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That Girl
by Marissa Kristal

 

It's not that I'm nosey, really. I'm just extremely interested in human interaction—to an obsessive degree. I wish I could say it doesn't consume me and that it's just one of my many interests, that I'm simply a psychology nut. But in reality, I want to know what makes you tick.

I need to understand why you do what you do. If I could pillage the thoughts from your head so I knew what you were thinking every second of every day, I would.

Okay, maybe I took that last one a little too far—I wouldn't do that, because I have too many of my own thoughts swirling around my head, and mixing mine with yours would make my brain too crowded. So scratch that last one. But I do want to know who you are underneath all that stylized hair gel and caked-on makeup. I aspire to know the real you.

Okay, fine, maybe I am a little nosey.

It's not my fault. As always, I come by my flaws naturally. My family plays this game every time we go on vacations. We spy relentlessly on the other hotel guests. That's right, we spy. I'm talking walkie talkies, night vision goggles, flashlights and black knitted masks. We don't mess around—we're the real deal.

Actually, we're not. I just lied about all of the above. Well, all of the above minus the spying part. We really spy. And we don't use any of that undercover agent crap because we don't need it. We're great at our craft.

We watch the other guests' every move, their every communication, in a critical attempt to discern their storyline; to figure out their past, uncover their present and predict their future.

It must be her competitive nature, because my mom is by far our best player.

"You see that couple over there?" She asks as she points to an elderly man and woman seated a few tables over.

"Yeah..." My dad and I lean in closer for the details.

"He did time in prison. He was in the slammer for 20 years. I haven't figured out why yet, but don't worry, I'm on it."

"What?!" I exclaim, my raised voice almost blowing our cover. "How do you know this, Mom?"

"Because," she explains, "I can just tell. Look at the way they're acting. They're too lovey-dovey. It's suspicious. There has to be an underlying reason. And don't question my instincts, I've been playing this game for over 30 years, my eyes don't lie. It's either prison, or...."

"Or a really good marriage!" I cut in, eagerly finishing her sentence.

Come on, we're not really spies. I never said we prided ourselves on our accurate findings. This is just your average, everyday family vacation game—not an E True Hollywood Story!

But as you can see, it's no surprise that I have a slight staring problem. Okay fine, a huge staring problem. Like I said, it's not that I'm nosey, I'm just overly interested...in other people's lives.

Case-in-point, yesterday I was strolling down Park Avenue when my prying eyes settled upon an incredibly gorgeous guy. And on his left arm, aside from his bulging bicep, was a girl. Presumably his girlfriend.

It all happened so fast. I didn't mean to do it, really. But my eyes, like hurled daggers, shot themselves directly at her. I just had to know, was she worthy of him? Was she even remotely as beautiful as her eye candy counterpart? Call it what you will—stalking, neurosis, compulsion. I prefer to use the term "psychology experiment."

That's right, I was conducting an experiment. I was simply doing a study on couples in NYC and the ratio of equally good looking partners, as opposed to one being much better looking than the other (in this case, a beautiful male)

I had a hypothesis—that she couldn't possibly be as attractive as him—and I was willing to do everything in my power to prove it right. Or wrong. Whatever. Really, I just wanted an excuse to stare.

So, I stared. I stared so hard my eyes sprung from their sockets. And as I walked past them, my head swiveled backwards, creating awkward tension and stretch creases in my neck. Just a glimpse of her face, that's all I wanted. Just one glimpse of her face. I had to know if her role as eye candy's arm jewelry was justified. And that's when I heard it.

"Honey, that girl is TOTALLY checking you out!"

Huh? What girl?! I thought as I looked around for the ogling culprit. Well obviously she's hot if another girl is checking her out. There's my answer, then...

Then it hit me. The girl was me. I was the one checking her out!

I'd like to credit my parents for instilling within me yet another wonderful and endearing quality. Thanks to you guys, I've officially passed quirky. Now, I'm just weird. Oh yes, and I'm also THAT GIRL.

 

 
   
© 2006 Marissa Kristal, All Rights Reserved
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