It was Ms. Spain’s science class in the fifth grade. I was about to enter the classroom when Ms. Spain blocked my path.
“Smile!” she chimed.
I tried entering around her. But she stood firm.
My fifth grade self, having heard this so many times already, sighed. I knew this game.I smiled.
“There you go!” she stepped aside.
Did I feel better about life? Did I feel more cheerful and optimistic? Did the sun shine just a little bit brighter?
Well, to be honest, I was having a pretty good day until someone demanded I pull a face to enter the classroom. Now I just felt like crap.
Welcome to my f*cking life.
Call it “bad genetics” or whatever, but I was cursed with a face that naturally looks like I wanna cut baby otters. ‘Cept I don’t. I love baby otters.
I’m not looking in a mirror all the time, so I don’t know how I look normally. But I was under the impression that normal human beings did not walk around looking like this:
But apparently, I’m supposed to. Apparently, I’m not allowed to walk by you without this look plastered on my face. Or I will be commanded to do it for you.
You haven’t made me laugh. You haven’t made any effort to better my day. You haven’t tried doing things that would normally make people smile. You just demand that I do it for you to make your day better.
Tell me….when you’re in bed with your partner, do you get to a certain point then scream “ORGASM!!” in their face? Does that actually work for you? Do they just melt into a puddle of ecstasy at your command?! Or do they say something like…”THE HELL IS YOUR PROBLEM?! I WAS HAVING A GOOD TIME!”
Yeah. That’s how it feels when you tell me to smile.
Usually, I’m okay. Just like most people? I mean, I just assume that most people are okay a good majority of the time? I get that it’s not some cupcake sex party up in herr all day long, but can we agree that the majority of people are at least a 5 at any given moment?!
Unlike most women, my face looks angry when I’m okay. Even though I’m not actually angry. I’m probably thinking about something cool or what I want for lunch or WHATEVER. I am not thinking about how other people’s faces look. Maybe I am. That’s because I happen to see them. What I certainly DON’T think about is how I want someone else’s face to look for ME.
I mean, who does that?
When I worked at Taco Bell, I was put on front register a lot. I got reeeeeally good at smiling happily for customers, then turning my back, reverting to my normal face, turning around with that stupid at-your-service face. Was it real? No. Was it sincere? No. Was I getting paid to do it? Yeah! So I did!
When I’ve gone in for job interviews, ohhh..I give ’em the razzle dazzle and appeal and show off alllll the fabulous features. Then I walk out with my normal face and silently fist-pump, thinking “You pulled it off, you glorious muthaf*cka!”
And no, I do not make my normal face for family pictures. I try making it match everyone else’s face to make the process go faster. Duh. I don’t ruin family pictures.
Unless you are handing me a crisp five dollar bill, I am not going to smile because you demanded that I do it. I am not your smile-whore. My day gets worse because apparently, my normal face isn’t good enough for you. You walk away feeling all….I dunno? Smug? Victorious? Isn’t that the opposite of what we’re all trying to promote around here? We’re supposed to be lovey-dovey accepting of ALL the appearances and body types and la-dee-dahhh!
Be accepting of the fact that I look like a b*tch.
I know. My face makes you uncomfortable. So does you yelling at me. How about we leave each other alone? Would that be okay with you?
Women are supposed to be cheerful and friendly at all times, happy to meet your demands and needs and all that noise. We aren’t supposed to look like we want to stab happy parakeets and pee on your parade. We certainly aren’t allowed to have any face other than “SMILE!” or we are CLEARLY miserable, crotchety, pissed-off humans in need of robotic commands to get us back to appeal-homeostasis.
And it isn’t just dudes who tell me to smile. It’s usually other women. I don’t understand this. You are NOT helping the cause here! We will not be able to flee the planet and form a rad female-colony of love and harmony with you barking orders at me. We cannot achieve world domination with a clan of cheerful-looking perky people giggling and smiling for the appeal of everyone else!
Anne Hathaway was not smiling as she began colonizing a planet in Interstellar. Spoiler alert. Whoops. Too late. Margaret Thatcher was not smiling as she dominated the UK. Queen Elizabeth never smiled. Well, her teeth were rather horrendous. But she didn’t smile like a pretty peppy pony as she ruled England.
I do not want to look friendly and cute. Those are not words that I would ever use to describe myself. I would rather look intimidating. I would rather look like “Leave me alone”. That’s how I feel about 90% of the time. It keeps peppy do-gooders away.
“But you look so pretty when you smile!”
Thanks. That is EXACTLY what I want my entire appearance to surmount to. “Pretty”. Man. I’m having a great day now. When I put on my outfit and looked in the mirror this morning, you know what I thought?
“Dang…you’re striking. Intimidating. Go get ’em!”
Then I turned around and checked out my tush because I’ve been working on it for weeks now. I did not stand there and smile. My appearance is way more than that smile.
“Pretty” Pffft. That’s a big “f*ck you” to my pep talk. I’m trying to rule the world here, people. Not host a damn tea party.
It’s great when I post pictures on Facebook. I get a party-bag mix of comments like “Why so serious?” or “Why are you angry?” or “Why don’t you post a picture of yourself smiling?”
Again. Really? I don’t go commenting “Wow…chill out. Life isn’t that great.” or “Why do you look like such a fool?” or “Why are you smiling?” on the pictures of you smiling. Because I don’t feel like it’s my place to tell you how to conduct yourself. Especially for me. My opinion of you shouldn’t matter.
Make me laugh. Say something witty. Make a bad pun. Get me a glass of water. Cut up some fruit for me. Something to make my day better!!
Don’t just demand that I smile. It’s a dick move.
Oh, and for all you trivia-monsters who babble out “It takes 20 muscles to smile and 40 muscles to frown!!! Smile allllllllll the time!!!” You are a moron.
You know how many muscles it takes to make this face?
Have a nice day.