today i smiled at a guy walking across the street because he was wearing a shirt with a huge monkey face on it, and his pants were held up by suspenders. and i liked it. so i smiled at him, a nice smile, not a creepy one (unless my normal smile leans towards creepy, in which case, my entire theory that’s about to follow is wrong). and he looked at me like i had two heads.
okay now i’m about to drop one of my weirdnesses on you all. if you’ve been around for a while, you should be used to this by now, but if you’re just joining the party, familiarize yourself here and here (and here). see, i have this habit of always smiling at people on the street when i pass them. i believe that smiling at people can help make them feel better, and if smiling at one person makes their day not feel so terrible, then gosh darn it i’ll smile at everyone i see. i don’t know, it makes me feel like i have a magic power or something. that’s probably weird. but it’s how i feel!
but this magic power of mine can backfire from time to time. smile a little too long or a little too large at someone, and that’s just inviting unwanted interaction from a creepy old man or a hoodlum. also, if you are ever outside of minnesota and do this…well, just don’t. i had more than a few glares while living in spain, because in spain you DO NOT SMILE at people unless you know them. much like you DO NOT BECOME FRIENDS with people unless you’ve known them for at least a year. the spaniards, i have found, are a kind and passionate people, yes, but instantly welcoming they are not.
but you know what? i just don’t care about the backfires. i still think that a smile is magic. the first time a boy you like smiles at you, the first time a baby smiles at you, those are moments full of magic, aren’t they? and don’t we always remember people’s smiles? magic. and so i’m going to keep smiling at the large men in monkey face t-shirts and suspenders. and if i get weird looks, so be it, because maybe one day, my smile will be the one thing that keeps someone going. and i’ll have no idea, but the magic will have been real.
before i stop with all the kooky magic talk, one important lesson for you all that i had to learn the hard way: never ever smile at anyone on your regular bus commute. it’s the one place where it’s just not a good idea.