By Rom Watson
circa June 12, 2015
There are many benefits to growing older, but one of the drawbacks is the effect of gravity on one’s face.
A few years ago I knew an actor whom I will call “Scotty S.” for the purposes of this article. Scotty S. always seemed to look at me as though I were eyeing him critically and finding fault. Judging him. I never understood why, because I wasn’t judging him; I thought he was talented and funny. Now, looking back, I realize why he thought I was being critical. The problem is my face. Apparently my visage takes “bitchy resting face” to a whole new level.
I discovered this because over the course of the past year or so, my wife has continually asked me what’s wrong. There is seldom anything wrong, and when I press her for explanation, she describes the expression on my face. The description is not only less than flattering, it almost always has nothing to do with what I’m feeling.
Apparently, when I’m deep in thought, or feeling confused or perplexed, my face doesn’t convey confusion or deep thought. It conveys disgust and disdain. This creates a lot of miscommunication at home, and explains why Scotty S. thought I was judging him.
As I’ve aged, time and gravity have gradually drawn the flesh on the front of my skull downward toward the ground. (If you were to compare my present face with the face I have in photos taken decades ago, you would think my face had melted.) The result is that even when I’m perfectly content, I look like I’ve just bit into a lemon.
The solution is for me to smile, as that changes my appearance. When I smile I look like me again.
However, I know myself well enough to know that I can only do one thing at a time. Sure, I can smile, but once I need my brain for any other task, the smile vanishes. (This is the same reason good posture is such a struggle for so many.)
So if you see me and wonder why I’m scowling, remember: I’m NOT scowling, time and gravity melted my face.