Curse of the Straight Face



The Curse of the Straight Face

McKinley Chabot

She walks into school wearing jeans and a sweatshirt. Her hair is in a high ponytail, and she is silent until she gets to her class. People that pass her in the hallways don’t smile or look, they just keep staring straight ahead. It isn’t until she reaches the classroom that she starts talking. Her friends are in there, and they know what the deal is. 

That girl is me, and I can assure you, I’m not facing anything serious. There is no case of bullying, or mistreatment from my peers. I just look unapproachable, mean even. I have RBF, and we all know what that stands for. 

I don’t try to keep a straight face, it just happens. Whenever I’ve tried to lighten it up, I just look sick, awkward, or creepy. So I stick to the way my face is naturally set; cold, unwelcoming, and bored. 

My other problem is that I’m not a naturally outgoing person. Socializing is not my thing, so I talk to who I know and that’s about as far as I go. This also makes me seem like I jerk. I mean, if I don’t talk to someone, that must mean I hate them, right?

This is completely untrue. There are very few people that I truly dislike, and usually, if I don’t talk to someone it’s because I’m nervous. What if they think I’m weird or dumb? What if they don’t want to talk to me? What if I’m below their standards?

 I met one of my best friends in sixth grade. We sat next to each other in music class, and we would both try to talk to each other whenever we got the chance. I was nervous, and she was too, so it took us months to hold an actual conversation with one another. The reward, however, was absolutely worth it. 

Later in our friendship, I learned that she thought I hated her because of my face. I then went through the process of telling her that it’s just how I look, and I don’t mean anything by it. On the inside, I really wanted to be friends with her, I just didn’t know how to show it. 

Unfortunately, that’s not the only instance of this case. Countless people have come up to me and said that they thought I hated them before we talked. My explanation is heard again, and the receiver laughs and smiles. I guess if I really want to clear the air, I just need to talk to every single person in my school. 

Some people have been so wary of me that they went through my friends to voice their opinion. A friend once said to me that somebody thought I hated them. I was horrified and shocked and asked why they thought this way. My friend responded by saying that I would always give them a dirty look. Once again, I went through the explanation process. 

Of course, I don’t blame anyone for thinking this way. If someone looks unapproachable, I won’t talk to them either. I’ve made a straight face in the mirror before, and I agree with what everyone’s saying. It’s not on anyone else to correct this assumption; it’s on me. I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you see an angry-looking girl with jeans and a sweatshirt on walking through the halls of Oakmont Regional High School, don’t be afraid of her. She’s not judging you one bit. She wants to be friends with you, her face just says otherwise. She’ll work on talking more, and she hopes that you’ll try and talk to her too.