Tuesday, November 22

Who's the Haughty Now?

The above title is shamelessly stolen from my youngest brother, who -- at age 8 or thereabouts -- finally talked my mom into losing his bowl cut and getting a "cool," flipped up 'do. You remember the one that was big in 2001...

When he looked at himself in the mirror post-shearing, he was thrilled. He was thrilled to the point of boasting, in fact. He literally took one look at himself and quipped, with eight-year-old suaveness, "Who's the hottie now?"

I'm sure the second grade girls were swooning.


I suspect I might be the "haughty" sometimes without knowing it.

Do you ever have one of those moments where you're just looking off into space, maybe waiting to cross the street or for an elevator, and suddenly you realize perhaps your vacant stare looks... off? It hits you that you might not look as pleasantly nonchalant as you assumed. What kind of expression do you think your face falls into when you aren't, for lack of a better word, looking?

Maybe these are just the thoughts of the despicably vain.

Anyway, as I passed by a woman going the opposite way on the elevator yesterday, I did a double take. I'm sure she didn't realize it, but this woman looked mean. If you can imagine someone glaring vacantly off into the distance, rather than staring, she was doing it. She looked like someone mentally torturing puppies.

I think I too might sometimes sport an unintentional mean mug.

I had a friend in high school who dubbed a particularly negative expression of mine a "haughty look." Whether I was registering disapproval or disappointment or anger or any other less than pleasant emotion, apparently one slightly stuck up, tight-lipped face conveyed it all.

I didn't believe in the existence of the haughty look. Until I saw this...

Look at that posture. I AM SUCH A LADY. 

That there is my high school friend Steve (not the one who coined the phrase), passed out on the floor of a dorm room at Ohio University after a particularly foolish underage night out, with glitter nail polish adorning his cheeks -- Liz's doing, not mine. And I was disapproving of such foolish antics. As you can see by my haughtiness.

Sorry, Steve.

Anyway, I wonder if I get this expression -- or something worse -- without cause? I wonder if I ever walk around thinking about a deadline at work, oblivious to the reality that I am accidentally scaring passing strangers with my puppy-torturing eyes or Ruth Dewitt-Bukater coldness.

As you walk around today reacting to nothing in particular, think of this post and remember -- you might be scaring little children (or rude bloggers who will blab uselessly and/or haughtily about it later). Try to regain some control over your face. Think of cuddling puppies, or sipping a fine wine, or sleeping in.

Or the fact that you'll be stuffing your face at Thanksgiving dinner in TWO DAYS.

Happy Tuesday!

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