Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Look of Dad

Growing up, I got along with my parents.

I know, shocker, right?  I didn't ever have any crazy, dramatic periods of my life where I fought with either of my parents like a lot of teenagers do.  (I don't think any of my siblings did... so the common denominator would be that our parents did a good job... not that I was an a-typical teenager.)  However, there were still moments (especially when I was little) when I got "The Look."  You know what I mean... times when you were getting close to crossing the line, or maybe stepped over a leetle bit, and your parent gave you a look that said, "Watch Out, Missy!" 

My mom's "look" isn't terribly intimidating, but if she squeezes her lips together, you know she's upset with you.  It's a difficult look to describe, but her upper lip gets these deep, vertical wrinkles.  I can't recreate the look, even if I try.  I don't know how she does it.  I haven't inherited my mother's look, although her gestures and phrases sometimes appear unawares.

My dad's "look," on the other hand, is the epitome of all looks.  It's a look to make you squirm, shudder, shake in your boots, and put the FEAR in you faster than anything else!  Dad's look is easy to describe... his eyebrows go UP approximately 9.75 inches and rows of wrinkles appear on his forehead.  I don't know if it's the piercing gaze that is so intimidating or those wrinkles.  Until the day I die, I will always remember the wrinkles. 

For better or for worse, I have inherited the Look of Dad.  Sometimes (not always when dealing with my son, although I think the Look first appeared on my face after he was born) I will just feel The Look on my face, and I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if I was to look in the mirror, I'd probably scare myself.  I am resigned to The Look (I'm used to it after seeing it all growing up), but there is a small part of me that wishes it wasn't quite so masculine a look.  I am a mommy, after all!  However, as I said, my parents and I always got along really well, so maybe The Look of Dad will serve me well after all.  I just hope the wrinkle lines don't become permanent, because they might age me. :)

Sunday, September 18, 2011


A three-hour layover in the Atlanta airport affords many people-watching opportunities.  Sometimes, I really enjoy people-watching.  I have one of those classic overactive imaginations.  What I mean by that is, when I observe the snapshot of a life that is a moment in time, my imagination fills in ALL of the blanks... I make up a story of that person's life, including reasons for whatever emotion is etched on his face at that particular moment.  Yes, that is where my mind goes when I people watch.  Ergo, it can be an exhausting exercise!

Here are just a few dives into my musings...
  • A guy wearing a shirt that says, "Live, Love, Regret."  I instantly think that he must have had his heart broken many times over and envision his most recent relationship as something like the one portrayed in 500 Days of Summer.  What else would cause a guy to buy and choose to wear a shirt with something like that on it?
  • A mother washing her son's hands in the restroom.  The little boy couldn't have been three years old, and he was screaming bloody murder.  She wasn't hurting him; he just didn't want his hands washed.  The reason it was odd is that usually a mother in this situation has a harassed look on her face.  This woman didn't seem to be phased at all that her son was screaming (he could be heard outside the restroom... it wasn't a quick little screech, but a long, piercing cry lasting many minutes).  Not embarrassed, not annoyed, not even laughing; she didn't seem to hear him or care that he was making others uncomfortable.  I instantly wondered what had happened in her life to make her so calloused and made up a story of her life in my head that included disappointments and a teen pregnancy.
  • A dad and son each carrying an ice cream cone, walking to their gate.  The little boy couldn't have been more than seven years old, and they were laughing and talking quite happily.  This story made me smile, as I could see my own husband and son in their shoes in a few years.  I instantly envisioned a happy family life and a very blessed wife and mother.
Ah, see, and those are just a few!  I am full of these kinds of stories every single day!  See how exhausting it is to be me!?