Luckily, I had just changed from flip flops to tennis shoes, or I would have been deer stomped.
I never ran so fast in my whole life. I mean, there was a snorting, stomping deer with unchewed apple in his mouth coming after me. I had no idea when, but I felt that he was going to tackle me from behind and kick me to death. So, I did the Forrest Gump thing and I ra-an. I made it to the top of the hill to greet my laughing daughter. She couldn’t quit laughing at me.
“Mom, I never knew you could run. Haahahahahhahahahha.”
Well, when you have a crazy deer charging at you, you really should move. The deer chased me halfway up the hill, but must have known by my pathetic “Monster is chasing girl” scream, that the apples were pretty much his. He went back down the the apple tree, knowing that he wasn’t going to be bothered anymore.
And for me, well, that was my last staring contest. Deer will win every time.