A Guardian journalist has put forward the idea that, because she actually saw a catwalk model smile, we all need to smile more and that, hey, wouldn’t it be great if the government got behind the idea! Well, no, it bloody wouldn’t, though it is the sort of dingbat idea they’d be likely to go for. Don’t encourage the buggers!
A smile is a response to a certain situation or stimulus, and random smiling is widely regarded as strange (unless you’re in the service industry – though it doesn’t apply in my local!). A normal person does not smile all the time.
In repose, my natural expression, even to me, looks grumpy, though there is the occasional weirdo who thinks it looks threatening. I’m neither, though – nor am I the life and soul of the party – I’m just a normal bloke and I smile as much as anyone else. When it’s appropriate, not when some bugger tells me I should.
A note for Fiona – the reason I look so grumpy (though I always have, to a degree), is that I’m in serious pain 24/7; you’d look bloody grumpy too!
Sorry about that, folks, but Fiona thinks I should be happy and smiley (but see below), all the sodding time and, as I said yesterday, the fact that this blog is called Ron’s Rants is entirely fortuitous.
I’ve tried smiling at strangers, but unless you’re in a rural area you get some very odd looks in return. Indeed, in cities, people who smile randomly, and unprovoked, very often talk to invisible friends too, and are best avoided.
In the countryside, though, a smile and a good- whatever-it-is will be reciprocated more often than not (unless you come across an unregenerate townie), a conversation is likely to ensue and you’ll both feel better for the encounter. Try that in a city and people are likely to cross the road to avoid you, and/or assume your next words are going to be “Got any spare change?”
Some years ago, when I was a wheelchair pilot, I encountered the same woman, day after day and, one day, I thought a smile and a ‘Morning! might be a good idea, but she looked at me as if I were a potential rapist! Even now, I get the occasional odd look from her. I’ve often wondered, since, was it me or the chair?
Some probable fruitcake in the Guardian’s comments section said:-
“If your (sic) constantly happy and smiley then that smile usually passes on to another person!”
Er, no, sorry. Nobody, in full possession of all their marbles is constantly happy and smiley. A normal life is made up of good stuff, bad stuff, and lots of very average stuff (wow, that’s profound…). Anyone happy and smiley through the bad stuff is reacting seriously abnormally. Or, perhaps, lives a life so circumscribed that bad stuff never happens, which is pretty sad, really, because the bad, although difficult at the time, makes us appreciate the good all the more, and even puts the average stuff in perspective.
Anyone who is happy and smiley all the time, come what may, is quite possibly not experiencing reality in the same way as the rest of us, as well as being a total pain in the ass. Or maybe they’re Mormons, in which case run away. Now!
Which, somewhat extended, was what I said in my Guardian comment, because you’re not actually allowed to say, hey babe, you’re nuts! (I’m LePendu on Guardian comment pages, by the way, because I spend so much time hanging around there. Yeah, yeah, so sue me!)