By Piper Bayard
Everyone’s face freezes at forty-five.
Seriously. At forty-five, give or take a year or two, Frosty the Face Freezer breathes on us at an unpredictable instant, and the expression we are wearing on our face at that moment is frozen there. Forever.
This is great for people who laugh and smile on a regular basis no matter how Life has tried to eat them alive. Frosty catches them mid-mirth and leaves them with Frozen Happy Face. They are blessed with a reputation for kindness and wisdom throughout their old age. They get to be the Cool Old Farts that everyone goes to for advice and humor and fights to sit next to at the Thanksgiving table.
I can hear your question now. What happens if Frosty comes in to freeze my face when I’m frowning?
I’m sorry to be the one to break it to you, but that will result in the dreaded . . .
Frozen Bitch Face.
Frozen Bitch Face is that grumpy look that some people have etched on their faces in the form of permanent frowns and/or butt-shaped wrinkles between their eyebrows.
You’ve seen Frosty’s victims. The Grumpy Old Farts who glare from their porches at children playing ball. The aging women in the grocery stores who pick up each perfect apple and frown before complaining to the produce stockers. And—ugh!—the people on Facebook who can’t stop beating us around the head and shoulders with bad news and warnings about everything from political conspiracies to the zombie apocalypse.
I hear your next question, too. We all have bad days. So what if I’m having a random bad day when Frosty comes?
Fear not! There are mitigating factors to minimize bad days and their long term effects on our faces.
The Effit Fairy
The first mitigating factor is called the Effit Fairy. The Effit Fairy can be Peter Pan or a seven-year-old girl with wings, whichever you choose, or both. I won’t judge.
She visits on our fortieth birthday—well ahead of Frosty’s ambush—to remind us that life is short, and no one else is living it for us. She reawakens the child inside each of us who is too young to give a damn what other people think. She enlightens us to the fact that yoga pants in public are actually a classy fashion statement. And best of all, she encourages us to stop giving a crap if other people are “disappointed” in us. Instead, she teaches us to say EFFIT! Because no one else is paying our mortgage, or dealing with our boss, or feeling the pain of that ski injury on our behalf.
So listening to your Effit Fairy is the first and most important thing you can do to avoid Frozen Bitch Face.
Other things that mitigate your chance of having Frozen Bitch Face:
- Seek out laughter. Every time you laugh, you increase your chances that Frosty will freeze you with Happy Face.
- Find something to like about the people you don’t like, even if it’s only liking the fact that they live in another state.
- If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all—also known as the Thumper Rule, since the rabbit in Bambi said it first. If Frosty catches you when you’re bitching about people, you will definitely get stuck with Frozen Bitch Face.
- Take time for romance. Let’s face it. People who enjoy the hunka-hunka as often as they can are far more likely to be smiling and relaxed when they get frozen.
- Find something to be grateful for every day. A grateful heart is a happy heart, and a happy heart makes for eventual Frozen Happy Face.
But what if I’m not approaching forty?
Easy. It’s never too early to practice. Trust me. You’ll need the practice. This positive outlook crap gets harder once arthritis sets in.
But what if I’m over forty, and I’m already stuck with Frozen Bitch Face?
Take heart. All is not lost. Another Fairy comes to visit at fifty. She’s the Effoff Fairy. She makes it easy for you to tell anyone who doesn’t like your Frozen Bitch Face to Effoff, and that will make you smile. 🙂
So what are you doing to prevent or mitigate Frozen Bitch Face? Have you learned to say Effit yet, or are you already to the Effoff stage? I’d love to hear about your journey.