“Are you mad at me, Jenny?”
“What’s wrong with YOU?”
These are things that I’m often asked.
I blame it all on one thing: my raging case of “Resting Bitch Face.“
The photo above is of my late grandmother, Laurel Don. This photo was snapped as she (with my toddler-mother in tow) and her lady friends were meeting up at the downtown drugstore for a Coke and some gossip, possibly about the year 1950-ish.
Granted, she had a lot going on in her life during this time. There’s a chance that my fighter-pilot grandfather was off, stationed in some far-away place, dealing with the aftermath of World War II or shipping out to help with the Korean War effort. Imagine: she’s stuck in sweltering South Texas with a toddler and no air conditioning and likely wearing polyester pantyhose. If ever there was a time for Resting Bitch Face, it was at this point in her life. However, there’s also a really good chance that she WAS having a great time and WAS rather enjoying herself. This is the plight of those of us suffering from, “Resting Bitch Face.”
What is “Resting Bitch Face,” you ask?
RBF is when a person (typically a female)–unbeknownst to her and sometimes incongruent with her mood–has a face that appears to be perpetually pissed-off when at rest.
Unfortunately, I inherited her “RBF.”
Exhibit A: Recently, I was at a concert with friends. Toward the end of the night, as the music got less and less appealing and my fellow concert go-ers got more and more drunk, I found a comfy wall to lean against (standing room only) and took up my favorite pastime: people watching. As I stood there, back against the wall, arms crossed (because that was how I was most comfortable) some drunk dude wandered up to me and said, “Who you mad at? Did your man run off on you? You don’t like the music? What’s your problem, anyway?”
Up until this time, I had no idea that I must’ve had a horrendous scowl on my face the whole time. I can’t help it–it’s just my Resting Bitch Face.
If you suffer from RBF, you might find it exhausting to constantly feel the need to over-smile in order to make everyone else at ease with your happiness levels. I can remember dancing recitals, when I was a little thing, and the teacher yelling, “Smile, Jenny!” and me thinking, “But, I AM smiling…I think?“
Also, when I was single, I was never the girl that got hit on at the bar and I’m a terrible flirt–like, I just can’t do it. So, I came across as a cold bitch. This sure weeded out the weak dudes at the bar. Or, conversely, it attracted only the drunkest dudes, to whom my RBF was a fuzzy blur of ambiguous facial expressions that didn’t compute.
Somehow, I did manage to attract my husband, Kevin and get married and now, my family legacy lives on. My son, Jack, seems to have inherited the RBF gene:
Do you, or someone you know suffer from RBF?
(Contact your doctor if your RBF lasts for more than 4 hours, as medical intervention might be necessary)