IT'S JUST MY FACE!
"Self," you might be saying to your...self, "What is she even talking about?"
I'LL TELL YOU.
There is some dialogue in the movie Juno (which I am not personally endorsing because of all the unwed es ee ex and all the potty language but which you will totally relate to if you've ever gone through infertility or adoption or, I imagine, teen pregnancy) in which Juno--full to the brim with the rage of pregnancy hormones--says, "Your little girlfriend gave me the stink eye in art class yesterday." Bleeker, the father of Juno's baby, replies, "Katrina's not my girlfriend, alright? And I doubt she gave you the stink eye, that's just the way her face looks. You know? That's just her face."
I'm just going to settle it once and for all. Right here. Right now. If you happen to know me outside of the internet world, IT'S JUST MY FACE.
For better or worse, I am a really focused person. I zone in on what needs to be accomplished. If there is a task at hand, and I'm thinking about it, my face looks like someone who is trying to divide 21,310 by 8 without scratch paper or a calculator. If I'm preoccupied with a certain subject, like trying to locate one of my children, or looking for a specific person or solving world hunger, the center of my head, between my eyebrows, wrinkles into deep grooves. I've been told that I look angry, terrifying, unapproachable, and mean. I've been told that I give people dirty looks.
IT'S JUST MY FACE.
If I could change my face, believe me. I WOULD. There is no telling how many friends this has cost me over the years.
This is how I feel. Almost all the time. (Except my hair rarely looks that good.)
I feel like, "Hey...I'm friendly and outgoing. Strangers are just friends I haven't met yet. Friends are just people who haven't turned into best friends yet. Best friends are just people I haven't yet invited to be a sister wife."
Apparently, however, this is what I actually look like.
Apparently, instead of conveying that I am on the verge of asking you to join my family, I instead convey, "DO NOT TALK TO ME AT ALL BECAUSE I HATE YOU AND I DO NOT WANT TO BE YOUR FRIEND AND ALSO I CAN'T FIND MY BODY, I HAVE RAZOR SHARP TEETH AND MY ARMS ARE JUST AN EXTENSION OF MY OWN BRAIN MATTER."
I've lost a lot of sleep over the fact that I actually look like Kraang. I'm not trying to look like Kraang. I mean, who, in her earthly right mind, would be actively trying to look like Kraang.
I spent this past weekend listening to my amazing husband talking at a Living on Purpose Seminar about personality types and strengths. I was reminded that as a CI personality my biggest fears are criticism and rejection. So, when people tell me that I had a mean look on my face (WHEN IT'S JUST MY FACE!) I take it really personally. Because it isn't something I'm trying to do on purpose. I'm concentrating. Or thinking. I'm in the zone. And, apparently, my zone looks a lot like an episode from The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
So here is my deep, dark secret. I don't want to be seen as intense or intimidating or unapproachable. I don't want people to not like me. In fact, if I find out that someone is even hovering around the line of not liking me, I will lose years off my life worrying about it. When I know that someone, decidedly, does NOT like me, like AT ALL, my world is effectively ruined.
Over the course of time, I have had a handful of people say, "I don't think you like me." Or other variations of that phrase. But my personality is such that I do not dislike very many people. Even when I do not particularly take to a person, I still know that the person in question is a beloved child of God and I search for areas in which we can find common ground. So, when people say that they don't think I like them--and especially if they mention my face--it makes me overwhelmingly sad. What could I have done differently? How can I change? What can I do to fix this perception? WHY DID MY FACE BETRAY ME AGAIN? Because, y'all, I don't think I have purposely thrown a dirty look since middle school.
If you've ever thought that I don't like you (unless of course you intentionally hurt my child, wrongly criticized my husband, spent two years lying to me resulting in the total annihilation of our engagement, or turned your blow dryer on in your dorm room every morning during your freshman year of college while your roommate was sleeping even though there was a perfectly good bathroom down the hall) I just want to tell you that you're wrong.
I like you. IT'S JUST MY FACE. IT'S JUST HOW I LOOK.