It's Written All Over My Face

By WES BROOKS,

This week’s track, “Boys Don’t Cry,” comes from British New Wave and Gothic Rock pioneers, The Cure. Principle songwriter, guitarist, and singer, Robert Smith, formed the band in Sussex in 1976. They came into popularity in the wake of the punk rock movement and cemented their notoriety through the 80’s and 90’s. Although the single was originally released in 1979, it did not see success in the U.K. until it was re-released as a B-side in 1986, and in the U.S. its success was relegated to college radio. It’s only been within the last year or so that I first heard the expression “RBF.” When I was told what those three letters stood for, I have to admit I LOL’d, quite heavily. My amusement was a mixture of “I can’t believe someone actually created a name for that,” and “that is just hilarious.”

Now, for those of you who may have been under the same rock your’s truly constantly finds himself crawling out from under, let me explain. The first letter stands for “resting.” The second is arguably profane so, I’ll just tell you it’s the same word one might use describe a female canine. The last word, of course, stands for “face.”

Resting B**** Face. Hilarious, right?

I would say I’m sorry
If I thought that it would change your mind
But I know that this time
I have said too much, been too unkind
I try to laugh about it
Cover it all up with lies
I try to laugh about it
Hiding the tears in my eyes
'Cause boys don't cry

My first immediate assumption upon hearing this was, of course, this is something women have come up with to describe other women whose natural or “resting” facial expression gives the impression they are mad, mean, or stuck up. This, of course, is inaccurate. Fellas, we know have it too, we just haven’t cared or been clever enough to come up with a name for ours yet, right?

Well, I won’t speak for the rest of my fellow XY’s, but I am fully cognizant of mine—even before I knew there was a name for it, and it’s pretty bad. How bad? Bad enough to change another person’s mood, that’s how bad. There have been times my poor wife has looked at me and said, “I don’t know what’s going on in that head of yours, but I’m real close knockin’ it out of there… you look like someone just stole your guitar.”

I would break down at your feet
And beg forgiveness, plead with you
But I know that it's too late
And now there's nothing I can do
Cover it all up with lies

I try to laugh about it
Hiding the tears in my eyes
'Cause boys don't cry

Invariably, I find myself chuckling and saying “I have no idea what you’re talking about,” and then, begging forgiveness because whatever I may have said while wearing that face took on a completely unintended meaning. For the longest time, I just thought those closest to me were just being dramatic and it couldn’t possibly be that bad. Let me tell you, I was soooo wrong. Not too long ago, I did an interview on WUSM speaking about an upcoming event we were having at the DuBard School. To their credit, the radio station did have a sign that read “Interviews live streamed on Facebook.” To their discredit, the sign did not specify that the cameras were active during the 5 minutes I sat there waiting for the interview to begin. Like most would, once I was seated and told the interview would begin in 5-7 minutes, I pulled out my phone, read some emails, and answered a few text messages. About two minutes before we went live I had the following text exchange with one of the most inherently happy people I’ve ever been blessed to know, Staci Cox.

Staci: What’s wrong?? You should smile more!

Me: Huh? What are you talking about??

Staci: You’re streaming live on Facebook right now!

Me: Oh my……

WUSM: And we’re live in studio right now with Wes Brooks from the DuBard School for Language Disorders!

Now I would do most anything
To get you back by my side
But I just keep on laughing
Hiding the tears in my eyes
'Cause boys don't cry

That interview went on for what seemed like hours. All I could think about was my expression must’ve appeared and how many people saw it. For the record, I was in that moment genuinely happy and excited to be there. I am a pretty happy person in general—even if my facial expression appears to convey the opposite. You see, ADHD is unforgiving in that way. The wheels are constantly spinning. Managing and prioritizing thoughts require an immense amount of concentration.

For the longest time, that was the reason I had that expression. Now, I can only say it’s an excuse, and we all know the difference. It’s an excuse because I am aware of it and know I have to be hyper-vigilant my facial expressions aren’t betraying me. It also reminds me to give others the benefit of the doubt because their wheels might be spinning just as fast as mine might.

Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. I promise you’ll find me smiling. First, I work at the happiest place on earth with the happiest people. Second, there are 80 little folks there without the receptive/expressive skills we’re all blessed to have (i.e. they don’t know that someone frowning has nothing to do with them), and last, because on a staff of 35 I am the only one with a Y-chromosome over the age of 13. If you’re looking for a good smile, we love visitors at the DuBard School. Give me a call and let me give you a tour of this internationally known gem that resides right here in the Hub City. I personally guarantee that if you didn’t arrive with a grin, you’ll leave with the biggest one you’ve ever had.

When he’s not rocking his socks off, Wes Brooks spends his days as the Development Coordinator at the DuBard School for Language Disorders at The University of Southern Mississippi.  Brooks is a husband, a father, and a guitarist for the local band, The 6550’s.

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