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All About the Eyes… [ 2007.06.15 ]

It happened years ago but I remember it as if it were yesterday. It was a clear Saturday April night. The stress from graduate school led me to become fixated on foreign movies. My whole weekend was devoted to the ‘Ebert Overlooked Film Festival’. Unfortunately, no one wanted to go out with me that particular night. I thought that I was a modern independent woman; I should be able to go to a movie alone. And so I did.

That was where I met him, at an art theatre. He was a middle age man, not good looking and, even worse, French. I had had few encounters with French men, but from my prior experience, they were quite arrogant and snobbish, not impressive qualities in my book. Nonetheless, I did fall in love with him just because of those eyes!

I am talking about Daniel Auteuil who since then has become my favorite French actor. On that beautiful Saturday night, I saw him for the first time in “La Fille sur le Pont/ Girl on the Bridge”. It was a story of an unfortunate promiscuous young girl and an older circus knife-thrower recruiting his suicidal target on a bridge of Paris. They met, paired up and became lucky. What I love most about this film was all the love scenes but without the two actors ever touching each other. It just felt so very sexy even with no sex and nudity. What else could possibly beat that? (OK, I won’t argue with you if you say ‘real sex and nudity’ ;-), but seriously, I think directors in general should do more homework these days if they want their love scenes to be magical!) Somebody had summed up this movie in four simple words: ‘movie with a heart’. I couldn’t agree more.

I just could not explain why I fell in love with Monsieur Auteuil that night. It was something about those intense dark eyes and the way he looked at me (at Vanessa Paradis in the movie to be exact). It was actually the second time I ever felt that way. The very first experience was when I was about 20 or so. I was flipping through TV channels when I saw these beautiful dark eyes that belonged to a handsome guy who was kneeling in front of a shoe salesgirl and apologizing to her for some reason. I didn’t even know what the movie was about or why he was asking for forgiveness. I only knew right then that I just wanted to have him kneeling in front of me and looking into my eyes forever. I would have forgiven him if even if he was a murderer! (By the way, that guy was the young Al Pacino.)

I have always been a hopeless romantic. When I was not confused with my sexuality and chasing fruitlessly after pretty girls, I constantly dreamed about meeting a pair of those dark dreamy eyes…but I never really did. Seriously, I believe that Hollywood movies give wrong messages to young girls around the world. Romantic isn’t real!

Then one day, without warning, out of nowhere, a pair of interesting dark eyes was looking at me with adoration. He was pretty much, to me, the ‘dark, tall and handsome’ type. Most importantly, he had the eyes that melted me. (For all I know, he might look at everybody the same way!) And that was the third time I fell for somebody just because of their eyes. Within a few weeks, I thought that I could be in love with him and I was sure that he felt the same way. We would be the happiest couple!

Well, but didn’t I just mention that romance isn’t real? We both knew that we would not last long. Love isn’t the only thing that makes up a relationship. In our case, we were so very different and we both were too proud of our roots. Opposite attraction is dangerous; it is quick and intense but when the steam disappears there could be nothing left. So before we even started anything, we settled for being just friends. It was a tormenting decision. For once, I used my head instead of my heart. I did not regret it because I now have a special friendship that lasts a lifetime.

I had stopped waiting and searching for anymore of those affectionate dark eyes. I now have my very own pair of light brown eyes that come with the matching dirty blond hair. A little opposite of what I had hoped for in term of appearance but the heart and the rest are right. I am certain that I did not make a mistake marrying him. I think my family might even think that if anything ever goes wrong in our matrimony, it must be from me because I am a spoiled brat and a meanie!

PS. I would like to dedicate this article to my dark eyed friend about whom I promise to write if I ever started writing.

Wallapak Polasub (PhD), Professor: Dept. of Economics at Kasetsart University

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