Making faces makes for a poor poker player

I’d make a terrible poker player.

It’s not just because I have no interest in the game itself and couldn’t begin to play it well.

It’s because no way can I have one of those poker faces — “an impassive expression that hides one’s true feelings,” so the definition reads.

That’s not how my maker made me.

I’m a gal with a multitude of facial expressions to convey my many, many moods, and I can’t hide any one of them.

They are all over my face.

Me trying to keep a straight face, to show no expression whatsoever and not let any other players know I have a really, really good hand or a really, really bad one, or that I’m bluffing beyond belief, well, forget that.

That’s not happening with this mug.

With me, you’ll know if things are hopeful or hopeless.

If I’m down for the count, my face will show it.

If I thought I were in for the really, really big win, I’d be smiling a super big anticipatory grin, mentally counting my winnings. Maybe even humming, “We’re in the money……”

What you see is how I’m feeling.

Whatever is going on, you’ll pretty much know courtesy of my facial expression.

Crabby mood? Lips compressed in a thin straight line.

Disinterested? Heavy duty eye rolling and inflated cheeks.

Better Half — who often wonders aloud “Do you have to make faces all the time?” — says it’s just my nature to make faces.

It’s what you do — it’s who you are, he laughs in offering this validation of my being.

You’re a facemaker. Your voice even, how you talk … he started, then suddenly stopped what I guess was a state-of-the-spouse assessment.

You’re not normal, he added, sounding just a little too on target for my comfort level.

You’re abbynormal, he joked, the hole he was digging for himself getting deeper by the minute as he tried to make light of his comments.

I made a face. Imagine that.

What do you mean by that, I asked.

Now he made a face, no words readily at hand for a save-himself explanation.

I am very much like a walking human Emoji — those expressions people add to e-mails and Facebook comments — from smiles and laughter to frowny faces and tears to smirks and scowls.

There’s one for every occasion and then some.

If I’m happy, I’m smiling.

If I’m not, it’s a pouty “pierogie” lip, as we used to call this one sad face our kids made when they were little.

I’m a chronic face-maker and come from a family of siblings who blazed that trail before me.

I blame my brothers, my facial expression mentors.

We can tell you’re related by the facial expressions you make, I’ve been told.

And here I thought it was nose size that connected us.

Some people tell you to wipe that look off your face.

Or remember that motherly warning that you’d better quit making that face or it could freeze and be permanent?

If it’s a good poker face, I guess that could come in pretty handy.

(Kiaski, a resident of Richmond, is a staff columnist and community editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted at jkiaski@heraldstaronline.com.)


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