We’ve all been there: you wake up on a Thursday morning to find yourself next to the econ bro who let you take a rip off of his Juul at Alpha Delt the night before. You slide your knee high boots back on and slink out the door so as to make your 11:30 SOSC discussion. As you make your exit, the front desk lady gives you a nod and you disappear into the midmorning sun.
While a long shower may erase the sins of the night before and the smell of Mike’s Hard Lemonade from your hair, you’ll have to come to terms with the fact that you will likely see your Bar Night hookup again. Cordial, yet not overly familiar, the closed-mouth smile (or CMS) has been used by women for centuries to convey to their former paramours that the brief interaction they had was adequate and will not require any further discussion.
If you see your ex-lover walking to class or across the A-level, never fear! Here are a few tips on closed-mouth smiles that say, “I enjoyed those six minutes, but please don’t text me.”
Keep it Short
Lingering stares and encounters can be uncomfortable for both parties. Just like your late-night romp, you’re not doing anyone any favors by trying to make it last longer than it has to.
The Head-Tilt is Your Friend
Friendly and unsuspecting, the gentle head tilt paired with your CMS will be sure to conceal your deepest shame. To the untrained eye, your gesture may suggest that you’re housemates or even loose acquaintances, not that you spat in each other’s mouths. In addition, the affable salutation eliminates the need for any further pleasantries.
Smile with Your EyesThe discreet CMS is useless without the eyes to match. When paired with an expression that says, “Thanks for the UTI, asshole,” the classic closed-mouth smile is a dead giveaway you two have seen each other naked. The best way to “smile with your eyes” is to think of the good times you and Econ Bro shared— be it the first, passionate kiss or him grinding on you with a half-chub to Khalid. If all else fails, you can always remember Dean Boyer’s warm, mustachioed grin and know that this is what free expression is all about.