I was going through stuff from high school the other day and came across my giant “Have a Day” button. I loved it when I was filled with teenage angst, so I figure it’s time to pass it on to the next generation of practiced sullenness. My daughter accepted the button without any expression on her face. She betrayed no emotion. Perfect.

Her reaction reminded me of an article I read last year about a woman who, at the age of 10, made the decision to avoid smiling. Now, 40 years later, her face is as smooth as a baby’s butt (but not nearly as expressive). At first, I assumed it was a humor piece; a hyperbolic illustration of the self-obsessed society we’ve created.


Resting bitch face just leveled up.

I have to confess that for a brief moment I wished I knew this solemn-faced mystery woman. Because if I were in her tribe, you can bet we’d have a Split the Pot stacking up to the sky, guessing which of us, using which method, on what day would finally break her streak.

In her interview, she sounded pretty pleased with her choice and seemed rational in defense of her reasons and lack of regret.

Still, I can’t help but wonder what circumstances could ever lead a 10-year-old child into a lifelong commitment not to smile. And how beautiful is a 50-year-old face without laugh lines, if it never laughs?

Give me visible signs of the life I’ve lived over agelessness any day.

Every single wrinkle.

Every laugh line.

Every gray hair.

Every scar.

I freaking earned them.

I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up, but I know I want it to be spelled right and punctuated correctly. I guess that’s something.

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