Their Eyes Skipped Over

I love it when somebody misplaces something that I can see is right in front of them.

I see the way their eyes scan the table or whatever to find the missing possession.

The best bit, and the reason I love it when somebody loses something is that I see their eyes do a clever loop, an evasion, a circuit, as the direction of their gaze gets near where the object is.

They skip over the object, they go mentally blind, they even close their eyes for a second when they get ‘too near’.

Sometimes they look as though they are going to bump into the object in their line of sight and their eyes jump and veer away. It’s like they are deliberately sabotaging their efforts.

And they are unaware of it.

I don’t know why people do it, but it happens.

There is no way to manufacture the circumstances when it happens, which is another reason I love when it happens. It is another rare opportunity to see something that I rarely get a chance to see.

Have you seen it?

The upside for me is that having witnessed other people do it, when I sense it is happening to me I can tell myself to stop. It takes an effort. The drive to keep looking for just a few seconds more is strong.

Stop looking.

And sometimes I see the thing that I could not see a moment before.


  1. Perhaps this is like that thing that happens when you’re trying to recall a particular word, the feeling that the more we reach out to touch the thought, the farther back into the brain it seems to shrink… ?


  2. Yes, I can relate, and I’ve seen it. I liked the expression ‘they go mentally blind’. Seen that happen many times.

    What Deb said reminds me of when I forgot the name of Fleetwood Mac for at least three weeks. This was before the times of the Internet. I could see Stevie Nicks for my inner vision, but could not remember her name. The only thing I remembered, vaguely, was the name had to do with a car. One day in the laundry room, when I wasn’t even thinking about it, it popped up … both Fleetwood Mac and Stevie Nicks.


    1. I have most trouble with words that begin with a vowel. I have got used to it to the point where if I really can’t remember a word, I go hunting through the vowels to remember it.

      And several months ago (maybe longer) I ‘lost’ American actors. French ones were OK, I could remember them – but American ones just disappeared. I had to relearn a couple – Anthony Hopkins being one of them (and he begins with a vowel!)


      1. I’ll make a point of noting that … whether the word I forgot begun with a vowel. I once forgot the Swedish word for ‘makeshift’ … to a degree I had to look it up! [it doesn’t start with a vowel].


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