Friday, December 5, 2008

About Face

I have one of those faces - a Face People Talk To (or, if you insist, a Face To Which People Talk). I have known this since I was a teenager. My family and most of my friends know this because they have witnessed it again and again. On an elevator, in a grocery line, even just out for a walk: as soon as I leave my house, I am fair game; complete strangers will come up to me and begin conversations as if we were long-lost friends. Even in an airport, or any room with hundreds of other options, I am always the one who will be selected for a chat or a gripe session.

Once or twice I've felt a little intimidated or threatened, but I'm usually engaged with someone friendly, or someone who just wants an audience, and needs to complain without really expecting anything in return. I consider myself fortunate, because I'm a mediocre judge of character with a fairly abysmal "danger!" instinct.

I have studied this ol' puss in the mirror, trying to figure out what exactly says, "Yes - accost me. Annoy me. Tell me all about your personal problems." And I haven't a clue. I've tried rearranging my expression into "Leave Me Alone" or "I Don't Give a Hoot" or even "Bugger Off, You Nutty Whack Job," all without success. I've learned to accept this feature, although the mystery of why continues to frustrate me.

There's a reason I'm sharing this, it's just taking a while to get there. I had exactly one brief outing during my Thanksgiving visit: Mom and I ventured out on "Black Friday" with two objectives: a memory foam mattress topper, and perhaps some new winter bedding, to go with my newly remodeled bedroom. My sister-in-law had given me a memory foam pillow, which I really like, and I'd been lusting for a mattress topper ever since she told me about them.

At the first store, Kohl's, I was fondling the mattress topper, trying to justify the expense to myself. Even on sale, it was $100, a fortune to someone who's been living on handouts for a year. And almost immediately, as if we were best friends in mid-outing, a woman came up to me and said, "Oh, I just love my mattress topper! You should get this! You won't believe what a difference it makes! I bought one for my sister! They are just fabulous!" and proceeded to tell me more, in greater detail.

So I decided to put my faith in the Crazy Mattress Topper Lady, and I bought it. And CMTL was right: I just love it! I can't believe how much more comfy my ancient, broken down old mattress is. Thanks, Crazy Lady!

I found a bedding set at our second and final stop, Penneys. In fact, the "floor model" was the only one in my size (Do I have the last full bed on the planet? Have you all expanded to Kings and Queens?), so they unmade the demo bed and packed it up for me. It was so cheap, I don't expect it to last more than a year or two -- the bedskirt needed mending even before I put it on the bed -- but the fact that I found one I like and could afford is like a lunar eclipse. (The smaller photo shows my finally-hung birdylicious prints, a rare impulse purchase. Maybe all art purchases should be based on emotional impulses.)

The rich cocoa color makes it seem even warmer; between the bedding and the mattress topper, it has become a bit of a challenge every morning, persuading myself to get out of bed.

Really, I can hardly wait til the next time I'm accosted - I'm going to tell them all about it!


Margaret said...

This post gave me a good (out-loud) chuckle, Ms. Joy! :-)

I know EXACTLY what you mean. I have "one of those faces," too. Like you, I have tried to look forbidding and standoffish, even mad as hell, but it doesn't work. People begin talking to me for no apparent reason or ask me for information...but hey, I get "accosted" in TWO languages (Italian and English), so mine is a double whammy...

Plus, at least you got a mattress topper, whatever that is!, out of your Crazy Lady. Can't say I have ever been as lucky...;-)

Take care!
Florence, Italy

P.S. I read your blog every day...enjoy it very much!

La Cootina said...

Margaret, we must meet - and study each other's faces like anthropologists! Maybe we can figure out just what it is that triggers this response...

I also read and enjoy your blog, but it is often far above my tiny little head. I'm grateful brainiacs like you are out there studying MM, so that dimwits like myself can benefit from your research.

Margaret said...

Hmmm, it just so happens that my major in college was Social kidding!

You...a dimwit? Uhm, yeah, right, whatever.

And by the way, I have NO scientific inclination at all...sometimes these studies are so full of technical gibberish that I just skip through 'em and only read the Discussion part. Besides, it took a lot of time before I began to make sense of the molecular muddle. Still quite a muddle, actually. But I put my mind to it a year or so ago and learned a few tricks. That's all it to try? ;-)

Florence, Italy (=not exactly in your neighbourhood, otherwise I'd hop right over to your place to meet you...)