Did You Just Tell Me To “Smile”?

Photo Credit: ThisOldHouse.com
Photo Credit: ThisOldHouse.com

Let me tell you a little story called “me walking down the street alone.” I usually have sunglasses on, or if it is raining I’ll have my umbrella up, strategically covering my face, and yes I always have my ear buds in. Why? Because I don’t want to talk to you. No offense, freaks on the street, or person who needs directions. I just don’t want to be bothered. It’s not bitchy … it’s honest … and I have an awful sense of direction, so at the end of the day, I’m doing you a favor.

But yesterday, as I was dragging my ass home across what felt like the surface of the sun, I unfortunately caught the eye of a man who looked at me and said, “it’s okay to smile.” Umm, excuse me? Really? Listen, not a lot of things get under my skin. Not a lot of things make me want to “prostitution whore-style flip a table,” but if a stranger, or someone I don’t quite fancy tells me to “smile” … I will cut them. I bet you are wondering what I did to this innocent man who at the end of the day was probably just hitting on me :::flips hair:::, since I doubt he gave a shit about my emotional well being, right? I politely said nothing, and decided to murdered him with my eyes.

Here’s the thing, people, when I’m walking down the street, I’m in my own world. I’m all up in my head, thinking about my day, life, loved ones, things that give me anxiety, then switching gears and pondering how many glasses of wine I should indulge in that evening. And other times I just have lot of white noise up in there … or perhaps a donkey sleeping under a tree with flies swirling over his head. Sometimes I’m just brain dead. And none of those things … make me want to shine on a smile. It’s not because I’m miserable or hate life, I could be completely content as a matter of fact … a smile is just not necessary at that given moment.

Which brings me to this phenomenon sweeping the country known as “bitchy resting face.” Hell yes I’m self diagnosed with this. I look like I want to murder someone when my face is resting or if I’m walking down the street. The funny thing is, if you interrupted the nonsense going on in my head while I was walking down the street to tell me something important … or basically tell me anything but “smile,” I would be happy as a clam. I would be totally normal and friendly … unless you are a freak of nature, then I’ll probably run away. Because in reality, here is what is going on: I’m listening to Lady Gaga or like the Nelly Pandora station like an idiot, giggling in my head about how ridiculous the lyrics are or something and trying really hard not to trip on my flip flops. Yes, I’m more likely to trip in flip flops than heels.

So what I’m saying is, do not be intimidated by people who suffer from Bitchy Resting Face. We can’t help it. And quite frankly, don’t you just want to kind of punch someone when you see them walking down the street smiling from ear-to-ear … just a little? In my eyes, only for monumental events like walking away from a great interview or date, getting super exciting news, or someone gifting you a unicorn that cries diamonds is it socially acceptable to smile like an idiot whilst walking down the street.

At the end of the day, we are all very skeptical of one another, which we should be, to an extent. We don’t live in Pleasantville and the girl walking down the street skipping and smiling and singing could be an ax murderer … who the hell knows. But what I’m saying is, let’s go easy on the people with Bitchy Resting Face. It doesn’t mean anything at the end of the day … unless you indeed really ARE a bitch, then rock on.

Also, for the like 1.5 male readers I have, telling girls to “smile” doesn’t make us swoon or giggle or shine on a big ol’ smile just for you, okay (unless Justin Timberlake told me to smile … or if he told me to do anything as a matter of fact. Oh you want me to eat this piece of trash on the street, OKAY!)? It makes us infuriated and want to hurt you.