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Where, sometimes, a smile is enough

by John on February 9th, 2012

Not too long ago, I wrote about the things that I liked about myself and I challenged all of my readers to do the same.

Near the very top of the list, if not on the top of the list, is my smile. I like to smile, and a smile is always quick to find its way to my face. In the immortal words of Buddy the Elf:

I just like to smile, smiling’s my favorite

This morning started out pretty crappy — my inner thighs were chafed from a wardrobe issue during my last run, but, even if I didn’t have that to deal with, the roads were a combination of icy & salty thanks to a dusting of snow last night . . . so running was out of the question. I half-assed my way through a spinning workout (seriously, I think I barely broke a sweat) and then I had a conference call where one of my developers completely stood me up – and I needed her input to actually give a proper status (as she hadn’t sent me a TPS report status report before I dialed in).

I hung up from the conference call just as I was nearing a Dunkin’ Donuts . . . I stop in here a couple of times a week for a cup of coffee. They know me here, and, as soon as I get to the counter, someone takes my cup and gives me what I want (sugar, with just a tiny bit of cream). So, I stopped in.

As I said, it was a pretty crappy day . . . but I still smile at anyone who happens by – including the counter staff.

When it’s time to pay, I’m told “don’t worry about it. You always smile, and that makes our day better.”

So, I walked out with my coffee & a far easier smile on my face. And, I’m left to wonder . . . if the act of smiling is enough to make a stranger’s day better, why aren’t more people wearing a smile more often?

From → Coffee

32 Comments
  1. KG (@Shoe_Mom) permalink

    I love this! One day, just before Christmas, a lady in a store at the mall said to me, with tears in her eyes, “Thank you for smiling at me. You’re the first person all day”. I will remember her always.

    • THAT is awesome.
      (And p.s. made me smile.)

    • In order to take an extra music course, I took gym before school started my senior year (actually, all four years, but I’m speaking about my senior year, specifically). At the end of the year, for yearbook signing time, I brought my yearbook to the 7am volleyball game and people signed about. I didn’t put much thought into who had it or what they were writing.

      After college, I ran across the yearbook & read through things . . . there was a girl who had some pretty massive emotional issues who took the early gym with me, and she was one of the signers. She wrote “thank you for smiling – it’s helped me a lot this year.”

      That comment made me smile :-)

  2. Sven permalink

    Love this!

  3. MomMaKiss permalink

    Thats a killer smile Mr!

    • I’ve heard rumors that your smile is pretty infectious ;-)

      And thank you.

  4. Your smile definitely helped when you were wooing me. I love your smile. I love that our kids smile a lot and at strangers. We did that for them.

  5. Keep smiling, John. Even those of us who don’t get to see it in real life benefit from that smile.

    • I like to think that my smile comes across in my writing — thank you for confirming that.

  6. This is such a sweet story about good karma coming back to you…even when it wasn’t intentional.

    Your heart is pure, worn on your face.
    And you ended up with coffee.

    Keep smiling, John.
    (It’s my favorite, too.)

  7. Amen brother. Why AREN’T people smiling more often? Great story.

    • I’ll never understand why people don’t smile more often. Never. At worst, it’s a “wasted smile,” which just means practice for the next person you smile at.

  8. My wife wears me out about this all the time. You’d think after Kurt died in 1994, I’d drop the angsty, stressed routine…but no….I’m too hardcore complicated.

    Good for you, John. If you can do it, maybe I can. I’ll throw a smile later today.

  9. What a great thing to do. It’s funny, I see people like this random lady that walks in my neighborhood, and I wonder why she always smiles. I also wonder why I don’t smile randomly like that. Clearly, smiles get you far. I need to remember to control my ughhh face.

    • What’s surprising is that I didn’t realize that I had a face, other than my “ughhhh face,” before I’ve even had my coffee.

  10. i’m a smiler too. My students think that I am always insane. Perhaps my smile isn’t as nice as yours.

    Keep smilin’ dude. The world needs more happy.

    • Oh, I think most everyone thinks I’m insane. But, that might also be because I’m constantly talking to myself.

      And, yes, the world needs far more happy.

  11. I do think being on the receiving end of a smile can rock a person’s world. I’m amazed at the indifference I see when I’m out and about, so I also try to smile at people. And say ‘thank you.’ or ‘have a great day,’ or some other nicety. Buddy the Elf is on to something.

    PS – at least you attempted to work out. I did not. And now I’m beating myself up. Time to get off my tush, I guess.

    • I’m always beating myself up for either not pushing myself hard enough, or cheating on what I’m eating, or doing something . . . I need the reminder that “something” is better than “nothing” most every time.

      And good on you for smiling at people — I really think more people need do follow suit.

  12. Seriously.
    When leaving the house, don’t forget to put on your smile. Clothing is optional… smiling is a must.

    • You know, I tried to say that when the cops give me those annoying “public indecency” tickets . . . “I’m not naked, I’m wearing a smile,” but it doesn’t stop them.

  13. Dude, I’m going to try that at Starbucks!!

  14. You really do have a great smile. Just like Buddy.

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