There is one thing I will never grow tired of seeing – the look of shock that is on my mother’s face whenever she tells me I look nice.
Fortunately for me, I got to see a lot of it these past couple of weeks.
Like me, my mother suffers from the antipoker-face face. Every thought and feeling she is having broadcasts across her mug. So, like me, she doesn’t bother lying.
So I know she isn’t lying when she tells me I look nice. But it’s funny to read on her face that it surprises her so much. What’s funnier is that it borders on astonishment.
For Thanksgiving dinner, I was wearing a nice skirt, make-up, and had just finished my hair. She said, “You look nice.” Her face said, “Why are you getting so dressed up? It’s just Daddy and I?”
Last week she was in the city attending a conference. I met her out for dinner. Again she commented on how nice I looked. Again her face told the whole story: “Wow, you almost look as nice as Lana (my older, prettier sister). I really don’t understand why you aren’t dating one of the attorneys you work with.”
But the best face – the face that was so distorted in confusion I actually had to call her out on it – was when I was leaving to meet up with friends on Saturday night (over Thanksgiving weekend). As I came down stairs, her face pulled back in horror, she stared at me, her whole head turning to watch me as I made my way to the couch. I could feel her gaze on the side of my head as I transferred my ID and money from my purse to my clutch. I couldn’t help but smile in anticipation of what face awaited me.
I wasn’t disappointed. Her face was equal parts “you are not my daughter” mixed with “I don’t understand if you can look this nice, why wouldn’t paint you face this way all the time” topped with just a touch of “did my husband and I really manage to produce that?”
And of course it would be flattering, if it didn’t all boil down to the fact that my mother is shocked that I can be pretty.