When I am confused I make this face.
I have examples! Three, in fact. They are kind of random in that they are three very different events separated by long periods of time. I don't want you to think that these are the ONLY times I've made my confused face within the past year. No no, I make my confused face on a regular basis-- it is squarely in the rotation of frequent facial expressions. These are just examples of times I've been particularly perplexed by a stranger's apparent perception of me. You'll see what I mean....
1. A year or so ago I was hanging out at the beach with my sister and her family. One of my sister's friends showed up with her own family. My sister introduced us. Her friend said "Oh, oh you're [my sister]'s sister with the tattoos." The italics in that sentence make it look like maybe I'm exaggerating but, really, she did say it like that. Like, OH I've heard about THIS one. And I was confused. Because what... does that mean? I'm her sister with the tattoos, am I? Not her sister with the giant cat? Her sister with the master's degree? Her sister who is tall and has brown hair? Her sister in nursing school? I am defined solely by my tattoos and all that they imply (WHICH IS WHAT EXACTLY?).
2. About a month ago I was at the county fair with Jenny and Gabriel, wandering around that area with booths representing local businesses that were giving away information packets and freebies like pens and stress balls. Gabey wanted to play this spin-the-wheel game at one of the booths. He won a pen. Jenny also won a pen. I won a pencil sharpener. The guy running the booth told me I could trade for something else if I wanted, "Because you don't seem like a girl who uses a lot of pencils." Jenny said he was probably trying to flirt with me but... what the? What was his angle? I don't seem like a girl who uses a lot of pencils because I'm stupid? Because I'm too pretty to do math? Because I'm that confident in my writing that I go straight to pens LIKE A BOSS?
3. A couple days ago was my first day volunteering at a clinic. I shadowed one of the nurses and learned how to triage and discharge the patients. At the end of the shift the woman in charge was introducing me to some of the other volunteers who had arrived after I had already started working. One of the NPs asked me a bunch of questions like where I had gone to school, when I finished, and what my specialty was. Then she asked if I had done the M3PN program and I said that I had. "Oh yeah," she said. "You seem like someone who hasn't worked as an RN before."
I seem like someone who hasn't worked as an RN before? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN? And how did I seem like that in the four minutes this woman saw me? Because I was following another nurse around and asking where things were? Because I looked somewhat lost and confused? IT WAS MY FIRST DAY.
How is one supposed to interpret a comment like that? I AM someone who hasn't worked as an RN in a clinic setting before, but would I be carrying myself any differently if I HAD? I keep trying to spin it like she was giving me a compliment. Like maybe I looked out of place in my business casual clothes when most of the other nurses were wearing scrubs or jeans...? I wish I could go back to that moment and ask "What do you mean?" when she made that comment, instead of what I actually did which was say "Okayyy...," make my confused face, and then obsess about it for two days.
Purely for your reference, here is my actual angry face: