Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Smile Why Dontcha?!

When I was living at home with my parents, having dinner together was required. Fostering family togetherness and all that. My dad would invariably come home from work in a shit mood – he worked long, stressful hours in a successful attempt to amass more money than Croesus (all for the good of the family, of course) – and proceed to yell at my brother for his sloppy table manners or me for my bad attitude. “Wipe that LOOK off your face!” he’d yell at me while banging his fist against the table. What was I supposed to do, stick my face in a bowl of mashed potatoes every second I wasn’t smiling? Paste on an ear-to-ear grin as he berated my brother for not holding his fork correctly?

While I was something of a moody teenager, my pissiness exacerbated by my parents’ unfounded lack of trust, I never thought I was sitting there with a sour puss. What my dad – who in all honesty is a good, if stressed-out, guy - didn’t realize was that that was *just my normal face.*

I have what I call “bitchy face.” I smile a lot; all of the time really. But apparently when I’m not smiling, I look bitchy, upset, or worried or something.

This invites all kinds of annoying comments from strangers. Old Italian men saddle up to me in bodegas and tell me I’m “too pretty to look so down. Smile, why dontcha!” Dudes in the street exhort me to “Smile, pretty lady!” while I’m still fuming from having overheard them loudly admiring my “badonkadonk.” But the WORST is when normal-seeming men of my demographic, who certainly should know better, come up to me out of the blue and tell me to “Smile!” as, apparently, a form of flirtation.

Listen, I don’t issue you commands on altering your facial expressions, so if you can’t think of a better pick-up line than “Come on, give me a smile!” please go back to your booth, drink another beer and think of one. I am not your smiling trick hyena. Your pick-up line just puts me back at the dinner table with dear old dad trying to tell me what to do, and is PISSES ME OFF TO NO END. Or you know what? Maybe I’m just in a bad mood. Maybe I’m upset. And do you really want to hear about it? I didn’t think so. If I want you to come over and talk to me, I’ll probably smile at you in the first place.

The next time someone in a bar tells me to smile, I’m going to tell him my mother just died of cancer. That should shut him up.


Blogger Sarah said...

I hate that too, with my entire being. It pisses me off to the point where I wouldn't smile if it was the last thing the man would ever see.

12:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree. Fuck dude, it's my FACE you're talking about. I don't come up to you telling you what to change about your apperance and I'm not interested in having you do it to me. If you wan't a smile, be a bit proactive and tell me a fucking joke instead.

8:33 PM  

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