My Face Apparently Tells Lies
Thursday, August 13, 2009
I caught of a glimpse of myself in a mirror I was passing and was so surprised I was scowling. Now don't get me wrong, I certainly look in the mirror on purpose plenty. Call me vain, but I like my face quite a bit, so its not like I'm unfamiliar with the different expressions that can cross my mug.
I wasn't happy, or sad or mad or any particular emotion, just...neutral as I was leaving the bathroom at work. Did a double take, no I definitely looked grumpy. What's up with that? It's not the first time my neutral face has been brought to my attention. Once while minding my own business, walking down the street, a man passing in the opposite direction looked at me and just said quite bossily, "Smile!" I was totally caught unawares and didn't have a witty comeback available in the moment ( I HATE when that happens!) I can tell you I surely had my pissed face on afterwards, because A. I was minding MY business, perfect stranger man should give that a try himself! and B. I didn't have a good retort handy when I needed it.
Now when I'm genuinely happy or angry, I know my face emotes the correct expression. Just ask my son when I see him first thing after school or my SO when something asinine comes flying out of his mouth. I get a happy exclamation of "Mama!" and a running-jump hug. There's nothing better than a full-speed hug from my kiddo. The SO says "Ow, you're burning me with your eyes" at which point I always crack up and I get his happy face in reply. I try the sardonic-one-eyebrow-raise, but I think I just look like I have a muscle spasm. Which is fairly unfortunate as I attempt it at least twice a week.
So I really wonder why my blank face translates to grump? Does it mean I'm subconsciously unhappy and when my mind is unoccupied I express it without meaning to? I doubt it. I'm a fairly contented person. Maybe its an automatic defense mechanism to keep people at bay when I'm in a relaxed state, so they don't come along and mess with me? More likely.