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Suffering from the serious affliction of Resting Bitchface Syndrome (RBS) Hassan Hassan can't seem to control his facial expressions as preposterous things happen around him, to the detriment of his work and social life...

Working in Egypt has taught me one thing: you have to be nice to people. It doesn’t matter if you are professional. It does not matter if you excel at your job. It doesn’t matter if you put together your outfit really well. None of it matters. What Egyptians want is for you to be their friend. As someone who everyone claims hates people, this has proved challenging.

Before I go on, I must tell you something: I am a very fucking pleasant person. Everyone who knows me will vouch for this (shut the fuck up, I buy you lunch, like, always. And I laughed at your shitty joke). I generally don’t go out of my way to offend people. I generally don’t go out of my way to confront people or get in arguments or be passive aggressive. My face, however,  always has other plans.

My fucking face is always out to get me, what with my eyebrows shooting up or a snarl creeping up on my mouth or my eyes unconsciously rolling. Over the years, my face has continued to get more and more animated, giving away my thoughts and creating all kinds of situations. Because people think this is a conscious attempt on my part to be a bitch/asshole/cunt but really it’s only my face.

This has also made social activities incredibly difficult. In most social settings, where people feel the need to prove how funny/smart/cool they are to more than two or three people, I am more than happy to sit in the corner and talk to whoever comes my way. I just wish my face didn’t want to get in on the action. In my face’s defense, bad lip jobs, badger application of bronzer, and Americans demonstrating to a group of Arabs how a loose hijab is worn, are causes  for concern. My face cannot stand for this. It will judge you. My brain, on the other hand, just wants to ignore you and eat cold cuts. 

My face sometimes joins forces with my voice and both of them have a wild old time ruining my life. My brain doesn’t even notice and tries to smile and laugh and attempting to tell my face and voice to make new friends and not be such a cunt about everyone. But my poor brain gets super distracted with things like wine and going back home to watch Beyoncé videos. Or over analysing how annoying Miley Cyrus’ face is. Or the fact that I had to go to work on Saturday and then also finish a presentation and also maybe get some drawing in. Where did I put that new sketchbook? And what day was my flight? I hope I get my visa. By the time my brain snaps back to the reality at hand, or notices food, my face is looking viciously passive aggressive while my voice is telling people off about their choice of footwear.

What I’m saying is, my face is ruining any chance of success and/or a social life. The two seem really intertwined and work depends on who you know and time is money or something. Point is, I really need to have a sit down with my face and how it should control itself while my brain is preoccupied. But what do I do? Should I get botox and kill any kind of expression? What face do I make? Should I look pensive? Should I adopt a cool side smile? Hi psycho-Hassan-with-no-friends! Don’t do that ever again. Should I wear sunglasses all the time? Then I’ll just look like a creep. What is a pleasant facial expression? This line of questioning will only lead to 20 minutes in front of the mirror where I attempt expressions and end up rolling my eyes at my own reflection. Shit, I’m sneering (my sneer is pretty perfect if I do say so myself). I give up, because as long as I (and the rest of the human race) continue to do annoying things, my face – with occasional assistance from my voice – will always have the upper hand.