The Civilized Minute

a minute of manners and musings

the face

There’s the face. And then, there’s the face. The face that can convey a thousand words and a range of emotion. As parents, wives and husbands, we learn early on how to make a face for nearly any occasion. One that says exactly what we are thinking. To my husband, I can say That’s bathroom humor and it’s not funny with my face. To my children, I can say You have got to speak up. This is an older person and they can’t hear you if you speak to the ground. Oh, and look at him when you’re talking…There you go. Much better. without speaking a word.

It took some time to perfect, don’t get me wrong. Once we were eating at a Mexican restaurant with friends. Parents in one booth, kids in another booth. I had watched Emma double dip for just about as long as I could, so I zapped her with a look. She thought I meant for her to wipe her mouth. I gave a short shake of the head. Zapped her again. She thought I meant for her to wipe Ben’s mouth. I gave another short shake of the head. Zapped her again. She thought I was asking her if she needed to go to the ladies room. So, I picked up a chip from our basket and held it up for her to see. Darrell grabbed it and said, “Thanks, Babe” and went on with the adult conversation taking place using words and not this crazy facial language I was trying to invent and use – all in one sitting.

But, there’s another kind of face. The face that sneaks up and jumps out.


I happened to catch Darrell’s face as Emma showed him her new eye make-up. His voice said, “You aren’t wearing that around any boys, are you?” but his face said My little girl. Wearing make-up. What happened to the time??  

Darrell’s face reminded me of me as I sat through a meeting this week. During the meeting, I found myself astounded as I listened to a person describe all the reasons he didn’t like his job. Suffice it to say he isn’t a big fan of work in general, so the whole 40-hours-a-week thing seems to be just messing him up.  About halfway through, I caught myself wearing a you have got to be kidding me expression.  Where I should have remained neutral, my face was likely giving me away. Not very business etiquette-y of me.

See, our faces give away our emotions and emotion should be rationed out in careful measures at work. Guard your reactions, keep them close and give yourself time to think through the situation before allowing your face to scream My baaaaaby’s wearing make-up!

5 responses to “the face

  1. Marti Tolleson March 11, 2011 at 8:52 am

    Oh my…I see Darrell’s face, but then again I “see” Darrell’s face…what’s up with the shadow…is he playing Whiskey Jack again??!!

  2. Kate March 11, 2011 at 8:55 am

    He’s playing Jake in Knocking on God’s Back Door (CenterStage for Christ). He was in full costume last night! And, yes, the shadow is part of “the part”.

  3. Tara Poole March 11, 2011 at 10:01 am

    This is something that I know I must work on. My face gives me away all the time!

  4. TrueboyL March 12, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Just as good reasonnable people have good reason share ,so do every teachable persons.They like to receive from eveyone who has something to share.

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