It’s early morning and I’m watching a recording of The Late Late Show on the DVR while I wait for the coffee to finish perking or whatever a modern brewer does to produce coffee. Drip, I guess. Waiting for the coffee to stop dripping. Craig Ferguson and Garrison Keillor are yukking it up and I just caught myself making my father’s face.

My father was self-contained if that’s how you want to put it. He was the Silent Commander type and kept quiet except to criticize or to holler. But once in a while when something amusing was on the TV, you’d look over at him and he’d be grinning like a jack o’lantern.

I say “the” tv because this was back in the day when households had one tv and watching it was a family activity. Even if he wasn’t sitting down for a whole show, the laughter would attract him and he’d stand in the doorway as if under a spell with the widest possible smile, his eyes shining  with the reflection of the televised images. In that moment, he was enjoying himself. If anybody spoke even to say <em>oh boy wasn’t that funny? </em>the spell would be broken and he’s put his regular buzzard face on again and leave the room.

Sometimes I do that now. I catch myself with my mouth stretched wide and my eyebrows lifted up. Maybe I’ve always done it but I’m only occasionally aware of it. It’s a solitary exercise.


3 thoughts on “Reflection

  1. You’re not alone. For years I’ve been using phrases, postures and mannerisms learned from my father, uncle and grandfather intentionally as a sort of homage. Gawd only knows what I do unknowingly.

    I’m catching the kids doing it too. Some of it probably goes back hundreds of years. Cool, no?

  2. I’m a professor (like my father was) and I occasionally catch myself using a variant of his “professor voice” in class, or saying something the way he would say it.

    Unfortunately, I also inherited his strong streak of self-criticism.

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