Frog-Face Girl, You’re the One for Me

FFG is not actually a girl — in fact, she’s probably in her 70’s, and her face and gravity have clearly been duking it out for some time. Gravity seems to be ahead by a nose — well, by more than a nose, to be honest — but I have to say, it’s only done her appearance good in the long run. I think if her face were younger, tighter, it would not be worth looking at twice. But her face now — if I could sculpt, I would sculpt the curved shapes and droops of her face. If I could paint, I would paint the shadowy creases and crags of her face. But I can neither sculpt nor paint, and now that I’m in the middle of this, I’m realizing I can also not do it full justice with words.

Suffice it to say, I spend a lot of time looking at FFG while she’s on the bus. And while I look, I confess I like to wonder about what her life is like. She must have an amazing life, mustn’t she? With a face that interesting and classy? Her husband must be a fascinating man, smart and affectionate. Hers is the kind of face that would inspire theories on the nature of the universe, so maybe he’s a physicist or a philosopher. Or a poet.

Or, I suppose it’s possible he sells insurance and comes home every evening beaten down and exhausted. As he comes into the living room and sets down his briefcase, he looks at his wife’s froggy face in the flashing light of the evening TV show. She sits stiffly in her chair, knitting things no one will ever wear, and he sighs quietly and thinks to himself, rrrrrrrrribbit!

He doesn’t know what he’s got, and she could do so much better.

I confess I worry sometimes about Frog-Face Girl. She’s not a happy person — at least, she isn’t when she’s on the bus. She just sits there, still and quiet, not opening a book or looking around but instead perching straight up on her seat with her hands crossed in her lap, pursing her lips like someone who wants to say something to a misbehaving child but doesn’t have the energy or motivation to actually open her mouth and speak.

I love Frog-Face Girl’s hair most of all. Oh, how I envy her hair. I’m utterly green with envy. Frog green. Toad green. She has long, wavy hair that corresponds perfectly with the curves of her face, and she wears it up in a loose bun with a large clip holding it all in place in the back. Strands fall down onto her shoulders, and it’s just so beautifully swept — so casual and yet so dignified, somehow. Her gray is more a very pale, silvery yellow and it’s there in streaks that almost look intentional. It’s exactly the kind of hairstyle I should be wearing as a librarian. But instead, I have extremely short hair, and it’s virtually impossible to make it look serious and knowledgeable. But Frog-Face Girl’s hair? Looks serious and knowledgeable to me.

I suppose I don’t have anything profound to say about Frog-Face Girl, now that I’m here. I simply find her fascinating and I wanted to try to put into words just why. I wonder what life would be like if one looked like she did. I wonder what she was like when she was younger, before whatever it was that gave her lips that permanent purse happened to her. I wonder what her hair looks like when it is down, after she’s woken up in the morning and padded into the bathroom to brush it and put its clip in place. I wonder if her husband looks at her the way I do, with such an intense appreciation for the way her face looks in the early morning sunshine. That sounds like a weird thing to say, really. But if I were a man, I honestly don’t think I’d be able to take my eyes off her. Heck, I’m a woman, and I can’t seem to take my eyes off her. I don’t know why, but I feel somewhat passionately curious about Frog-Face Girl.

I wonder if someday I’ll get the opportunity to sit next to her and strike up some kind of conversation. Would she talk to a wrackin’ frackin’ young’un like me? Or would she just tip her head, tighten her mouth, and turn her straightened back in my direction, staring out the window instead, her face unhappy. Her eyes stern.

Frog-Face Girl, I have only two words for you: Don’t settle.

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