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Wednesday, 22 October 2008

The Look

By Ken Mitchell

I suppose every generation laments over the good ole days. When a nickel could buy a loaf of bread, sliced bread, mind you. When the farm chores began before daylight and were completed before the three-mile walk to the one-room schoolhouse. When the parental look across the room had long arms and prongs and could alter behavior or even incubating notions.

All children know the look. It is a piercing stare, head leaning forward with deep course brow. It is a decisively deliberate muscular exercise not unlike the frown using some two-dozen facial muscles that are otherwise spared in the smile display.

The facial contour changes of the look causes the suspect to stop said activity, causes blood pressure and heart rate to rise, and leads to increased lower bowel motility. And it can do it from across a crowded room.

I find it interesting that the Arctic tern bill can find its fledgling offspring in a sea of open, squawking beaks and I was likewise amazed that my mother’s look could pass over my co-perpetrators in church and nail me right between my eyes.

Now those were the good ole days. Children knew they were misbehaving and were in deep trouble, and many a child was spared the progressive slip down the slippery slope of mischief by the universal stern stare. Well that was then and unfortunately we are now living in the Botox generation.

I recently witnessed the ill-mannered child, a offspring of his Botoxed mother, spin even more recklessly out of control because there was no look. Actually there was a look, but it was masked in her brow paralysis. I could see the dilated pupils from my vantage point but poor Junior missed all the clues while in the throes of his display. It wasn't until she was charging toward him with her relaxed expression that he was able to assimilate all the facts.

I suppose the end point was the same, but back in the good ole days, she could have finished her magazine and latte from 50 yards away. And so I wonder, what happens when the toxin wears off. Junior will no doubt be confused and might run to her aid never before witnessing her painful gaze. There will be mood adjustment issues and suppression of expression of one’s self and resultant insecurity and much therapy necessary to align the will and the need to please.

Oops! Rewind the tape. I am thankful for the look because Dad preferred the belt. Too bad they didn't have Botox for his biceps…

[EDITORIAL NOTE: All elders, 50 and older, are welcome to submit stories for this blog. Instructions are here.]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 02:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


HA! It never occurred to me before about the botoxed mothers not being able to glare at their kids. No wonder the kids are uncontrollable. My mom had a formidable "look"!

What a great piece of observation. We here understand. My mother had degrees of sternness as I'm sure yours did too and I understood every one. You know, however, things are funnier in church. The frozen forehead has caused trouble for a lot of children I'm sure. Really enjoyed this.

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