Sunday, February 17, 2008

Let's Talk.......or Not

I have a closed face. Well, that’s what I’ve been told by no less a facial perspective expert than my Ever-Loving Wife (ELW). Easily prompted to fill in the blanks (but not the blankness of my face), she theorized that my Slavic blood and my upbringing by just-off-the-boaters (a club that I include myself in, as well) in the Land of Croats and then in the Land of Asphalt were two factors constituting 90% of the cause of my dour uni-brow look. Throw in being schooled by nuns in 7 of my 8 years of grammar school and you have the balance of the 10% required to walk around life with a look that gives pause to even proselytizing Seventh Day Adventists. My body English translates into the Spanish Inquisition, so the pose that goes along with my face suggests that I’m employed by theStasi, not an organization bristling with friendliness.

My Ever-Loving Wife (ELW), on the other hand, has a face that invites conversation from any sentient being. Dogs come up to her and seemingly hold 10 minute conversations. People? Well, people treat her as the Font of Einfühlung. When the ELW was in the Ever-Loving Fiancée (ELF) stage of our relationship, I was working and living in Montreal. I’d been up there around 6 months, unhappily living in Outremont wondering why people were so unfriendly. In my days as a student at McGill U. in Montreal, I’d experienced the somewhat reserved, some would say cold, attitudes of my fellow students. I always chalked it off as the standard self-doubt of the underclassmen and the course overload (Ah, doesn;t that seem so self-delusional these days of worklife?) that made student life unnecessarily miserable.
So, I’d expected the post-student life to be more open to the non-consequential conversations of humans in the social enclaves of stores, parks, and bus stops. I mean, couldn't I even get a "How’s it going, eh?" or even a close-mouthed "Hello"? It never happened or happened so rarely that the social interactions fit better in the "Never" basket.
Well, the ELF came up to visit for a spell while I resided in these "unfriendly" confines and proceeded to tell me of her experiences her first day in Montreal, when I came from work. She talked with so-and-so. Isn't that bus stop the friendliest place you'd encounter? How about that pâtisserie around the corner? How unfriendly; only 5 people spoke to her there (when I couldn't even elicit a merci beaucoup after dropping $30 for a box of pastries to die for, just a week ago)?
The answer was pretty obvious. It was me. It was the odorless gases emanating from me that either made me invisible or made me, well, odious. The ELF, on the other hand, casts her welcoming airs out and humans, dogs, cats, and bees swarm toward her.
(Quite) smartly, I made sure that the temporary "Fiancée" status was changed to "Wife" within a short timespan. I had to ensure that these social attraction agents began to be absorbed by yours truly. Let's face it folks, if I was hoping to be a father it would help if my kids were not immediately averse to my company. I'm not sure how well this absorption thing has been coming along, but I began to notice that dogs became less skittish around me (except for those constantly-underfoot-yelpy things that are more related to rodents than to real dogs) and that friends' kids were not immediately backing away with darting eyes.
Now, the kiddies are in different states but I'm assuming that they're there for educational reasons. Right, kids? Right?

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That's so interesting. I too have a closed face but only, apparently, to other adults. Kids and animals love me. Well, except for that one chihuahua that stalked me down the sidewalk and barked its extreme displeasure at me. But that's another story.
I don't think I've ever heard of this closed/open face thing. Has the potential to explain things about me, maybe — maybe more than I'm quite ready to have explained.

Still on the lookout for one ELG who'll make the leap to become ELF & finally my own ELW. It would be quite a coup for me if I should pull it off yet one of these days.
Hey Paul,
Got the great beard going; don't understand why the ELG hasn't followed.

I think it was Mr. Bob Marley who first said, "Open up Your Face!"

Or, was it, "Lively Up Yourself?".

One of those two (or both) should guarantee the ELG arrival.
Ms. Jag,
Kids and animals (except those bouncy high-tension-nerved dogs like the chihuaha) have a keener sense of facial appreciation.
Plus, both groups are always looking for treats, so any facial indication suggesting "I have food and am willing to share" gets their attention.
Adults, on the other hand, tend to be usually looking at themselves, so it's not that they don't keen your openness, they're merely looking for any reflective surface to radiate back their self-perceived wonderfulness.

Or so I've heard.
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