The ‘Where’s Waldo’ love-quest.

There’s something interesting about knowing how things work. As in, there’s intoxicating power in knowing the functionality, hacks and tricks hiding behind concepts that not everyone understands.

Take multiple choice exams, for instance. Once you figure out the basic tips of how to eliminate the two obviously-wrong answers (by either erasing the odd ones out with different phrasings or ditching the least detailed options) and learn how to read over ambiguity and ‘instinkers’ (booby traps) built in to trip you up – your education becomes a walk in the park. Ace ’em all!

And once you figure out you’ve been opening cans wrong your whole life.
Or that you can open the wrapper on those pesky chocolate easter eggs by just rolling your thumb over them? Your life just gets better.

But there’s things that we might know – that somehow….we don’t always use. Take search images brain teasers. You know, those Where’s Waldo pictures where you’re supposed to find some object or other hidden inbetween A LOT OF OTHER DAMN CRAP.
There’s a trick to those, too. Because in about 95% of these pictures – the solution is in the bottom right quarter of the picture. For the simple fact that we Westerners read left to right and top to bottom, thus will take the longest to solve it that way. Are you amazed? I was.


Thing is – I tend to forget that I have this knowledge until I am confronted with it in my life. And even then it usually takes a while to get back into it. So when I find myself staring at an image like this I forget what I’m looking for, and where, until I remember. And then the truth can’t be unseen anymore.

But today – I realized that, not only do my memory skills suck, this holds true for a great many things. Including….dundundun…..flirting.

When I’m with a person I like – I forget flirting exists. Entirely. Completely. I become oblivious to other people showing an interest, miss all the ‘subtlenotsosubtle‘ cues and just generally stop seeing any flirty activity. The knowledge of how to spot interest, lust or just curiosity evaporates from my mind. My focus shifts to the person I’m with so fully that other people viewing be as desirable becomes a preposterous notion. Boring times. No more Where’s Waldo puzzles for me anymore – no time for those silly games.

Then there’s a breakup. And for a while still – that flirt-recognition-module stays off. It’s then when the ‘no one will ever want me again’ moods strike. Painful times. Because they totally totally do. You’re just not seeing it. You’re unconsciously friendzoning the world. You’re just skipping the entire bottom right corner of that puzzle pic because you’re too sad to even look at the picture anymore.


Until – suddenly – your brain switches back on, you remember those lifehacks on flirting and how to recognize interest and suddenly it’s EVERYWHERE again.

It’s in the eyecontact you make with that waiter at party. Or the noticeable lean-in from that one colleague when you’re talking to a group of guys after work.

You suddenly don’t just register that the delivery guy says something other than ‘good day’ after handing you your package – you actually hear him semi-pant ‘mooie dame’ before scurrying off. HE CALLED ME PRETTY OMG YAY!

(And find yourself happy grinning over it for the rest of the day, even though it’s weird that a random dude made you feel more beautiful with a under-the-breath muttered phrase than any of the rebounds did altogether. Although, I guess making your friend with benefits feel good about herself instead of just ‘feel her’ is not really in the job description so can ya really blame ’em?)

But flirting. So much yay. Brain on. Focus adequate. Your gaze immediately zooms to that bottom right corner of EVERY picture and suddenly EVERYTHING has new potential. These are usually the best of times. It’s when my skin buzzes with energy, my eyes dwell on every hunky man a bit too long and everything just becomes a flirtability.

It’s only when you realize that as you age and as you get further towards the back of your puzzle book….Waldo gets increasingly hard to find. But that’s the so-called charm of those puzzles, anyway, no? At least I’ll have ALL of the fun looking for him……right? Maybe? Hopefully?

3 thoughts on “The ‘Where’s Waldo’ love-quest.

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