Let’s Talk About the Other RBF!

Resting Bored Face.

First off, Happy New Year and all that. I know I’ve been away for a bit. I went to a tiny town in Ontario called Forest so that I could write a book. We had a hot tub, but we were missing the stars. It was cloudy AF, but I still have a lot of amazing stories from this trip – which I wasn’t really expecting. I expected to hole up and write and that’s it!

I ended up with over 20k words (up to over 25k by now) and a love for a place I didn’t even know existed. Are y’all interested in a trip blog? I ain’t a travel blogger by any means, but I do love discovering things. 

Now on to the other RBF – Resting Bored Face. 

We all talk about Resting Bitch Face all the time, but I ain’t heard another human say a single word about Resting Bored Face, so here I go. 

I think I have it. If I am not actively thinking about what my face is doing while I’m listening to someone talk to me, I fear that I look terribly bored. 

Even though I am not! It’s really hard to bore me, tbh, even when you are talking about mundane things. 

As it has previously been established, I live for mundanity. Which seems like a strange thing to say, doesn’t it? But it is 100% true. 

I love hearing about how people who are not me live their everyday lives. I’m interested in what you use to clean, what your preferred cooking fat is, what you favorite outfit in middle school was, which limbs you prefer to jangly limb dance with. You know, the little things!

That’s the stuff that makes up a person. The big stuff just feels like bluster to me. 

Bluster that I have to arrange my face for. Hmm, this is an interesting insight that I’ve never considered before. Maybe I like hearing about the little stuff so much because there is not as much pressure to react? Something to consider for sure. 

Things like birthdays and christmas and shit though? My neurodivergent ass hated those days. They are draining and one of those things that, if you don’t react “correctly”, you are gonna fucking hear about it.

At least I did. 

My parents took a lot of videos at the holidays so a lot of video evidence of me being a disappointing gift receiver exists. Followed by years and years of increasingly manic gift opening reactions as I learned that it served me better to mask. 

I remember one year my nana had hand crocheted me an ice skating outfit. I loved this thing so much. It was a deep wine red and pink and twirly (according to the card catalogue in my brain). The delight that I felt in receiving this outfit was instant and I could recognize it myself watching lil Jacki on the video. It was just internal.

But not enough to keep me from getting yelled at for not letting my Nana know that I loved the hard work she put into it enough. But I am 99% sure she knew, cause she understood me a bit more than most. 

Plus, after all the gifts were opened and the camera was still running, I completely ignored the pile of books and toys and other clothes to put on the ice skating ensemble. And didn’t do much else other than twirl for a good hour. 

Nowadays, when I open gifts or similar, I still do a fair bit of masking, because people expect it and are hurt if they don’t get the expected reaction to a gift. 

So, in these situations, when someone tells me I am not reacting enough, oof that’s a hurt, because to my brain, what they are really asking me is to MASK HARDER. 

And, y’all. I’m really trying not to mask at all. I really don’t want to have to do it. And I find that, lately, I don’t need to mask nearly as much. But it slips on so easy when I feel a certain kind of pressure though.

I can physically feel it and sometimes I can get it to stop by, like, opening my jaw super-wide and waggling it around and bopping my shoulders. Sometimes, if I’m with a safe person, I’ll add a full body shudder for good measure. So if you observe that particular piece of choreography when I’m in your company, take it as the comfortable compliment that it is. 

I also realize that those people asking me for bigger reactions also were mostly likely held responsible for their parents emotions so they require that visual confirmation or a happy, shocked, sad, scared or whatever face to let them know that they are “Reacting” the “correct” way. 

I was one of those people. I am so good at monitoring the moods and vibrations in a room. This served two purposes for me – allowing me to ignore my own feelings and being able to react quickly if I sense a blow up on the horizon. Or even sometimes my constant monitoring allowed me to fizzle a situation before it became a blow out.

But you know what I also know?

That’s a lot of goddamn work for my brain that would be better used elsewhere. And I don’t want to do it anymore. Even more than that, I don’t want to HAVE to do it anymore. 

I just want to be and look bored sometimes, okay?

2 Comments

  1. Christina King

    I love your writing. I stumbled upon your blog by doing a random Google search about “sleeping like a rotisserie chicken” and ended up here, now finishing reading through a third blog post. I think I will be a loyal fan, from now on. Fellow neurodivergent here, as well. Former writer. It’s nice to come across a kindred spirit. Cheers!

    • Ahhh, thank you dear stranger for reading.

      Welcome to my very unusual home on the Internet! What part of the world do you hail from?

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