Archive for the ‘Is That a Scowl on Your Face or Are You English?’ Category

Is That a Scowl on Your Face or Are You English?   Leave a comment

Ever take a good look at an Englishman?  They always look like half their face is about to ask a question and the other half already knows it will be dissatisfied with the answer.  Usually one eyebrow is permanently cranked up higher than the other, with a slightly wrinkled brow and asymmetrical mouth full of crowded yellow tombstones which all seem to be trying to jump over the lower lip to their death.   But in reality they are great people who have simply never mastered “the relaxed look.”

Then there are the people who might actually have lovely faces, but their frustrations and social indignations cause them to look like they are permanently choking on a LifeSaver and giving you the evil eye all at the same time. These people can control their facial expressions, but their anger within forces them to emulate a look of disgust.  Much like when Paris Hilton has to use a public restroom in Neiman Marcus.

I recently met a girl online with the look of disgust permanently etched on her otherwise pretty face.  It was as if not only the Lifesaver was lodged in her throat, but she detested man’s treatment of women through history and carried the full Suffragette Movement squarely on her shoulders.  She sought out men just to put them down.

I once met Gloria Steinem in the 1980’s in a talk radio station at which I worked in Philadelphia  She spent the better part of her life championing women’s equality in all areas.  Yet she was pleasant, gracious, easy to talk to and was nothing but delightful to me.  I don’t think she had it in for every man.  Nor did she feel the need to set ground rules for the code of conduct and conversation in her presence.

Apparently this woman never met Gloria Steinem and was emulating how she thought a feminist should act.  And when I mentioned a woman I knew remarking she was over 200 pounds,  I got the immaturity lecture piggybacked on the defamation of women diatribe.  Just the mention of a woman’s weight for whatever reason was interpreted as slander of the entire gender.  Her voracity on this issue was so intense it bled through her face giving it a permanent scowl.   And this is the picture she chose to post on the internet to attract men.  But there was no decent English person inside struggling to get out.

At first I was angry, although I saw the warning signs when we began emailing one another and right away she started dictating the things she would not stand for.  Top of her list was how I need to speak about women.  She would not tolerate anything demeaning coming out of my mouth.  I was hugely disappointed because my opening line was calling Mother Theresa a whore and saying women should not be allowed to work outside the home.  Now I had no more smooth introductions.

At this point I should have seen her as a gargoyle, not a perspective date.  I under-estimated her toxicity.  I misjudged her scowl for being an artist tortured by the harsh realities of life.  She looked like the type who came alive through her music and poetry, not from a general disdain for men and a penchant for talking to them like a school teacher.

But I am proud of myself.  My Bipolar mind wanted to attack.  She was out of line and I wanted to shock and awe her, even though George Bush tried it in Iraq and couldn’t seem to make it work.  But I’m not from Texas and knew I could get it right..  I thought of all the things I would say to upset her in rambling emails I would pepper her inbox with on a daily basis.  I was definitely on the precipice of losing control.  She hit my trigger and I wanted to respond in a way much bigger.

Anyone who is aquatinted with me, or has read my book, articles and blogs, knows I have the utmost respect for all human beings.  Some of my greatest heros in life are actually women.  Mama Cass, Big Mama Thornton, Hillary Clinton, Janis Joplin, Rosa Parks and my adopted daughter’s birthmother, to name a few.  And, my 13 year old daughter is smart, strong and has remarkable perseverance in the most difficult situations.  I fully expect her to be a leader in whatever field she choses.  Moreover, I learned manners and chivalry I use every day  from my maternal grandmother, a figure standing out for reinforcing in me the utmost respect for the opposite sex.  I often refer to female as the smarter sex.

However I learned from experience, even when I am right, ratcheting up the tenor of a situation like this only makes me seem insane. Plus, I knew I would say something I would later regret.  So I took the ten minute Bipolar-pause and the knee jerk reaction to embarrass myself passed.  Instead I wrote this blog proclaiming my accomplishment.  Because as Bipolars we all have fired off that email, no matter how righteous we may have been, that we later regret.  And today by not doing something I actually have a feeling of accomplishment.

So I want to thank the scowling girl on the internet for helping me reach another Bipolar milestone.  Without her misconstrued interpretations, instructional demeanor and high horse she angrily rides around in mens locker rooms criticizing them for not having vaginas,  I would not have gotten to challenge my Bipolar mind on exercising self control.   Many thanks.