Surviving ‘The Talk’

“Please let’s not talk about that! I’ll probably get them because I keep on frowning just so that guys don’t talk to me!”

She smoothed her forehead several times, vertically then horizontally and then vertically again. Another colleague snapped out of his concentration in front of the computer screen. It was 10.15pm and he was clearly not impressed by how energetic we seemed after a long day at work.

“What are you two talking about?” He muttered, flopped in the chair as he swung round to look at us.

“Getting old. Frown lines.”

I couldn’t help but smile, because it’s not quite normal to talk about the effects of ageing after teaching late into the night, but I certainly understand her need to frown to keep guys away. It’s not her radiant smile that’s adorned with a Colgate-ad worthy set of teeth that draws people to her, it’s the warmth that radiates off her, even without her saying a word. And so when she first arrived, my advice was:

Wear a ‘don’t even LOOK at me face’.

It must have seemed bizarre to her at first (‘a don’t even LOOK at me face?!’), but after having guys smile in a way that you can also imagine them coupling with the wriggling of eyebrows to complete ‘the look’, you really do need to adopt what some call a ‘poker face’ (I like my term better!).

In some ways it’s a little sad, because I am generally a warm person, but a lady’s warmth can easily be interpreted as an invitation, and while I can’t help smiling at people, my street face is as follows.

  • slightly gathered eyebrows (or a raised eyebrow in some cases; you can do both simultaneously, but it does require a degree of concentration, and if you’re worried about frown lines on your forehead, I would not recommend it!)
  • a pout that says, ‘keep talking, I ain’t listening’
  • a walk of confidence (I admit that it turns out to be a slight ‘bop’ when I’m wearing my Converses or trainers – need to work on that. *ehem*)
  • no eye-contact (looking at a person’s shoulder works great!)

8 months and counting and I think I’ve got my look where it needs to be, and I rarely get guys approach me after they’ve seen it – not sure my mother would approve, but… yeah.

– The Londoner

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About LaYinka Sanni

Editor & Writing Coach -- "... connecting dots, one sentence at a time..."

Posted on May 30, 2011, in Ruminations about Cairo, Surviving Cairo. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. LOL@ the bop!!! Hahaha. Just imagined you walking along the Nile with that. Good advice! I call it the military walk; walk/face like a soldier and people will think you’re carrying a gun lol

    • LOL! It’s been made worse by my purchase of an iPod shuffle – a new addition to the ‘I ain’t listening’ persona. So it’s me, the iPod, the bop and the face – my mother definitely wouldn’t approve! 😀

  2. Lol masha Allah.

  3. Hilarious. I’ve got one of those faces btw just naturally. I do attract people but it’s usually desperados and freaks. For some reason people with nothing to lose find me completely approachable whilst everyone else keeps a wide birth. As for the bop. Don’t blame your trainers. Just admit you bop. It’s in your genes. You get guarded and you….. bop. It’s universal. It means….don’t mess with me, even my legs can’t handle me at the moment.

    • Oh, Sam you killed me! LOL!

      Don’t blame your trainers. Just admit you bop. It’s in your genes. You get guarded and you….. bop. It’s universal. It means….don’t mess with me, even my legs can’t handle me at the moment.

      I think it is a natural defence… but it’s also a deterrent. But it’s a slight bop, mind you – like, a small dip, and a small rise. Gotta keep it classy. 🙂

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