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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

How to Deliver a Death Glare

So... Dana of Adoption Journey asked for instructions in how to give someone the oh-so-patented Tonggu Momma Death Glare.  And Dana?  I'm totally gonna try to provide said instructions, but after everyone's support yesterday (thanks, y'all, so, so much), I'm feeling more mushy and warm and fuzzy inside.  Still, I'll try my best.

I'll just concentrate on That Medical Receptionist.  Bless her heart.

(Which is Southern for 'what a you-know-what.')

(And that's in ' rather than " because a true Southern woman would never actually say those words, but she's definitely a-thinking them.)

First, I should probably define a Death Glare.  There are several definitions floating around the interwebs, but my personal favorite involves "looking fixedly at someone with so much anger and disgust in the hopes that his or her face melts, explodes or caves in with extreme discomfort and pain."  Yeah, y'all, I never claimed to be the Poster Child for All Things Christian.  Actually, although I grow overwhelmed quite easily from a sensory standpoint, it takes a lot to rile me in the non-sensory world.  I truly try to be slow to anger... it's the slow to speak thing that trips me up.

Every. Single. Blasted. Time.

Having said all of that, I'll continue in my sin by providing y'all with instructions in The Tonggu Momma Death Glare.  My husband says it makes him feel four-years-old; my momma describes my patented evil look as "an exceptionally focused and penetrating stare capable of piercing through even the thickest layers of skin."

And that Medical Receptionist?

Definitely had a thick skin.

So now... how to deliver one's own (fill in your name here) Death Glare.

1. Make solid eye contact with your intended victim target.  Do not back down.  Do not look away.  And whatever y'all do, don't blink.

2. Completely wipe all expression off of one's face (this is where the patented portion of my death stare comes in), but - at the same time - conjure up the most psychotic, infuriated eyes imaginable.

3. After an indeterminate amount of time (and no, y'all, I cannot pin down a length of time, simply because it involves waiting for the other person to grow increasingly uncomfortable), slowly raise one eyebrow to convey even greater disapproval.  Your timing will improve with practice, I promise.

4. Do not - I repeat - do NOT say a word.  And don't allow the other person to say a word either.  If said person does attempt to open his or her mouth, lean back in order to move your entire torso several inches further away from the person.  This (non-verbally!) conveys to the person, 'I can't believe you are even trying to defend yourself.'

5. Wait some more.

6. Now there are two ways to end the Death Stare.  One can choose to simply walk away at an opportune moment; OR one can finally allow the target to speak, but only if said target displays appropriately contrite and embarrassed body language.

I must offer one caveat.  Although I used this patented look quite often in the past (much to my shame), with maturity comes better choices.  I now only pull out The Tonggu Momma Death Glare during the gravest of circumstances, such as when someone makes a racist comment within my hearing.  Or when someone says that all adoptees should feel grateful that they don't have to live in orphanages anymore.  Or when someone asks me how much I paid for my child.  Y'all know the drill.

And I would totally have done it - in a heartbeat - if I had been standing beside y'all during some of the incidents described in yesterday's comments.  (Especially Tracey.  Because that? Was absolutely, positively horrific.  I'm so sorry that happened.)

Do you have a Death Glare?

And when have you used it?

13 comments:

Shari said...

I don't have a death glare...unfortunately my face always gives away exactly what I'm thinking no matter how hard I try to control it.
I do have the "mom look" which involves a similar amount of eye contact...and ends with shaking my head no - or sometimes a smile when the child changes their behavior. It's effective with kids I don't know...and only takes about 2 seconds with kids I do:)

Jennifer P said...

Best description of the mama "Look" I have ever read.

Aus said...

After reading your post I had to go read the comments - I find it hard to believe that in todays world medical "professionals" - quotes intended!! - could be so ignorant about adoption!

I too have something we call the Look of Death (LOD). I developed it in my professional life - but have used it occasionally off the job. I find it most effective when it follows a zinger line. If I may provide an example:
Ignorant person: "How much did the child cost?"
Me: "MY child was free (then lowering both my tone and volume) but the shipping and handling was a $%^&*" Followed by the LOD

Works every time. One addition - if you open your eyes really wide it makes you look seriously psychotic and can scare the bejeebers out of someone!

Very well done TM - very well done!

hugs - aus and co.

Dana said...

Thanks! That was perfect!

Diva Maman said...

Oh my goodness yes. One of my first group of students (I'm a high school teacher) called it the "glare o' death".

And, as I walked through the TM steps...yep. Pretty much like that.

It's the one you give your XH when you want to kill him because he's doing to your child what he did to you during your marriage.

Or you give to your students when you KNOW that they're being "idiots" by CHOICE...and they need to know that there's a line...and they're on the wrong side.

OR...you give to someone when they refer to your child's birth mother as her "real" mother.

autumnesf said...

Oh yes this is very familiar. Except I leave out the eyebrow lift. Its very effective. Hubs often slinks away muttering "you can't kill people with your eyes ya know". Hah.

Briana's Mom said...

Wait a minute. How does my 5 year old already know how to give me a death glare? I swear I have seen her do it to me. ;D

snekcip said...

I love Aus and Co response to "idiotic questions"! I have gotta stash that response away for later use!

Tonggu Grammy said...

Personally, I think she learned it from me and I am quite proud. As a Pre-K teacher I never used it in my class. I only needed it for the middleschoolers in the same building. But, I WOULD have used it on the idiot that TM encountered

Casa Bicicleta said...

Why TM, I do believe you are part New Yorker. ;-)

lalalorlor said...

I have a death glare too - I whipped it out repeatedly during my daughter's IEP on Monday... it was the only thing keeping me upright towards the end!! My other friend that attended with me and my death glare, the stomach flu, is hopefully silently picking off the SPED folks who crossed me as I type!

Its not very Christian of me to wish pestilence on my fellow members of society, but there are building codes here against pitchforks and torches. You go with what you have to work with :)

Jamey... said...

I have a Death Glare, and let's just pretend that I didn't say that proudly. :) I can't do the eyebrows though so mine usually ends with a slight widening of the eyes followed by narrowing the eyes (like you're analyzing exactly how long it would take you to rip them to shreds) and then an almost imperceptible shake of the head because they're just not worth the effort. They cower because they know that they just almost died by eye contact. :)

Cavatica said...

No death glare, but I have worked hard on "the look". There's a family story in which my grandmother-in-law gave "the look" to a small baboon in Africa because the baboon was about to steal her suitcase. The baboon immediately dropped the suitcase and fled. When I succeed with "the look" with BB, she very briefly turns into a small baboon in my head and I smile at my prowess.