See If I’ll Smile NOW

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Ok, you know what really gets me fired up? When random strangers tell you to “SMILE”. Like you’re just gonna do it on command.

Ummm, Why don’t you just pop a drill sergeant’s cap on your head, lace up your shiny black boots and yell “schnell!” at the end of it and just round out the whole bossyboots combo?

It’s like by demanding a smile the requester is suggesting that you’re a grinch for not waking around with a dopey grin on your face, inviting one and all to join in on your private reverie of rainbows, sunshine and kittens. Like somehow you have committed a terrible crime and they’re just bailing you out by reminding you to flash your pearly white to all and sundry. The other day my friend Kelly was walking down the street and some random, self-righteous d-bag says to her “smile!” It sounds innocent, but it’s just obnoxious. What if you don’t want to smile? What if your face has a natural frown? What if your puppy just got run over and you’re on your way to the vet to pick up the remains?

Yeah, I went there.

Back in the olden days when I was going to college in Atlanta, I would walk down Peachtree Street several times a week to reach various classroom buildings for my classes. I often came into contact with those random people (NOT STUDENTS) who felt it was their personal obligation, nay DUTY, to make the world smile. Make the world smile one schnell at a time!! LOL

I remember once I was standing at a corner waiting to cross the street, desperately cramming for my Italian final and some jumped-up smart aleck stranger dude was like “smile! it’s not so bad!”

First of all, it WAS that bad. I needed at least a B on this test to maintain my B average. I had 15 minutes to remember how to conjugate 12 verbs. In my opinion, IT WAS THAT BAD.

Secondly, do I even fricking KNOW YOU?!? Atlanta can be a pretty scary place full of batshit weirdos. I learned pretty early that I don’t talk to strangers, sorry.

Thirdly, I wasn’t frowning, that was my natural “street face”: that look that, after multiple creepy encounters with bizarros and stalker-type assholes, you adapt as your facial expression to avoid unwanted aggressiveness or confrontation when in the city. It wasn’t even a look I intended on giving, but the minute I got out of my car for school everyday my face just magically rearranged itself into this look.

And finally, having a stranger standing that close to me, within sniffing distance of my body bath & body works country apple spray, demanding some type of verb/action was enough to startle me right  into oncoming traffic. I wanted to drop kick the smile right off his stupid, smug face and give him a swirly in a train station bathroom and say “feel like a smile NOW?!?!”

What I find interesting about this is phenomenon is that women are very rarely the perpetrators of smile-jackings. I’m assuming it’s supposed to be a way to start a conversation to like, hit on you or whatever? By highlighting that fact that you’re not smiling? Only dudes do that kinda crap. And it’s usually creep dudes. Creepy dude trying to hit on you or talk to you. Which makes you want to frown even more. Ugh.

So just remember… when a stranger asks you… SMILE!!!!!!!!

…With your middle finger.

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