Monday, November 28, 2011

Why don't you smile?

I have mentioned this before, but I really hate when a guy tells me to smile or that I should smile more. I find it unquestionably bizarre that a stranger or even someone I know would feel the need to tell me to change my behavior or attempt to alter my emotions to please him. I can't imagine saying this to anyone, no matter what the circumstance. There's a subtle difference in telling a woman who is already smiling that she looks pretty when she does, though, for whatever reason, this can make me feel uncomfortable too. What happens when someone insists that a woman smile when she's not in the mood is that the woman's feeling and emotions are denied. Sure, when a woman smiles it's a pretty sight for the viewer, but what does that do for her underlying feelings?

This would be better if she were smiling

I generally have to put on a happy face at work. Things go more smoothly if I do, but I'm also pretty happy at work. It's not that much of an effort to smile when you're in a situation that is enjoyable or confortable. Women who don't make the effort to smile most of the time are often considered bitches. Forget any reasons WHY they might refrain from smiling.

On that note, let's look at a few reasons why a woman might  frown:

1. Setting boundaries.
Frowning basically tells another person, "Stay the fuck away!"

2. Outer expressions
When words fail, a frown says, "I'm pissed off" for you.

3. Fear
Being unable to control a situation can lead to frowning. The feeling of frustration is sometimes hard to verbalize, so a frown is a good substitute.

4. Toughness/intimidation
It has been discovered that women who frown at work get paid more. Apparently in certain situations you really can catch more of certain things without the honey. Of course, it might also lead someone to punch you in the face.

5. Disapproval
Sometimes a frown is a reaction to something stinky. It can also occur when disapproval or disgust is expressed.

6. Fatigue
There's some saying about how it takes more energy to frown and it uses more muscles than smiling. Fuck that. If I'm tired, smiling is an effort and sometimes a HUGE one.

7. Define frown
People often confuse not smiling with frowning. There is a difference.

I would say in my case that the unusually large crevasse in my forehead from frowning began when I was quite young and very unhappy with my life. It got deeper during my running years when I was under too much pressure to race well. Now that it's well established, it has become a part of who I am. I definitely notice that the more relaxed and at ease I am, the less I frown, but when things around me are shitty, it's my go-to response. My brows contract almost instantly when I feel like I can't express what I want too. There are a few situations and places where I never really feel the urge to frown. I'm always glad to have those.

For whatever reason, my meeting with one publisher fell through. As upset as I am, it wasn't something I was counting on for several reasons. I had a feeling it might not work out, so there's not a whole lot I can do about it. It's possible it might work out down the road, so all I can do is keep hoping.

Lately, I've been so disappointed by people and situations that things like this and getting sick a few days before the surgery are just more things to add to the pile. I'd like to say that I don't care, because saying that beings some sort of strange relief. However, these things I do care about. Really it's more of an acceptance that I can't change any of it, and whatever the causes, it's out of my hands.

This is somewhat unrelated, but you know how it is when you go visit your grade school? That feeling of, "Oh wow- what was all the fuss about?" I sort of have that now. I can't go into detail, but it's just a vague feeling I can't shake. When I was a kid, school was such a BIG deal. Everything seemed so oversized and scary but there was so much potential. Going back is like, "meh, these desks are super tiny." Nuff said. When something loses its flavor, I guess there's no getting it back. I have that feeling right now. Fortunately, some other doors have opened and I have other things to occupy my attention. In theory anyway, as I have been sitting way too far outside myself lately. This means my attention is misdirected and focused on the wrong things. I've gone to bed with thoughts racing and end up feeling unrested when I wake after short bouts of sleep.

A slow run made me realize how depressed I am about facing surgery. I'm hoping this time will be a tad easier. Last time I was heading into surgery after having already taken 4 weeks off with the stress fracture. I have noticed that it is getting worse. I haven't done any timed events as a result. I do hard workouts to what my foot can tolerate and use the bike to finish up if I need.

Argh. I have too much to do today and have put off doing it. I better move ~~ M o v e. Yeah.


  1. I'm sorry things aren't going that well for you right now. Even though you have plenty of things that are "out of your hands", there are still plenty of things that YOU can change/improve/fix. The mandatory time off running (out of your hands) can be used to work on the book, whether it be marketing, writing, whatever. Of course you can use the extra time in many other productive ways as well. ENABLING YOURSELF is a key that can save you from excessive negative thoughts, depression, wasted energy, etc. At least, it's what keeps me sane when facing shitty situations.

  2. Thank you, Joan. I'm really out of it with this surgery. The pain is worse for some reason, so I'm trying to keep in a Percocet haze. You are so right though. I bought a few books to read including a really interesting one on co-dependency. That one is resonating well with me, and it makes me realize that I can work on things, even if I'm all doped up and stuck in bed. It's funny, on crutches, everything is such an effort! Doing my laundry was an all day affair. I'm not very coordinated. :P


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