Tuesday, July 15, 2014

My Evil Stepmother

I just can't break my communications teacher. Here is my latest assignment plus her feedback. I wrote this in about half an hour because I care too much. 

Meredith Burgess
COM125 Interpersonal Communication
4 July 2014

Facial Expression Analysis

There is one person in particular that I interact with almost every day more than anyone else and that is my stepmother. While my father is away at work all day, she stays home and enjoys the fine life he provides for her, meanwhile I help her out with household duties such as cooking and cleaning. I know her facial expressions very well because I must always be attentive to her moods. If I don't, there will be consequences. Based on the given list of Eckman's Types of Emotions, I know for certain that I regularly see her express joy, anger, and disgust when interacting with me.

The emotions I believe my stepmother expresses most often is anger. She tends to be a very angry person, especially when my father is not around. She does not need to say anything at all for me to know she is angry. Her face gets very hard and some of the veins on her forehead become visible. Her eyes shift quite a lot, which I find strange and a little unnerving. She likes to wear her hair up when she is angry, so I know immediately if she comes in with a ponytail, I'm in for it. If she comes in with a tight ballerina bun, it's all over. The tight hair definitely helps bring out the sharpness in her facial expressions. When I screw something up, for example, if I fail to make enough foam in her daily 8 am latte or if I forget to clean her toilet right after her 10 am intestinal disposal hour, I can literally see her anger turn into rage. Her right eye always starts twitching, her brow gets very low, and I swear her eyes glow in the dark. She may or may not be evil.

One emotion I occasionally witness in my stepmother is joy. She can be very pleased when I do my duties particularly well, so I try to do this often. She also gets very happy when my father comes home. Her eyebrows go up, her eyes are wide and open, and her cheeks get fairly puffy. Although there are no wrinkles by her eyes or mouth, since she has had a great deal of Botox. Sometimes, like every day at 4 pm, she gets very drunk on sidecars and laughs very hard at certain things. She has this very shrill laugh, and her eyes nearly disappear into her skull. You can see very slight wrinkles on her forehead, but don't tell her that or there will be consequences. When my father brings her gifts, or she gives me a big punishment and tells me I can't go to the ball, I think she experiences ecstasy, because I can see all her teeth at once. They look kind of sharp.

Finally, I see my stepmother experience disgust very often. This is probably her most frequent expression when she is around me. She doesn't let me shower often, so I usually smell bad, which doesn't help. Her nose gets a little wrinkled and she purses her lips, although again, that could just be the Botox. Her eyes avert from whatever she is disgusted by. When she is in a particularly bad mood, or if she is near cats, she can go into all out loathing. She really hates cats. I saw her kick one once. Her whole face tenses up, which looks very odd. It is kind of as if you stretched plastic wrap over a set of organ pipes. She could probably turn someone into stone with the cold, dead expression of her eyes. I try to never look straight into them. I did once, just for a few seconds, and I think a little part of my soul choked up and died without even writing a will.

 My stepmother has a very odd face. If she ever finds out I wrote that she would be very angry and I'd probably end up scrubbing the kitchen floor with a toothbrush for a week and sleeping in the concrete basement, but it is true. It contorts in all sorts of ways and I sometimes wonder if she is even human or not. However, the ways in which it moves are very telling, which I have found to be quite useful in my interactions with her. Watching the Lie to Me video only gave me more tools in which I can try to manipulate the situation and give myself the upper hand.

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