Earthquake Face



When my Dad or my Grandmother used to want to show me how thoroughly disgusted they were with me, which to be blunt was most of the time, they both did the same thing.

Their left  eye would squoosh down a little and then it would twitch.

Mother and Son both had the same pale green eyes and when they were angry the whites of their eyes turned pale red. No kidding. I guess they must have been bursting blood vessels in there because they were so mad but I don’t know that  for sure.

When I was really little it used to scare the heck out of me. Picture it. When they were upset with me their lips would sort of curl up over their canine on one side of their face and that pale green watery eye on the other side of their face would twitch and I swear  it was like a dog on a chain leaping out and snapping at me.

When I got into trouble at school ( when I was in the First Grade my teacher was convinced I was mentally retarded and sent home notes with me every single day for some infractiion or another in the hopes I’d be removed from her class )  my Dad would shove  that note under my nose and his eye  would be twitching and his face was a giant red thundercloud and his mouth was just this big dark cavern that was just roaring hot air all around me-it really  like being caught outside in a storm.

Of course my Parents knew I wasn’t retarded, so did the Principal and the school adminstrators were aware of the issue and they came up with the a solution.

I was told to be on my best behavior.

Seriously. They put it all on a seven year old.

That stellar plan failed as anyone could have guessed so the notes were an almost daily thing.

It was a bad day when one of those notes, which my teacher pinned to the front of my dress with a diaper pin, showed up on my chest and my Grandmother happened be over and my Dad was there too.

Sometimes my Grandfather was there and so was my Great Grandmother and if you want to know where they stood on this- read on.

” What is the matter with you? Why can’t you just stay out of her way? ” my

Grandmother asked me.

My Dad reminded me that all I had to do was sit there and keep my big mouth shut and why couldn’t I do that? Why couldn’t I just shut my mouth and stay out of the teacher’s way.

My Dad’s family did not ask rhetorical questions. If they asked a question, you better

have a solid answer.

I looked from my Dad to my Grandmother and I saw those snapping twitching eyes- it was like I had never noticed them before.

I pointed to my Dad’s face and I looked at my Grandmother and I said:

” It looks like you have an Earthquake on your face. ” I told my Dad

I told my Grandmother the same thing.

My Dad’s eyes burst into flames and screamed at me to take my smart mouth up to my room.


I had to walk through the living room to get to the stairs that went up to my bedroom.

My  Grandfather was sitting in there with my Great Grandmother and they both looked disgusted. But I knew it wasn’t with  me.  My Grandfather handed me some change, or ‘comic book money’ as he called it   and my Great Grandmother told me. ” Don’t point. It’s bad manners. And when you’re speaking, never look down and don’t slouch.”

Sometimes I still take my Dad’s advice and I keep my big mouth shut. But most of the time, when I speak up I don’t slouch and I never, ever look down.