Neutral Face

Matt and I have a running joke about my facial expression. He loves to poke fun at what I call my “neutral” face. I define this as the facial expression you make when you aren’t doing anything… your face’s natural resting position – no smile, no laughing, no anger, stress or tears. Well, at some point in my life, as I matured, my neutral face when from one of a sweet and innocent child, to a pissed off and bitter young adult. This has posed somewhat of a problem in my life.

I will be working at my desk or walking around school, and while most of time I actually AM annoyed, frustrated or stressed, people seem to think that is what I am ALWAYS feeling. At first, I was confused when people were asking me, “what’s wrong?” or telling me “smile Molly.” I didn’t understand why people were so concerned with my attitude, especially when I didn’t think anything was wrong. And to be honest, the act of smiling requires some conscious thought and effort. I mean, do people really just walk around smiling without thinking about it? I know that this blog is supposed to be about PMA, but let’s be real – not many people have a smile as the natural resting facial expression. I know for a fact that Matt’s neutral is an open-mouthed, dog-like panting face (those of you who know him are TOTALLY nodding your head right now!)

Well, apparently I looked pissed off all of the time. But I have gotten used to this, especially with Matt’s constant teasing. However, today at Starbucks, the barista TOTALLY called me out on my neutral face. And apparently, it worked in my advantage.

I had to work a little later than usual today and I wasn’t particularly excited about. I decided that I would treat my self to a delicious treat from Starbucks (shhh, don’t tell my Dunkin Donuts friends) as a reward. I walked in, ordered my drink and stood at the counter waiting to pick up my drink. Naturally, I was wearing my neutral. Of course I smiled and said thank you when the person took my order, but really, was there a need to stand at the counter with a silly smile on my face – why create unnecessary wrinkles?

The barista handed out a few drinks to other people waiting and then announced that she didn’t have any more orders to fill. I reminded her of my order, in what I thought was a polite way. She looked at me and was like, “wow, that is some scowl, I am going to upgrade your order to a venti” (I ordered a grande).

After that, I had a reason to smile – and I owed it all to my neutral face!