I Have Developed Resting Bitch Face In My Old Age

by Sage K. Penn
Originally Published: 
A woman with glasses who has developed resting bitch face in her old age

I’m getting older. Not too old, but the first signs of age are touching my face. You know how I realized this? People started acting really concerned about my emotional state. For example, these conversations took place yesterday:

Coworker (interrupts me daydreaming about the number one celebrity on my Top 5 Freebie list): Good morning.

Me (lusty sigh): Morning.

Coworker: Are you OK?

Me: Yes. Why? (Can she tell what I was thinking about? What do I do now? Is my face turning red? Am I breathing too fast? Oh no.)

Coworker: You look tired.

Me: Oh OK. Not really. Maybe a little. (If “tired” is “dreaming about the one person my husband agrees I can sleep with without it being considered cheating,” then OK. I’m exhausted.)

Coworker (doesn’t look convinced): Well, let me know if you need anything.

Later that day …

Me (sits down in the lunch room): Hey guys.

(I look at my lunch. It’s awesome. Leftover Chinese with the little red pork bits in the rice. And beef on a stick. What beats beef on a stick? I’m stoked. I’m afraid I’m drooling.)

Coworker: Hey.

Me: grunt. (No words. The Chinese food is amazing. I would marry it if I could. I would send it a little love note that says “do you love me, check yes or no.” I mean, if it were human.)

Coworker: Are you OK?

Me: Yes. I’m phenomenal. This food is unbelievable.

Coworker: Really? I thought you were sad about something.

Me: What? No. I’m the opposite of sad. I’m on my way to a foodgasm.

Coworker: Oh. Foodgasm. Did you just make that up? What do you have? I want what you’re having.

Later that evening …

I’m sitting on the couch binge-watching Orange Is the New Black. Contemplating lesbianism. No. I like penises. Peni? What is the plural of penis? Anyway, I just need a wife, not a girl lover. Yes. I need a wife to take care of my house and do my laundry and cook my dinner and pour me a drink when I get home from work. Wait. I should be watching Mad Men.

Husband (interrupts me): Hey. Do we need to talk?

Me: What? (Oh shit. He knows. He knows I think boobies are beautiful. No, that can’t be it. He wouldn’t want to “talk.” What did I do now? I’m pretty sure I paid my credit cards. We had sex two days ago; can’t be that. Umm … what did I forget?)

Husband (raises eyebrows): Do we need to talk about anything?

Me: I don’t think so. Why? (What is he talking about? Come on, give me a clue here. I cannot read your mind.)

Husband: You look like you are mad at me. Are you mad at me?

Me: No. Not at all. (No. Not at all. I’m confused about why you think I’m mad.)

Husband: It’s your face. Your face is mad.

Me: My face?

Husband: Yes. Your 11 is showing.

Me: My 11. No. That’s impossible. I scrubbed that off with my new vibrating deep-cleaning facial cleanser brush. It’s guaranteed to remove even the most stubborn deep wrinkles like the ones between the eyes. Susan said so when she hosted her facial care home party. Remember? I told you about that. I thought she was having an apps-and-drinks party, and it turns out it was a pigs n’ blankets/wine spritzer/buy make-up from me party. I felt guilty for drinking all the drinks, so I bought that brushy thingy. She owes me, by the way. She must have earned some major commission from that purchase. Are you telling me the scrubbing bubbles tool didn’t work?

Husband: Wow. Have you been drinking? No. Definitely an 11 between your eyes. And you are squinting. And your lips are kinda … tight. Um. But I think you are flawless. Yes, you look TIGHT AND FLAWLESS. It’s just a few wrinkles. Come over here, sexy woman.

Me (slowly): Tight and flawless and wrinkled. What are you talking about?

Husband: I think I’m gonna go to bed now.

Me: Yes. You do that.

I needed a moment to ponder this situation. What exactly does my face look like? How can my fantasy face, my foodgasm face, and my TV-watching face all inspire concern about my well-being? It hit me in that moment. I have developed all the symptoms of Resting Bitch Face.

Yep. RBF. An unintentional, perpetual scowl instead of a neutral facial expression. Great. This is how it’s gonna go. Two wrinkles between my eyes and a slight case of far-sightedness make me look like I’m about to take someone down. Take someone down HARD and FAST.

RBF. OK. I’m on my way to looking like a constipated old lady. Can I at least use this to my advantage? First, I’m going to start daydreaming about the #1 on my Freebie list more often (it’s Edward Norton, in case you were wondering). I might even spice it up by adding an occasional fantasy about # 2 (Hugh Grant). Clearly my face won’t betray my fantasy life.

Second, I’m going to use it for child intimidation. Hey son, you think you are going to ignore my request to pick up your socks? Let me whip out my 11s. What do you think now? Ha. That’s what I thought.

And third, I’m getting a refund on that useless vibrating brush. Who needs it when my husband thinks I’m tight and flawless?

Related post: How To Wake A Sleeping Teenager (Without Starting World War III)

This article was originally published on