"Maybe that's what life is...a wink of the eye and winking stars." - Jack Kerouac
My school of thought on winking is that it's more Candyland than calendar pinup girl, at least until residing in the city. I love winking, and am careful to only wink sparsely so each wink has maximum value. I also relish receiving the occasional wink from strangers, friends, young or old - its incredibly charming.
Unfortunately, I've found winking has different connotations in the city than in the confines of Michigan. One of my first weeks here, I found myself winking at an older man out of habit. I expected a head nod, perhaps, or even a look of contented puzzlement - but instead, got a response too lewd to type. As a whole, I would say that eye rolling is at least ten times as popular as the quaint wink. Suffice to say, the few winks I've received in the city have also had an underlying theme that still shocks me.
Lesson #32: Monitor your winking, and better yet, don't wink at anyone again until you're in the comfort of the Midwest. Perhaps winking should just stay in the bedroom, if we look at how winks are understood in Brooklyn. Winking amongst friends is a fun past time, but beware - it's something altogether too easy to apply to other situations. If you do it too often with friends, you'll think your charming ways should be shared. The next thing you know, the nice looking woman walking down the street is scowling at you and asking "where's the rest of your outfit?" (*a woman really said this to me. On my way to work.)
If you find yourself forgetting, and winking to strangers as I've done, you could try pretending you have something in your eye, or that you have a mild case of Tourettes. And if you forget to do that, well, just expect a reaction. (NOTE: winking is probably a very effective method of picking men up. I've somehow only used it at the most inopportune times, so perhaps more research in bar settings is needed).
Well you can't have a dream
And cut it to fit
But when I saw you I knew we'd go together
With a wink and a smile
Harry Connick Jr is clearly living in sleepy small town America, but it makes me long for the good old winking days. I haven't found a proper substitute, as curtseying is a bit too formal, and head nods just aren't my thing. If I make a strange expression the next time you see me, I'm probably just trying out a new greeting, so forgive me in advance.
Or perhaps this love of winking is one small town part of me I'm just not ever willing to give up, crazy comments and all. Thanks for the encouragement, Jack.