That TIme I Thought I Was Smiling

Also known as…my entire life up until I was about 22.

This story starts when I was about seven…well, even before that, because, as I’ve mentioned before, I was a shy, scared child.  But when I was seven, Sara and I joined the Girl Scouts. We were Brownies and I loved my little brown uniform, sash, and badges. It was about that time that I started getting called the “Frowny Brownie” by adults.

A note to adults looking at extremely introverted little girls in Brownie uniforms – do not call them a Frowny Brownie thinking it is funny. It hurts our feelings.

Not only was I called the Frowny Brownie, strangers on the street would say things to me like, “Turn that frown upside down” or, “Ahh, the world’s not so bad, why don’t you smile?”

As I got older it turned into things like, “What, have a terrible day or something?” or, “What’s wrong with you?”

And every time someone said something like that to me I would be confused. What do they mean smile? I am smiling. (Or so I thought.)

This next bit is equal parts embarrassing and hilarious.

From as early as I can remember until I was about 22, I always thought I was smiling. Not only did I think I was smiling all the time, I thought it was one of those big cheeky grins that showed all my teeth. All of the time. But the real kicker to this whole thing, is that I also pictured myself in my head with big, blonde, Texas pageant curls hair.

I don’t even know that I can go on.

Y’all…I…uhh…what in the world was I thinking? And how did I think this until I was 22? Seriously…what.in.the.world?!!!?

I am laughing at myself right now. I give you permission to laugh along as well.

The day I realized that I was not smiling all of the time and was apparently (and shockingly) not blonde but in fact brunette, was on a drive home from Houston. I was talking on the phone with Matthew, having a perfectly lovely conversation. We were dating at the time, or engaged…I don’t know. Point is, I was happy and in a good mood, but I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror and it suddenly hit me like a face full of bricks.

Oh my gosh, I’m not smiling!?? And I’m not blonde!?!?! What the?

Seriously, how did I get through 22 years thinking I was blonde, with big curly hair, and always had a smile on my face? In reality, this is how I actually smiled.

photo 1 photo 2 photo 3

Maybe it’s because Sara was and is always smiling. Maybe I thought I was smiling just like she was? I don’t know. I still don’t realize what my face looks like when I am thinking or listening or off in another world. I know I am not smiling all of the time, but if you see me, just know this. I am not mad. I am not in a bad mood. It’s just my face. In my head, I probably think I’m smiling.

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3 thoughts on “That TIme I Thought I Was Smiling

  1. This is one of my favorite stories. I hate that it was a painful experience for you, but it’s so unmistakingly you. Fearfully and wonderfully made you are. And I love you!

  2. It’s the introvert thing…that is smiling to us! I’m 57 years old and still have people telling me those same things…..It’s not so bad…smile! Are you okay? Have a bad day? I am considering some Botox or something so I can have a permanent smile and not have to worry that someone thinks I am unhappy!

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