Think of all of the faces we all have (no this is not another koan about showing me the face you had before you were born or what is the sound of one hand clapping). If you live in a city of any size, you know what putting on a sidewalk face is. You know that you have to have a certain face available for riding public transit, a certain face when you are shopping at a mall, a certain face for work, a certain face for a job interview, a certain face for a date and yet another face when you look in the mirror. But which face is the real one?
The face I hate to put on the most is the one I have to wear if I’m at an event, trade show or presentation. That’s one reason I hate going to business conventions like the one I was at in
Much as I love going on cruises, one of the most painful things about them is having your photo taken every ten minutes so they can coerce you into buying them. They are rarely very good photographers so you find yourself painfully holding a frozen smile for agonizing minutes before they snap the stinking photo. Often I catch myself automatically going into a Sears Catalogue model pose when the cruise photographers show up.
Many times I am tempted to buy cruise photos because they are so bad that I cringe at the thought of them being on display throughout the cruise. But in a way, the photo gallery on a cruise ship is part of the entertainment. Because, as you browse through other people’s hideous photos, you realize that perhaps you aren’t as ugly as you think you are.
Does that make me a bad person?
Dorian Gray had the right idea. Put on your best face, have a portrait done and then let the photo age and take on all the ugliness while you stay young and unblemished by time and experience.
As I write this, the mechanical monkey is staring at me and I realize that he has only one face. I guess it would be a bummer going through one life with one face (though I’d opt for going through life with one chin).
Maybe that is why the monkey always has that grimace on his face.
But at least I always know it’s his real face.