Smiling is kind of my default. I don't even think about it. That's just what my face does. I get teased about it, actually. I've been told I even smile in my sleep. Is this true? I doubt it. I guess I'll never know for sure. I get teased for being so smiley, but people who know me don't know how to react around me when there isn't a smile on my face.
I'm talkative. Ask anyone who knows me well. There are one or two people out there that probably wish I'd shut up more often - but I'm not like that in public. I reserve that for the people I'm most comfortable with. When I'm out and about, I rarely chat with anyone. If someone asks me a question, says hello, or engages me in conversation, of course I'll speak with them - but the greeting I offer most often is my smile.
Smiling freaks people out sometimes. It's amazing to me how some folks react when I smile at them. Did I take them by surprise? Is that something they just don't see that often? Are they in a really bad mood? Maybe I look goofy. Yeah, okay, I probably look goofy. Whatever the reason, I don't take it personally. That's just me. I smile - but I won't ask you to.
Other times people react very warmly to receiving a smile. On Saturday, my daughter and I were in the pharmacy and an elderly lady turned into our aisle. I looked up and smiled like I usually do, then went about my business. A few seconds later, this woman struck up a conversation with me. She'd just gotten stung by a hornet the night before and her hand was horribly swollen. I tried to help her find something for the itch, and for the next twenty minutes, I heard about her house and how hard it's been for her to keep it up these past ten years since her husband died. When we parted company, my daughter laughed. That happens a lot. She says that I invite that sort of interaction by looking so friendly. Was I able to help this woman? Well, I'm no pharmacist, and I'm not at all sure that the cream I chose will do her much good, but maybe the fact that she had someone's undivided attention for a few minutes made her feel better. I don't know. I hope so.
And if she decided to speak to me because I smiled at her, then I'm very glad I did.