When you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you

People get complimented all the time for their smiles. “She has such a lovely smile,” they’ll say. “He has a smile that will light up a room.”

I am not one of those people. Sometimes I want to smile; sometimes I actually feel happy enough to smile. But my face is worn by over a half century of worry, scorn and general ill-temper, and there are some muscles that just don’t work well anymore. The exercise experts tell us to use it or lose it. I have totally lost it.

What remains, however, is something in which I take a measure of pride. If I can’t be near the upper extreme of pleasant facial expressions, I can boast that I’m near the bottom. I have, you see, what may be the world’s greatest frown.

It’s an almost-perfect half circle of gloom. The edges curl so far down from the apex that I almost need to borrow an additional face. Were the circle to be completed across the bottom, there’d be a ring of contemptuous mouth approaching 360 degrees of flawless roundness.

They say “let a smile be your umbrella,” but on this rainy Monday here in the South, I’d much rather have a replica of my sad grimace protecting me from the elements.

Check out this piteous mug:

Frowny Davis

When I first turned the camera around a looked at this shot, I was reminded of the photos from a recent colonoscopy shown me by my gastroenterologist. There’s a certain fleshy flabbiness not unlike what most people have six feet up their large intestine. The nostrils could be mistaken for an ileum or a duodenum. (Regular readers may note that I finally found a Wal-Mart that carries nose hair clippers).

Next, let me show you what I call my “greeting smile.” This is the expression I use when I need to stray from my default mode of misery long enough to acknowledge a passing coworker or neighbor. By pursing my lips, I can temporarily shut down the Super Frown and mold my mouth into something resembling a friendly face. With a nod of the head and a vague twinkle of the eye (not shown), I can almost pass for a nice guy as I acknowledge nearby fellow humans.

The Greeting Smile

Finally, here’s an example of my genuinely happy smile. This is a simulation, of course, since I had nothing to be genuinely happy about at the time except for the prospect of spending my Sunday afternoon doing laundry and, maybe as a treat later, mowing the lawn. Note that the lips are nearly horizontal — very close to a technical smile — and that the cheeks exhibit a roundness that suggests either genuine cheer or a really bad sinus infection. The veiny expanse of chin is no longer the center of the frown but a loathsome feature in its own right.

The Happy Smile

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3 Responses to “When you’re smiling, the whole world smiles with you”

  1. morethananelectrician Says:

    Too funny. Really. I have recent seen about 50 shots of me from a weekend of public events and it was funny to see that the posed photos all have me looking like oscar the grouch, but the candid one’s all show a different story.

    Keep the colonoscopy photos to yourself please. 🙂

  2. planetross Says:

    I’d buy the guy in the 3rd photo a beer, but the other 2 are on their own.

    I can’t make a great frown like that, but I can make a second mouth that talks using my lower lip and chin.

  3. tychy Says:

    i think that this is the worst guide to smiling i have ever read. you won’t sell a used car with any of those faces.

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