The following is a Facebook note written by my dear friend Lisa. We discussed the subject of the note a bit over dinner tonight, and I think it would be of interest to you.
For background, Lisa just got her Master’s degree in a writing-related discipline, and she spent some time studying abroad in England (the Cambridge in the entry is for Cambridge University, not Cambridge, Massachusetts). Also, she has absolutely no idea that I am posting this entry verbatim, lifted directly from Facebook.
In other words, she did not write this for my (often brutal) audience. She wrote this for fun — and I’m reposting it because I like it. (And if she wants me to remove it, it will be removed from the blog IMMEDIATELY!)
Here it is:
If the past tense of “drink” is “drank” and the past tense of “sink” is “sank”, does that mean the past tense of “wink” is “wank?” I would argue, wholeheartedly, 100% YES!
The term itself really came about this summer at Cambridge, when a short, sashay-ing Italian man of the waitstaff would consistently and without hesitation “wink” at females and males too (hey, I don’t judge). “He wank at me” was the common expression uttered over elaborate, multiple course dinners in the lavish dining hall (black or white? soup or salad?). The wanking man even received a lovely nickname from us: Winky.
Although his wanking was initially perceived as sketchy and even disturbing, I am just now thinking more deeply about the message of the wink. Usually, it does have some sort of sexual connotation, but in Winky’s case, was it more one of friendship and fellowship (Ciao!).
Done correctly, the wink CAN BE subtle, sexy, and almost mysterious. However, it’s all about the execution. It must be done with the eye ONLY: NO contortions of the face, eyebrow, or any spastic/ADD motions whatsoever. I know my limits. I’m not a wanker. I just can’t do it; my whole face wants to join in the winking fun and thus ruin the subtlety of the wink itself.
But, I don’t mind being a receiver of the wink, or advocating for bringing it back, similar to the way Justin Timberlake brought sexy back (although, that is debatable). When the wink is done right, it’s a memorable experience, not just an eye action.