Thursday, October 28, 2010
Have you ever noticed how, after you've ordered your coffee at Starbucks, and you're standing at the pick-up counter - the one where the barista is busily frothing milk and pouring flavoured syrups into multiple paper cups - that you tend to stand in kind of a slouch and stare at them? As if to say HURRY UP WITH MY COFFEE I NEED IT YESTERDAY. I think I might. Sometimes. Not on purpose, and not because I mean to be pissy, but simply because standing there makes my body naturally take on that stance.
Yesterday as I was waiting for my chai, the girl making my drink and about another ten lined up behind it looked up at me and smiled. Just, like, for no reason at all. And I was forced to uncurve my frown and smile back at her. Because I, for one, cannot not smile at someone if they smile at me. I have to smile back.
And then, because I had been coerced into smiling, in public, at a stranger, I decided to try wearing the smile for a little longer. I peered around at the other customers in the line, all with their equally grumpy WHERE IS MY OVERPRICED COFFEE GODAMMIT faces, and realized, most of us probably look like that most of the time.
I realized then, I rarely smile at people when I'm out in public - usually I'm in a furious dash to get somewhere fast. In, out, home, quick, don't talk to me I don't have time.
When I lived in London, a smile from a stranger was a rare thing indeed. In fact, more often, a smile from a stranger (sadly) indicated something iffy - a guy trying to make a pass; a crazy person on the bus wanting to tell you their life story. For that reason I don't miss big city living and the anonymity that comes with it. Calgary by comparison is a very smiley place.
Anyway, my point is, it reminded me that it doesn't take much to smile at a stranger, and it doesn't cost anything either. And it's pretty amusing to see someone's grumpy face transform into a happy face. And who knows - maybe they needed that smile, even if it was from a complete stranger and someone they may never see again. Or maybe they'll resist the smile altogether and keep wearing their frown. Whatever.
So occasionally, when I remember, I'm going to smile at a stranger. Just because.
And I swear that yesterday, my coffee tasted better from the girl who passed the smile onto me.
Posted by Lady Mama at 12:24 PM