Saturday, October 16, 2004

lips together, teeth apart

Now that I'm finished with my month in the PICU, I'm on two weeks of elective, and as such, I'm electing to not do much of anything. That said, I already know that as sick call resident, I'm getting pulled to cover the cardiology and NICU services two days next week, and of course there's that little matter of Step 3 of the Boards to attend to. But I still have a whole week to study for that. A whole week to study and realize that I'm stupid and get panicky and perhaps impulsively defer my Boards date for a later date. I hope not, though.

When I got home from call this morning, I saw a stack of photos on my desk, taken at my cousin's wedding last month. I guess my dad finally got around to sending them to us. Looking at the photos, I was reminded of one thing. I mean, aside from the fact that the wedding was beautiful and all that. I realized that I don't know how to smile with teeth.

Look at everyone else with their toothy photo-smiles. And then look at me. I can't do it. I don't know how. The only photos of me with teeth are ones taken while I'm actually laughing or talking to someone. But smiling with teeth without an inciting stimulus, I cannot do. Neither, apparently, can my dad, which only further substatiates the theory that WE ARE CLONES.

Look at me in these photos. I barely even look happy. It's like I'm trying to pull my face into the rictus of a smile, but all I can accomplish really is stretching out my cheeks and adopting a generally benign, pleasant expression. But how does one smile naturally for the camera? I just don't know. I've tried (embarrassingly) practicing in front of the mirror, and all I do is scare myself. The closest I can manage is the look of a scary clown, with a toothy not-quite-right mouth and non-smiling eyes. I don't think I could have been a cheerleader. I mean, due to the inability to smile spontaneously and the general lack of athleticism.

I read a review for "Friday Night Lights," and I guess it looks more interesting than I had assumed at first glance. I thought it was going to be like "Miracle," except without Aerosmith on the soundtrack. So maybe we'll grab some Indian food and catch a late show tonight. At least it's better than "Ladder 49" or some such drivel.

Currently reading: OK, I have to admit that I put "The Fortress of Solitude" on hold for now, but mainly because it's a paperback and therefore appropriate for airplane reading. No, I did not give up, shut up. So I'm currently working through "The Rule of Four," which is both on loan from my dad, and in hardcover.

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