I provide endless entertainment for my co-workers who will see me wandering around on lunch break and creep up in an attempt to scare me. They will follow me very closely and silently, waiting to see how long it takes for me to notice them there (It usually takes about a block). When I finally DO notice, they can count themselves fortunate if I don’t punch them in the throat in fright and I’m lucky if I don’t have a coronary. I get startled frequently and easily whether it’s due to poor hearing, not being very observant, or because I get touched a lot by strangers. Probably a combination of all.
You can’t really say something like “I get touched a lot by strangers” without elaborating so let me provide an example:
One Friday, a couple of friends and I went to Track & Field Bar. While one friend went to the washroom, my other friend and I waited with drinks in hand by the bar. After a couple of minutes, I felt fingers running through my hair. I figured that that my friend had returned from the washroom but the stricken expression on my other friend’s face gives me reason to suspect otherwise. I turned to find myself face-to-face with a strange guy (in so many ways) and jumped in fright.
Friend 1 (to me): “Do you know him?!”
Friend 1 (to me): “Then why does he look so happy?!”
Friend 2 now returning from the bathroom
Friend 2 (to me): “Do you know him?!”
Friend 1 (to me + Friend 2): “Then why does he look so happy?!”
Friend 1 (to strange man): “It’s not cool to touch people you don’t know!!”
Strange Man giggles and wanders away
I wish I could say that that was an isolated incident but it happens so frequently that it hardly merits a mention. This was actually relatively benign in comparison to other situations that have made me seriously consider investing in a taser.
It’s not all bad but I always wondered why weird things would happen to me all the time; why strangers would approach me so often. None of my other friends had stories about men rubbing their boners on them on the streetcar*. No one else was getting free baklava from smitten, older, Greek gentlemen.
*I kid you not, this happened. An individual who does this is called a frotteur, just in case you need to inform the police.
One day a friend illuminated the reason for all the day-to-day insanity to me:
“You don’t have a Bitchface. You look too happy.”
Urban Dictionary defines Bitchface as:
Any person whose face makes them seem like they’re a bitch.
i.e. Person A: @*$!3Y looks like such a bitch.
Person B: No, she’s not. Her face just looks like that, she has a bitchface. She’s actually really nice.
So pretty much people approach me because I looked less likely to have them drawn and quartered for daring to speak to me. Since frowning takes more efort than smiling, I think my expression of contentment is not so much a reflection of my mood so much as possessing weak facial muscles.
Some women (because of course only women are purported to be afflicted with bitchface *eyeroll*) I know take it as a point of pride, that with just a glance at their visage, they can stop someone in their tracks. Others find it irritating when random strangers tell them to “smile,” as if they were entitled to it; as if our expressions were for their enjoyment.
Maybe that’s just their face! Maybe they’re too preoccupied with legitimately worrisome issues to be concerned with your aesthetic pleasure! And on the other end, can I not walk around with a smile on my face without it resulting in being stalked for 2 hours?!
There are both pros and cons of the Bitchface:
Con: More wrinkles plus physiologically smiling DOES improve your mood.
Pro: Less strangers touch and stalk/follow you.
Sure, there are times where possessing a bitchface would’ve come in handy….like when some rando thought it was ok to squeeze my ass like or a lemon or when I wanted to read my book in peace only to be interrupted by some middle-aged man who wanted to tell me all about that time he had an Asian girlfriend…
But those are extreme cases. I don’t mind strangers talking to me so long as they’re relatively clean, non-violent, respectful, and entertaining. If they don’t stop me from going on my way, then I welcome the company. Some of my closest friends started as a stranger that I met on the street! Sometimes I even get free things like fried chicken and candy, minus the drugs. Plus these incidents provide me with a plethora of tales to tell, in person and on outlets like this!
Think of this post as an introduction; a prologue to a series of stories where I weigh the pros and cons of navigating the world, sans Bitchface.
Preview of future Bitchface Tales:
– In which I get free fried chicken
– In which Asian kittens DO NOT cuddle (with others)
– In which I encounter a “Luxury Homes Developer”