I do not have a poker face. A blessing and a curse, I suppose. Why hide how I feel if I really want to show my feelings on my face? My husband tells me all the time that you can see what I am feeling on my face and in my body language. I roll my eyes when I’m annoyed, make faces depending on what’s happening, and immediately slouch if I am exasperated. I have tried to monitor this, believe me, but I can only rein it in so much. And there are times where you should definitely just grin and bear it. Here are a few of those times…
Kids love to “show” us stuff. “Look at me, mommy!’ they will shout when they jump on one foot for a second or move their arm around in a weird pattern that is supposed to resemble something, but I’ll be damned if I know what it means. And then they expect you to say “Wow!” or “that’s so cool!” so you do. Grin and bear it. It won’t last long as they don’t want you to watch what they do in middle school, no matter how amazing it is.
In-law get-togethers are the worse, amiright? Well, usually mine aren’t terrible, but it’s still the whole family dynamic. You don’t agree with how your sister in law brings up her children, and you would rather have your kids eat the food the adults are eating that make them their own meals of chicken nuggets. You don’t want to listen to the stories told over and over again (Christ, you could recite some of them yourself, even though you weren’t even THERE!) Regardless of how you feel about it, you married into this. You need to realize that when you marry your significant other, you are stuck with their family, too.
Relationships are hard, and not always easy to come by. When your friend tells you she found someone new, and he seems aloof, and he told her he doesn’t want the same as she does (as well as talk about it loudly, at gatherings you all are at), including marriage, homeownership, and children, you offer advice when she needs it, but otherwise, keep your mouth shut. And listen when she needs you. Especially because years later, you never know if they are going buy a house, get married and have two beautiful kids (because they did).
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of times that I think grinning is not the answer. Someone cuts you off and almost causes an accident? Swearing under your breath (maybe while grinning?) works. You are given a terrible report by your kid’s teacher? Definitely not a grinning moment, although you might grit your teeth while talking to the teacher or responding to their email. And when your kid is being a downright asshole? Well, I don’t necessarily say that they are an “asshole” to their faces, but I will put them in their place. Maybe while grinning, maybe not.
Moral of the story: there are times to grin and bear it and times to just say fuck it and be who you need to be. I am not going to keep my non-poker face under wraps very well, so why should I worry about it? People have to accept me for me, right? Resting bitch face and all.