Author of the Queen City Boys books


In high school people often used to come up to me and say in (what I perceived to be) a whining, wheedling way, “Are you mad at me?” At the time it just further pissed me off. Generally, no, I wasn’t mad at them exactly, but asking that question always pushed me over the top to enraged.

I don’t have anger issues. Really, I don’t think anyone who knows me would say that I do. Back then, in high school, I used to wonder what made people always say that to me. At some point I decided it was just my face. I have a pretty goofy smile, I think maybe the kind that makes other people smile, but my neutral expression? It’s kind of pissy. I don’t mean I’m usually pissy so I look that way, I mean when I’m thinking or feeling nothing, the angles of my face look a little dissaproving or something. So yes, for years I attributed people’s reactions to me as a result of this.

In retrospect, that may or may not have been true. Now I know myself better. I’ve also always thought I had a really good poker face. I’ve often been told this by people. And maybe in some cases this is true, but really the problem in my interaction with some people is that I just can not hide my disdain as much as I’d like. I can’t abide most kinds of stupidity and maybe I’ve never really learned to properly conceal my reaction to it.

I genuinely like most people. I believe I really can find something good about almost everyone, but you know you aren’t going to like everyone. It’s just not possible. And as much as I try to keep up appearances, my dislike, rare as it is, always seems to seep through.

What prompted this bit of introspective asshattery? A coworker, a grown woman, came to me and said in that whining, wheedling way, “Are you mad at me? Have I done something?” Yes, yes, you have, I didn’t say, you’ve generally been a complete fucking moron in my presence and I can’t stand that. Sorry I can’t fake it for you, like you appear to fake to everyone all the time, to the point of appearing generally false and untrustworthy (which is a bad combination with your inherent stupidity).

Yeah, maybe I didn’t have a point at all. I swear I was writing this to make myself feel better and now I’m crankier than when I started.

Author: Ajax Bell

Seattle author. Stops to smell the flowers. Amateur nerd (I wanna go pro but I haven't found anyone to pay me). Humble hippo enthusiast. queer/bi. they/them.

20 thoughts on “

  1. No, she’s on “medical leave” for two months to “get her head together.” I suppose I should post about that. End of an era.

    And really, I’d just laugh is she said something like that to me.

  2. Hmm. I think I am the same way with not hiding negative emotions when I have them. Not always convenient, but then again, it’s truthful, so I don’t mind.

  3. cranky pants!

    I never thought that your neutral face looked pissy or angry. I always thought you looked snotty. I am only saying that because it’s true of me as well, and I am also saying it because I am a bitch. *cackles* I don’t really care anymore what people’s perceptions of me are, except in your case mentioned above, where it ends up being irritating to me. “Are you mad at me?” Well, I wasn’t, but I think I am now, so just fuck right off.

    On an entirely different topic, I think I should go cut off all of my hair, what do you think? Answer quickly or I’ll already be gone. 😉

  4. I know exactly what you mean. My mother once said to me, “You’ve never been any good at not letting people you have no use for know exactly what you think of them.” And I never feel like I’m being rude or mean, but the people I have disdain for always seem to know. And like you, I feel like I generally have goodwill towards my fellow human. I just never fake liking anyone more than I do. And I think you’re the same way. It means we’re genuine, which is a positive attribute, but not always a helpful one.

    Also, it’s funny cause everyone always used to say that my best friend was pissed off all the time, and we’d say, “No, that’s just her face.” And I think that’s true too. That for some people their neutral expression comes off as angry for whatever reason.

  5. “get her head together.”

    I take it that’s a euphemism for rehab?

  6. Everyone where I work thinks I am intimidating. Which I sometimes kinda encourage because it means they’ll leave me alone to get my work done and not ask me the stupid questions. *^_^*

  7. Yes, I suppose it’s truthful, though I htink I’d rather appear neutral, at least at work. Dealing with other people is so complicated! It’s surprising I haven’t just gone to live in a cave!

  8. Re: cranky pants!

    You’re just projecting cause you think I’m snotty. I swear we must be soulmates, soulsisters, whatever, cause it’s miracle we ever became friends.

    Cut your hair. Why not? It’s fun!

  9. I suppose if we’re equally showing/sharing joy it’s all good, right?

  10. Yes, I get that a lot. It works for and against me.

  11. I can’t wait to inflict One Tree Hill on you. Aren’t you excited?

  12. Working with all men, it’s even more annoying. My neutral face apparently can look pretty cranky, so I get old guys walking past, then stopping and going “Smile! It’s not all that bad!” And then I’m all “huh?”

    I’m completely transparent in my emotions, too. You know what my poker face was? I giggle like a brain-damaged loon. Seems to work for me.

    omg CRANKYPANTS! Just answer “YES!” next time someone asks that. Sometimes a little confrontation is good for the soul.

  13. “Smile! It’s not all that bad!”

    Okay, that? Is why I fucking left Los Angeles. Well, one of the reasons. Because the corners of my mouth naturally turn down, and everyone always assumes I’m pissed. In New York, they leave you alone, but in L.A.? Every asswipe and his mother think it’s their business to tell you that you MUST SMILE ALL THE TIME.

    And I know there are a lot of folks out there who really love L.A., so I don’t mean to diss your love, but I’m a second generation native and I lasted 23 years before I hauled my black-wearing, unsmiling self to a city that lets me exist. I’ve been here a really long time, and it still happens when I go home and it still pushes my buttons.

    And will someone please tell my mother that black is a color. OKTHXBYE

  14. “Smile! It’s not all that bad!”

    Dude, that makes me want to PUNCH people. I hate that. Really, it’s so rude.

  15. It has been my experience that people who ask questions like that: 1) either know that you are mad at them for something and think this is the best way to broach it rather than with a more mature method or 2) have done something that we would be mad about and are having his/her Lady Macbeth moment.

  16. I suspect that’s probably true, but it’s no less annoying.

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