Why So Serious!?!?!
Someone told me the other day that I looked upset and asked me why I had such a serious expression on my face. I would have been put off by this, but the truth of the matter is that this isn’t the first time that this has come up. Since I was a kid people have said that I should “smile more” or “not be so serious.” I always felt like I needed to defend myself with a comeback like “I am not upset!” or “I am just tired!” But after so many years…decades now, of having to make excuses I finally feel like people need to just back off. In most cases these are not friends or family who are probably use to seeing the serious or even morbid expressions that come across my face, but sometimes they are those folks.
I will try not to be defensive here (too late) and just explain myself…and apparently explain my face. I am a serious person. That’s right! I am serious about most things that happen to me and I am also serious about the people around me. What does that mean? It means that I don’t smile and skip through life like some fortunate and unencumbered folks are apt to do, no, I think about everything and analyze everything. That look on my face is me taking everything in and running it through the Windows 95 operating system that is my brain. Unfortunately it takes far too much energy for me to think about the things and the people around me and at the same time contemplate what expression is on my face at the moment. It really does take a lot of energy for me to make sure that there is a smile on my face. I balance the consequences of not smiling versus the consequences of not thinking and observing everything and I find that I don’t care if I am smiling or not.
Now I have had my share of lectures over the years from family, teachers, co-workers and even bosses, telling me that I look upset even if I am not feeling upset. For a while I thought that it was their covert way of telling me that I was ugly, but it was really them try to say “the expression on your face is bothering me because it does not reflect the way that I wish to feel right now.” Yeah Psych 101 on that one. Sorry kids, but I am not responsible for the type of soda that you buy, the clothes that you wear, the people that you date, and it is especially not my job to have a constant smile on my face so that you don’t go to your dark place (so did not intend that to rhyme). I know that this all sounds a little pointy (yes pointy is a valid adjective), it is just my declaration of my right to have a serious look on my face.
I do smile by the way and laugh, but I should only have to do so when I truly feel like it! Most of the time that you see me, I will have a serious look on my face and it is safe to assume that it has little or nothing to do with you. I mean I am not a genius by any stretch of the imagination, but I do usually have many things on my mind. I tend to work, while listening to music, while thinking about the last chapter of the book that I read, while thinking about a family issue, all while contemplating whether I would like Tuna or Turkey for lunch today. It isn’t personal when I am serious, it is just who I am, my nature. But I really am tired of having to apologize to everyone for something as arbitrary as the look on my face. If you want to know what I am thinking just ask me! I am a pretty honest and often blunt person and I usually don’t mind sharing.