The other night I stepped out to hail a cab on my way to meet a friend for dinner in Union Square. As I settled in I noticed the driver kept glancing at me in the rear-view mirror and smiling as if he knew something I didn’t.
“Where are you from?” he asked. “I went to school in Philly but home is in Houston,” I said. “So not a New Yorker, huh?” he continued. “Nope,” I replied. The driver nodded and smiled cryptically again.
“What gave me away?” I asked, slightly offended this stranger had immediately judged me to be a non-native. This was my new home, after all.
“Your face,” he said. “It’s very open, unguarded.” Expecting him to mention my clothes or manner of speech, I wasn’t quite sure how to respond. “It’s not a bad thing,” he followed up. “Don’t lose it.”
His comment got me thinking about the expressions we wear when we’re not actively reacting to something. What mood are you projecting? Content? Worried? Excited? Fatigued? Confused? Angry? Curious?
Carla Harris remarked that women, compared to men, are much more likely to be judged by the smallest of facial expressions. “Watch what your face is doing, there’s more written on it than you realize.”