Some weeks ago, I posted an observation someone shared with me that small(er) town folk smile at each other whether they know each other or not.
Back in Chicago now, I noticed not one person whom I encountered on my walk this morning initiated a smile. Only about 30% responded to mine. About 1/3 of those who responded saw my smile and raised me a “good morning.”
It was very curious to me.
For one, I wondered how my random smile impacted their morning, or if it did. Even if they didn’t respond, did they wonder why the girl in the Wrigley shirt smile at them? Did they analyze why I was in work-out clothes at 7:30a instead of a suit? Did they wonder if they knew me? Did they settle on the idea that my smile was just a gesture of friendliness?
Did they pass that gesture on later?
I remember why I stopped smiling at random people. Too often, it ushered in unwelcome attention. Some people are idiots. This is an unavoidable truth. They cannot distinguish “Hi. Good Morning. Nice Day Isn’t It?” smiles from “Hey, you’re hot, wanna do it?” smiles.
I say, don’t let these fools stop you from being a smile-slut.
But, there’s one caveat. Do not, under any circumstances, accompany your smile with the up-down glance. You will either look skeevy or judgemental.
Women do this all the time. We dress up for each other and then eye one another over like cannibalistic sharks in a tank. Here’s the thing… we don’t need to fight over chum(ps). It’s not a competition, ladies. There is enough beauty, charm, grace, sex-appeal, wit, humor, and fun to go around. Honest.
The other thing I wondered was why it was easy for me to smile at strangers and hard for me to smile at my husband or other family members when they happen to be irritating the goodness out of me. (I have clearly not yet tackled my “Accept Others” month on my Happiness Project.)
Hub pointed this out the other night after a particularly nasty look, saying, “You don’t treat people you love like this. You may think what I’ve done is personal and deserves this, but it doesn’t.”
I hate him when he’s right.
I should probably show him a smile today. No, the other kind.