FEFD: Let’s find a cure!

30 Aug

I have been self diagnosed as having a severe case of Facial-Expression-Filter Disorder (FEFD).  Maybe you’ve heard of this or even suffered from it yourself.  FEFD is typically onset by something you see, or your interaction with another person and your thoughts are written all over your face.  I like to think of it kind of like a dog and its tail.. Example #1: you grab a leash to take the dog on a walk. Does it want to show its excitement?  *TAIL WAGGING!!!* Excited? No. I’m not excited.  I peed all over the floor because I’m excited?  No, still definitely not excited.  Example #2:  you walk in the door only to see the kitchen trash can strewn across your entire living room.  *tail between the legs* It wasn’t me, I swear. Oh the tail?? I mean.. it’s just tired from wagging… thought I’d tuck it away.  NBD.(One of the greatest blessings for me in life is in fact that I do not have a tail.. think about that!)

FEFD  happens when you least expect it and most people that suffer from FEFD control it with a cough, a polite smile, or even just turning their gaze in another direction.  I however have the inability to control my FEFD.  Here are a couple examples for your reference:

Person: “Hey Sarah, don’t you love this song???”

Me: *eyebrow scrunch*teeth clench*lower lip slide to the left*rub of neck* “Yes.  Definitely.” 

Person: “…and then I met with the VP of XYZ Corp. who told me how awesome I am, which lead to my promotion and I’m going to continue talking about my job and how important I think I am but in reality I’m just corporate overhead…”

Me: *side glance*yawn*cover mouth*nod*polite smile* “That’s great.  Congratulations.”

This is why I feel the need to say exactly what I’m thinking… because my FEFD has not yet been cured.  A serious problem FEFD arises however with strangers that I never talk to.  Segue to my actual blog thought happens… now:

I live in Boston – it’s the smallest big city in the U.S. (or biggest small city depending on how you want to look at it..) where you will definitely run into the same person more than once, for better or for worse.  That said, I have a number of people I see on almost everyday  that I have never met.  My FEFD is especially a problem to these people because when I walk around the city, or ride the T, or wait in line… I observe.  I don’t want the distraction of a book, or an iPhone game, or headphones (all appropriate prevention tactics for FEFD by the way) … I am surrounded by the best form of entertainment: PEOPLE WATCHING!  Here are my daily interactions with these people:

Dad/Son heading to school:  I’ve missed them this summer and am excited for school to start up again.  I usually bump into them within taking ten steps out my front door.  The dad is probably in his mid 40’s and his son is probably 5th or 6th grade.  I’ve watched the kid’s pants get shorter as he gets taller, seen the bad haircuts, and have gotten to hear bits and pieces of his crazy 5th grade stories.  His dad and I generally nod at each other as we pass, and this past April I started saying “good morning.”  Daily Thought: can I be part of your family???  FEFD Symptom: *longing gaze*nod*soft smile*slight chuckle*head shake*

I-once-watched-you-slip-and-fall-on-ice-and-rather-than-stop-and-help-you-I-walked-around-you Guy:  I guess the name explains it all.  Daily Thought: Jerk.  FEFD Symptom: *Glare*Long Glare*

The Stroller: I only see him if I’m running late; he just strolls as if he has somewhere to be, but doesn’t really care when he gets there and is almost always wearing a scarf.  Daily thought: where are you going that allows you to just stroll?? What’s the deal with the scarf?  FEFD Symptom:  *side glance*eyebrow spasm*

Eager Old T-Lady (EOTL): We stand at the T stop together everyday.  She has short white hair, oversized “granny” glasses, and wears calf-length floral patterned skirts paired with tan velcro walking shoes and white socks (picture below… please appreciate it, it was very hard to pull off) Everyday this woman positions herself on the platform to be in front of the second door of the first car when the T stops.  This also happens to be my spot.  She reads the paper with her upper lip scrunched up into her nose as she waits for the T.  As it approaches, she reaches into her canvas shoulder bag that has a cat applique ironed on to the front and eagerly shows her monthly link pass to the T driver as he passes us.  This woman drives me nuts.  So of course I “unknowingly” get in her way of the door, causing her to try and find ways around me.  The area covered by the T door however is not that wide and I can generally block her out with just a shift in my stance.  Daily Thought: WOMAN.  WE ALL GET ON THE T.. CHILL OUT.  In the meantime… Game on.  FEFD Symptom: *no eye contact*side shift left*pull out phone and pretend to read something important*side shift right*

Note the glasses and lip scrunch

Note the cat bag and the floral skirt

Longwood Medical T-Stopper: Once on the T, myself and EOTL scan the riders seated to gauge who will be getting off at the next stop so we can take their seat, we like to call this “T-profiling.”  Since  the next stop is an area of the city with lots of hospitals… a safe bet would be someone in scrubs, someone wearing a work badge on a lanyard around their neck, someone who is just all around pretty clean-cut, or someone that is just plain fidgety and gathering all their belongings.  My battle with EOTL ensues as I race her to the first profiled Longwood Medical T-Stopper.  Daily Thought: Please give me your seat – I need to beat EOTL today!  FEFD Symptom: *frantic eye scans*sad eyes*side glance to EOTL*

Highschool DND Summer Campers:  They’ve been getting on at Fenway all summer.  Daily Thought: I wonder when the last time this DND kid showered?  Is there really such thing as a DND summer camp?  Deodorant.  Do they notice that no one else on the T is talking?  Stop talking.  FEFD Symptom: *gag*cover mouth*throw up a little*heavy sigh*

Ex-Coworker:  Great guy and absolutely nothing against him, just generally don’t really feel like making conversation with him for two stops.  Daily Thought: Did he see me?  Crap… he saw me.  Should I say hi?  FFED Symptom:  *stare. straight. ahead.*look at reflection in the window*scan to see if EOTL got a seat*

CRAIG (formerly titled The Leprechaun):  This man terrifies me.  He surprisingly resembles the guy from the old Skittles commercial (pictured below) but instead of the ruffled top, picture a grungy Celtics t-shirt, stained blue jeans and green Nike tennis shoes.  He preys on women in their 20’s typically by circling said female, standing extremely close but just out of vision, and then popping 2 inches away from your face proceeding to say “WILL YOU GO ON A DATE WITH ME.”  Generally I would think this is a little funny, but the look on this guy’s face is absolutely terrifying.  Sadly not as terrifying as his bangs.  I only know his name is Craig because he has since added to his pickup line: “HI MY NAME IS CRAIG. WILL YOU GO ON A DATE WITH ME” I can only imagine his therapist told him ‘You know Craig.. you can’t just ask women out, they have to get to know you first’ – thanks Craig’s therapist… please clarify with Craig what exactly you meant by that.  All I’ve done with his name is add it to my I-Will-Never-Name-A-Child-This List.  Daily Thought: RUN!  Run away!!  Has that ever worked on a girl?  FEFD Symptom:  *head shrivel into neck*left side of the face twitch*

Metro News Guy:  Makes my morning everyday.  This guy stands at the top of the stairs of the Copley T station and hands out Metro newspapers… I guess he’s employed by the paper itself?  He looks like he could be a bit of a thug… but a super sweet thug.  He greets everyone with a huge smile and some kind of happy phrase.  To me, he generally says “Heeeeeey beautiful!  Look at that smile!  I love those dimples!! Let me see those dimples!”  Sometimes I’ll reach for the Metro and he’ll playfully pull it back resulting in me grabbing at air rather than a paper.  When he decides to give it to me, I in a playful banter smack his arm with the Metro I had to work to get from him.  Daily Thought: You are so happy.  You make me so happy.  Do you notice my dimples are lopsided?  FEFD Symptom: *smile*chuckle smile*DIMPLES smile*head tilt to hide crooked dimples*still smiling*

Spare Change Rainman:  He is a sweet-ish (not Swedish, probably Irish if I had to guess) looking old man sits at the bus stop everyday with no intention of actually taking the bus.  Instead he rushes to say to every person that walks by “Do you have any spare change? Thanks. Have a good day.”  When I say every person, I literally mean every person.  I like to be polite and acknowledge him by saying “Good morning! Have a good day!”  but if we’re being honest, I really just get a sick pleasure out of throwing off his Rainman routine and like hearing him “catch up” with the people he missed as I walk away 🙂  Daily Thought:  Do you count how many people walk by? Are you still sitting here at 10a “catching up” on everyone that you missed??  FEFD Symptom: *smile*eye contact*

Tour Bus Patrons:  This is a fun one because you never know what kind of people the tour bus is going to be filled with… until you’re walking through Copley Square watching them take untentional hilarious awkward portraits of each other… and they all look the same, whether it be their nationality, their age demographic, their clothing style… it’s hilarious.  (A good example of what I’m describing is pictured below from one of my trips to NYC… posing IN the stock exchange bull’s buttcrack… really??) Daily Thought:  What exactly are you posing with?  How did you come up with that pose?  Do you hang pictures of yourself all over your apartment?  They have Photoshop for this stuff… can you get out of my way please?? FEFD Symptom: *heavy sigh*eye roll*confusion eyebrows*heavier sigh*

Star Trek Hancock Front Desk Security Beast:  Daily thought: You are huge.  Is your forehead real?  Are there such things at forehead implants??  FEFD Symptom: *glazed eyes*forehead scrunch*stare forward*

Red Sox Fans from The Burbs:  I love baseball a lot.  A lot a lot.  I love this city, I love the fans.  It’s sooooo much fun going to Sox games, and my eyes literally teared up the first time I walked into Fenway and saw the field.  That said… after a full day at work, Red Sox Fans from The Burbs are the last people I want to cram into a subway car with.  You know the ones from The Burbs because they always end up getting separated from their party, and will then precede yell across the car at each other “OK!  2 more stops!” … “OK!  Next stop!  Get off at the next stop!”  It’s not like you can just follow the hundred other people wearing Sox jerseys or anything… Meanwhile, I pick up a book to read (only do this is dire circumstances) and the over-friendly group of 50 year old men comment on how amazing it is that I can read and not be distracted by anything they’re saying.  This is where I lose it.  My severe FEFD overflows and turns into words “I can hear everything you’re saying… I’m choosing to block you out” … “Oh you don’t know what stop to get off at?? KENMORE.  Along with every other person wearing Sox gear on this train.  Go figure”

FEFD is a serious problem suffered by thousands of people and causes harm to those around you if not treated timely (think The Burbs) you might just become what some call a Masshole.  Join with me in researching to find a cure… please?  *sad eyes*eyebrow raise*shrug*


5 Responses to “FEFD: Let’s find a cure!”

  1. Cassie Ladd August 30, 2011 at 10:14 am #

    The cure. Are you ready for this? It’s called “Game-face.” Always wear your game-face. I suffer too and I remember that this is my key to keeping all my secrets. But let’s face it (ha ha), life is way more fun when you don’t keep your game-face on.

  2. adoptingmama August 31, 2011 at 12:23 am #

    Do NOT become EOTL in your future life! I repeat, do NOT become her…scary people you have there Sarah, reeeealll scary 😉


  3. Jen October 24, 2011 at 11:33 am #

    I laughed so hard at this that my co-worker leaned over her desk to stare at me. HAHA!!

    I’ve TOTALLY been accosted by leprechaun guy! And I think I’ve seen scrunchy lips as well…

    So so great!


  1. Updates! (and insight into what my life has come to) « highfiverson - September 9, 2011

    […] FEFD Update:  I still have it… BUT I finally got to be reunited with the father/son going to school today and there is now a second son!! Starting kindergarten!!A kindergartener!!! With bed head riding (driving?) a razor scooter!!! YYYYEEESSSS.  Having an extra jolt of inspiration and a kick in my step inspired by meeting my new kindergartener friend, I took the liberty of taking a picture of EOTL this morning so you could see that I was completely serious.  I’ve added it to the original post for your enjoyment – please note how close she stands to me… hahaha what a lady. […]

  2. Grace: As learned from the Boston Me(T)ro « highfiverson - November 15, 2011

    […] and tattoos balancing their array of musical instruments and textbooks, across from the old lady with her canvas grocery bag who is next to a schizophrenic man in a tattered Pats jacket (aka: my […]

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