Friday, October 4, 2013


Streisand’s sang to Sadie:
Look at that face just look at it!
Look at that fabulous face of yours,
I knew first look I took at it,
This was the face that the world adores,
Look at those eyes,
As wise and as deep as the sea,
Look at that nose,
It shows what a nose should be!
As for your smile, it's lyrical
Friendly and warm as a summer day,
Your face is just a miracle,
Where could I ever find words to say
The way that it makes me happy,
Whatever the time or place,
I will find in no book,
What I find when I look,
At that face!

Faces fascinate me. I never tire of looking at people. On the occasions that I got to ride it in my younger days, the New York City subway was always a field day for me. I tried my very best not to look at one face for very long in case they thought I was staring at them. Faces can be recognized and classified in the very large global sense as Mediterranean, Scandinavian or from elsewhere in Europe; African or Oriental and the various permutations and colorations thereof, and how ‘bout some lovely Polynesians? You know ‘they’ – the nebulous ‘they’ – say that one day we’ll all have skin color similar to the Polynesians. That might be a very good thing.
I know there are researchers out there who are trying to quantify the attributes we recognize as being typical of the faces of various ethnic groups. How do we know – or guess - that that European face belongs to a Swede or an Irishman? That that Mediterranean face belongs to an Arab or a Italian? That that oriental face belongs to a Japanese or a Korean? Can all this be put into words? Not easily!

I found this on Google Images - you can fine the greatest stuff there.
And then there are the faces that I just want to slap on looks alone. I hate to admit this but there are perfectly nice folks out there with faces I just don’t like. There’s one singer whose music I just love – but I can't watch him perform. I really can’t stand his face.  I’ve known or known of a handful of people over the years whose looks just turn me off. In discussing this with friends I realize it ain’t just me. No one will ever be able to quantify the whys and wherefores of this in me – or anyone else for that matter. ‘Tis a puzzlement.
I know of one instance where the difference in the faces of two groups of people was really striking. Frank and I were in Europe way back in 1982. We spent two weeks in England and then flew over for two more weeks in Norway. Anyone who really knows me knows that I am an inveterate Anglophile, but I’m bound to say that the looks of the English paled in comparison to those of the Norwegians. We were struck by the good looks of the Norwegians after the very plain looks of the English. And in addition to that, Frank, a very open person, usually smiling at most people he passes, noticed that the English women looked at him with distrust and usually lowered their eyes, while the Norwegian women looked back at him, assessed him, and held his gaze, sometimes even nodded. I do suppose this last bit is a result of culture, not of facial characteristics.  I too like to look people in the eye and smile at them as I pass.  Most of the time I get a big smile in return – and sometimes when I don’t I wait until they pass, and then I turn around, cross my eyes and stick my tongue out at them.




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