Thursday, March 08, 2012

The Stink Eye

You know the one. It's the one Mamas give their kids when they're misbehaving in public. Mom slings the Stink Eye at the kid and the kid straightens up at once, fear orbing from his very core. A more expressive look there isn't, in all your inventory of looks you could bestow. It's the same look that Wife gives Husband when he embarrasses her in public. The one kid shoots Mom when she comes to school to pick him up in yoga pants, a wife-beater, and one of those goofy lookin' Rosie the Riveter bandanas tied around her head with the knot and bow ears cocked crooked on top of her noggin.

It comes naturally to most adults- the Stink Eye, not tying a bandana around your melon - particularly if you have children. Or a spouse. Or a sibling. Or, heck. People. Some kids are born with it, too. My ten year old developed it prior to turning a year old. It's a gift.

Of great import to note here, the Stink Eye is NOT the same as a Hate Look. The Stink Eye says "You are very important to me. I will love you always. You're a big part of my life. And, by the way. QUIT IT. Quit it this NANO-second and do not do NOT EHHHHHVER do it again as long as you shall live. Which if you do that again isn't long."

The Hate Look, on the other hand, says "You, my pretty, are a wretched, contemptible beast, and I could quite easily perform the Five Finger Death Punch on you while you sleep and then go get ice cream to celebrate. You make me want to shoot a puppy*."

The Stink Eye is often given via the magical ricochet properties of the rearview mirror. Or, it may involve an almost indistinguishable (to the general public) squint of one eye and/or a teensy but evil raising of one eyebrow. Sometimes a very soft, gentle, but BRUTAL grunt or sucking of the teeth accompanies.

It's one of the greatest communication tools available. Anybody can throw it and anyone (oughta be able to) catch it.

If you didn't see The Devil Wears Prada (where HAVE you been???) one of my favorite parts is where Stanley Tucci educates Anne Hathaway on the expressive facial tells of Meryl Streep and what each means. Here's what Stanley (as Nigel) says:

"There's a scale. One nod is good. Two nods is very good. There's only been one actual smile on record, and that was Tom Ford in 2001. She doesn't like it, she shakes her head. Then, of course, there's the pursing of the lips."

And Anne Hathaway (as Andi) says, "Which means...?"


I have yet to meet the human who throws a meaner Stink Eye than my ten year old boy. If you catch a Stink Eye from him, you know you're in some big, fat, hairy trouble.

The good news is, he's not old enough or tall enough to pull it off. It's just stinkin' cute. So. The takeaway is, go big or go home. And. Don't do it if you can't pull it off. Wait 'til you grow into it.

Ta for now.

Stole the puppy thing from my sister. Just sourcin'.

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