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By Laura Stec

Here's Lookin' At You Gorgeous

Uploaded: Jan 1, 2015

If you raised a glass in celebration of the holiday or New Year, think back.

Did you actually look at the person whose glass you ching-chinged? Have you ever looked into the eyes of others at your table while toasting to their health and good cheer?

It's a new practice in my circles. I don't remember who started deep eyes, but it's fast become a fun, silly, important part of the tradition. "Meaningful eye contact," someone called it. Friends still respond awkwardly with big eyes and silly faces, but clinking glasses wouldn't be the same without it.

We can see clearly now.

The Wall Street Journal reports nothing specific about the toast, but in a 2013 article it does say "adults make eye contact between 30% and 60% of the time in the average conversation, instead of the 60% to 70% (preferred) to create a sense of emotional connection." San Francisco-based Decker Communications suggests, "holding eye contact for 7 to 10 seconds in a one-on-one conversation, and for 3 to 5 seconds in a group setting."

I tried this all out on my family over the holiday. Wine, water, whiskey, milk - it doesn't matter.

"Meaningful eye contact everyone; look directly at the person you are toasting."

Every time, same response: wide eyes, nervous laughter, but with better connection somehow. Lasting. I want to do it more. Deep eyes reach in and touch souls.

So gorgeous? Is that fun and joy I see sparkling up your 2015 eyes?

Here's lookin' at you kid.

Speaking of eyes worth staring into, below are a few, recently photographed at the Detroit Institute of Arts. Saved from being sold to pay off a city recovering from bankruptcy, the DIA houses a surprisingly accessible and extensive collection of impressive art. Guess what famous DIA housed artist or painting these eyes belong to, or return to The Food Party! in a couple days for a list of the answers.

It did my heart good to drive around and see all the great things happening in downtown Detroit. Though parts still look like a war zone, other parts are really cleaning up. The city has terrific old buildings worth preserving. Go Detroit!