It took me until my kids were in their teens to master some semblance of “the look.” You know the one. The talk-to-the-hand, don’t-mess-with-me, don’t-even-try-it look. My kids probably think of it as the “Mom is on the verge of revoking car privileges” look.
On a church trip of all places, I witnessed a “look” worthy of envy out of a chaperone. He’s not a parent, but then again, the look wasn’t directed at one of the teens.
We were staying at a luxurious perfectly comfortable (except for the A/C) La Qinta motel somewhere south of Louisville, Kentucky after spending all day on the road. Our teens were blowing off energy in the pool and only female chaperones were on duty. When bikini-clad teenage girls joined us at our table, an inebriated man pulled up a chair and insisted on joining the conversation. He was asking for our names, contact info, etc. One of the chaperones nicely told him that we didn’t mean to be rude, but we needed to stay focused on our kids.
He refused to take the hint.
About that time a male chaperone appeared. Chris immediately caught on to what was happening and employed the look—the “you’re a pathetic drunk and you need to leave” look.
The man took umbrage at the look and started arguing with it. He had a right to be there. It was a free country. He hadn’t done anything to anyone. He was just trying to make friendly conversation.
The look continued. So did the arguments. You want fight me [insert profane name]? Huh? We can take it to the parking lot! Etc. Etc.–the typical taunts.
Chris didn’t verbalize at all. He just continued to look at the man. Everyone else just held their collective breaths. The non-verbal versus verbal conversation was mesmerizing. With a few more choice swear words, (judging from the Navy Seal sticker on we later saw on his car, he may have come by his seaman’s vocabulary honestly) the interloper stomped out of the pool area and into his room, slamming his door for good measure.
Now that’s a look.
And I can’t even intimidate people into cleaning up their rooms.