The other day I was at Trader Joe’s, and I was in kind of a bad mood. I walked up to the cashier. He took one look at me, furrowed his brow, and said, “Uh oh…looks like somebody needs some stickers!” He then proceeded to hand me a sheet of stickers they keep behind the counter for children. Then he fist bumped my boyfriend.
This is a true story.
My mood rapidly went from bummed out to mortified to semi-delighted (I mean, who doesn’t like stickers?). Then he gave my boyfriend a lollipop because he “didn’t want him to feel left out.” But besides making me love the cashier and confirming that Trader Joe’s is the happiest place on Earth, this incident left me feeling slightly concerned. I mean, he looked at my face and instantly said “uh oh.” That…is not great.
I’ve written before about how my face gives me problems. And if people think something is wrong based on my facial expression even when I’m happy, I guess it would make sense that my unhappy face would be…alarming? But still, it’s a bit embarrassing that it was that obvious to a perfect stranger.
The thing is, I’ve never really been good at concealing my feelings. They’re always written all over my face. But it’s one thing in particular that has gotten me in the most trouble over the years: the eye roll. When I was a kid and got called out on it by my parents, I’d feebly protest, “I wasn’t rolling my eyes – I was just looking up!” And every guy I’ve ever dated has at some point during an argument frustratedly exclaimed, “Don’t roll your eyes at me!” (“I’m not,” I’d reply, rolling my eyes.)
But the worst incident happened in seventh grade. My English teacher that year adored me, but by June, the feeling was far from mutual. One day, she was lecturing us about something and, without even realizing it, I rolled my eyes. She stopped and stared at me icily. “Apparently,” she announced to the class, “some people think this is a joke and want to roll their eyes. Some of you already have that eighth grade attitude.” Everyone in the class turned to look at me. My face got hot. “See who’s the teacher’s pet now,” she snapped. (Note to teachers: never publicly identify a student as the teacher’s pet!)
I’m proud to say I now have that eighth grade attitude under control, and no longer roll my eyes at authority figures. If you’re my boyfriend, sister, or woman who cut me off in the supermarket line, though…you might still be fair game.
Hey, I’m working on it. That, and my exasperated sighs.