I’ve always been plagued by facial expressions that do not necessarily reflect my feelings according to my surroundings. That’s a difficult sentence, but it basically means that my thoughts are usually a million miles away from the conversation I am surrounded by and my expression is with my thoughts. And so often I am accused of looking cross or irritated or even just not smiling enough, but that is not the case. Of course, there are times when I do reveal a clear reaction to my surroundings, as we are all entitled to do, but in general I am not one who spends much time being angry or unhappy.
There are two other reasons for looking vaguely disinterested or frowning, and impaired eyesight is an ever-present cause – nothing is ever entirely in focus and concentration is required, particularly when trying to read a menu or follow the ball on a televised tennis match. This causes narrowing of the eyes and pursing of the lips, but it helps bring back some focus!
The third reason is my current state of semi-deafness caused by glue ear. This has left me on the outside looking in for two years now, and shows little sign of improvement. Being unable to hear most of the conversation around me and none of the background noise has left me in a bubble of isolation that is difficult to deal with, as many of my interests lie in listening to what others have to say. I have searched without success for an old-fashioned ear trumpet! I am unable to hear when the washing machine and dishwasher are running, or whether a pot is boiling on the stove, and yesterday I left the wellpoint running for an hour as I couldn’t hear the pump. No specialist has been able to identify a cure.
So what I am trying to say is, don’t feel offended if I don’t look happy to see you. I’m just trying to (a) see if it’s you, (b) hear what you are saying and (c) remember if I turned off the stove.
Perhaps botox is the answer. A frozen face will deal with many a misunderstanding!
(The photo is me after my first hike 3 years ago – too tired to frown!)