Mastering the wink

I was surprised and dismayed when a friend told me she thought winking was creepy and reserved for old men. How could this be? There's no way this could be. OK, well I guess the majority of people I know that wink frequently are old men or slightly creepy, but the wink itself is not creepy. It's just a twitch of the eyelid.

We only communicate a small portion of our thoughts through words. Shouldn't more emotions be communicated through the wink? Yes. The wink is fun, flirty, multifaceted, secretive and exciting.

Realizing that a wink is so much more than a twitch of the eyelid, I set out on a mission to bring it back. I started paying close attention when I saw a wink, studying it closely. I was surprised at how often the wink happens in movies, TV and music videos. I can't tell you how many times I watched the Black Keys' "Tighten Up" music video just to focus on Patrick Carney's wink. For more real situations, I also studied my friends. Soon, I discovered that, like their driving abilities, their winking abilities differed greatly. Even after months of practice, one of my friends looks like a cat being sprayed by a water hose, while another has mastered the wink in a way to which I can only aspire.

While studying the wink, I considered all of its implications. I decided it could have many positive meanings. For example, imagine the rose ceremony on "The Bachelor." Brad Womack scans the group of scheming women. He holds one rose. The remaining women gaze longingly into Brad's eyes hoping to remind him of their "connection." Imagine if one of the scheming women were to wink. I'm pretty sure he wouldn't send her home, or he would at least think twice about his decision. Apply this to your own life as you will.

Winks can say many things. Certainly, they can be used seductively. A suggestive wink can be the most fun, but winks can also say, "I've got you," "I'm picking up what you're throwing down," "I approve" or "I'm reading between the lines." One little twitch of the eyelid says so much. Though it has so many meanings, they are generally all positive. Think about it. No one ever gave you horrible news and then followed it with a wink.

After observing "the wink," I began practicing, mostly around my apartment and with my closest friends. I honed winking skills more than I did my homework. It was my own personal homework assignment, obviously more important than any class assignment. I practiced so much that one time a wink slipped out in public with an acquaintance.

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