It’s starts with an ‘S’ right here, and it’s a mile to the other ear


Yes, a smile goes a long, long way. I learned this while watching the children’s show “Ballooner Landing” when I was small. I also learned that hand-made puppets are creepy as hell on this show…but that’s a topic for another day.
As I was leaving work yesterday I happened to get on the service elevator with one of the hospital janitors that I’d met during the Christmas break. She was making some joke that wasn’t really funny, when she turned to me in the elevator and said, “Do you ever smile? I always see you working but you never smile.”
Now a number of thoughts ran through my head at this point…
“I don’t even KNOW you…”
“How much do you expect me to smile when I’m stocking body bags and IV solution in a ward?”
“This is my normal face. People would think I was nuts if I walked around smiling all the time.”
and so on…

Then I really got to thinking. Do I really look that grumpy when I work? I mean, I don’t talk to anyone except the two people I work with on the weekend because the rest of my shift I’m either checking supplies, loading them, or answering calls about them. Is there really that much of an occasion to smile while I work? I mean, sure if I’m reading or thinking or even talking about something funny I will smile and laugh, but is the rest of the population going around smiling all the time?

I highly doubt it.

I suppose I’m just used to strangers in the street generally not smiling unless they are with someone.

Perhaps I should start smiling more for no reason. I mean, I’m a happy person…I’m happy with life…why not smile? I think I’d get tired of smiling after a while to be honest. I wonder how grumpy I look when I’m relaxed. Apparently my relaxed face is almost identical to my angry face, which makes things interesting.

I don’t really have a problem with smiling at people on occasion that I don’t know. It’s really difficult though. Most people you smile at on the street or in the halls of wherever you may be generally don’t smile back for the most part. Are we all so scared of each other that we don’t even know how to react to someone smiling at us?

That really offers no explanation to why people seem so concerned about me not smiling. This isn’t the first time someone has said that to me either…even at the hospital. It really doesn’t make me want to smile any more than normal though when someone feels the humorous need to pipe up and tell me to strap on a Cheshire cat sized grin. I’ll smile when I feel like smiling.

I don’t really know how angry/indifferent I look because I’m not looking at myself all day. I don’t really know if I really think I should make an effort to smile more or not…

Is everyone else out there just walking around with a relaxed face like me, or am I oblivious to the smile fever that’s apparently missed me?

9 Responses to “It’s starts with an ‘S’ right here, and it’s a mile to the other ear”


  1. 1 Joe January 23, 2006 at 4:48 pm

    If your relaxed face is the same as your angry face, perhaps relaxing just makes you angry.

    I think you’re right about smiling, do it when you have something to smile about, and not because someone is telling you do do it.

  2. 2 PIE! January 23, 2006 at 5:09 pm

    I have been told to smile more because apparently I too, look grumpy when I think my face is just..is. And I don’t want people thinking that I have nothing to smile about ever.

    But I think I would start to look like a loony if I had a permanent toothy-grin on my face.

    And whatever. Maybe it’ll make the reaction all the more special when encountering something that is actually smile-worthy.

  3. 3 Okami January 23, 2006 at 5:56 pm

    I get asked that question too – and it does make you feel a little self-conscious about what kind of image you may be projecting to people around you. I often think to myself that I am about to graduate from this program with a group of people who have absolutely no idea who I am as a person. I’m often told that I look tired, sad, or even upset about something when in reality I’m either drifting in and out of my own thoughts or just can’t be bothered to be wide-eyed and smiling all the time. I guess my relaxed face isn’t all that relaxing either…

  4. 4 LMizzle January 23, 2006 at 6:15 pm

    Well it’s good to see that other people have had the “smile” talk. We should all start a gang of people who don’t smile when they don’t feel like it.

    Actually, come to think of it, I know a dude who smiles all the time, and uses that damn smiley emoticon on MSN all the time.

    It makes me want to fucking knock him out every time I talk to him…

    makes you wonder why I talk to him…actually, why the hell do I talk to that guy?!

  5. 5 sandra January 24, 2006 at 12:19 am

    You don’t really show your anger. At least that’s how I take it…but you do get this kinda crazy look in your eye that’s different from when you’re relaxed…like you’re about to eat bacon or something…

  6. 6 Blondie January 24, 2006 at 3:47 am

    I think everyone gets the smile talk. “You have such a nice smile and we never see it” makes me want to stick a pencil up their nostril because I’ve heard that all my life.

    I’m not sure they realize that I’d probably smile if they had said anything OTHER than that to me.

  7. 7 Xrayeagle January 24, 2006 at 6:37 am

    “Because work is not smiley time!”

    Man, people = retarded.

    I was so pleasant at work, they brought it up in a meeting. As a negative.

    You can never win.

    But, it’s a lot better to smile.

    Plus, when people don’t smile back its fucking hilarious!

    It’s like they have wee little testicles and are afraid of kitties!

  8. 8 Jess January 24, 2006 at 8:51 am

    Hey,
    Its Steve R’s friend Jess. I somehow ended up on here and wanted to make a comment as it seemed appropriate here. . .
    anyways,
    When I was 10 I sent the “Ballooner Landing” couple’s granddaughter to the hospital with 3 broken fingers, a cracked rib and coughing up blood, I had hit her with a baseball and then proceeded to ask them to sign my hat. . . It was as the ambulance took her away that I learnt. . . no, it is acutally NOT appropriate to smile at ALL times.

  9. 9 rad steveness January 24, 2006 at 2:20 pm

    I smile when I don’t know what else to do. It’s usually proceded by a awkward silence.
    I guess some people aren’t as smiley as others.
    It’s more special, too, because it’s not tossed around all willy nilly like so many cheap mardi gras bead
    I like your smile.


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