When it comes to cleaning it's always been this way for me - I don't need to clean so much as I need a reason to clean. This weekend I had my reason. My sister and two little nieces are flying down from the north country.
While I was cleaning and vacuming the car (twice a year affair, if that) I found myself smiling despite the one hundred degree temperature and the sweat dripping down my nose. I was thinking about how my sis and I get to laughing hysterically during our visits, mostly because she makes the most ridiculous faces.
Some people call it mugging.
Mugging seems to be a family tradition. My mother always made crazy faces, usually conveying surprise or mocking disapproval. Then there's my sister who routinely puts on clown faces. And now my daughter. When she was a toddler, my husband's sister remarked how animated she was. I didn't understand what she meant. She said my daughter was a lot like me and my sister in that way, that we were so expressive. Huh? I still didn't get it. What was so different about us? I was intrigued.
Many years later I do get it. I've been paying attention. Whereas I used to think everybody made faces when they talked, I've come to see that people's expressiveness ranges from rarely using gestures to regularly making faces to tell a story or emphasize a point or punctuate a joke.
My husband, Sam, and his sister are quick witted and funny but hardly ever make faces in the middle of their story. Maybe never because I can't think of an example where they did.
Some of my friends are dry witted and completely deadpan to the point of almost missing the joke. I like both kinds of humor but think I'm partial to the making faces thing.
Like for instance, my favorite comedians have a thing about mugging:
I've also come to realize how much I make faces when I talk. Sometimes I'm overly aware of it. It's like looking out from my own face, noticing my expressions from behind my face and seeing their effect on people. And I wonder if I look ridiculous. If they wonder why the heck I find the need to make so many faces, why can't I simply tell a story without the goofy mannerisms.
What about you? Are you one of the expressives or one of the deadpans?