There’s a guy at the office who calls me Smiley.
While my default expression at home is probably more like a resting tired face*, my public face is usually smiling.
I once walked around the mezzanine of a Texas dance hall. The space was filled with vendors selling concho belts, cowboy hats, turquoise jewelry and beer in white plastic cups. I had never been to Texas before, and while I’m not afraid of dancing, I wanted to see what else went on in the dance hall. As I walked the loop, I greeted vendors and watched the dancers down below. On my second pass, a vendor said, “You’re the only person in this place with a smile on her face.”
I learned a long time ago that a quick smile makes interactions more pleasant. It wasn’t until today that I realized that it’s that smile that attracts folks to me. All along I thought I had a magnet in my back pocket.
I’ve written about how the kids brace themselves before we get to the checkout line at the store because I will be paying for groceries and hear the clerk’s life story.
I can’t mail a package without learning about the postal employee’s 20 year battle with arthritis, even though I don’t have arthritis, know nothing about arthritis, and simply said, “How are you today?”
I left the house this morning to walk the hill at the park. Jen insisted I take the bear spray. We don’t live in a scary neighborhood (the bears are usually about 60 miles north and west of here), and I hate packing anything when I walk, but for her sake, I took the spray.
On my descent, I saw a fellow sipping coffee from a thermos cup. He was the only person in the parking lot. He turned as I approached. I smiled and said, “Good morning.”
Does that sound flirtatious to you?
He talked. I smiled and listened.
I am an INFJ.
I don’t flirt. I don’t know how to flirt. Watching others flirt upsets my stomach.
He talked of when he lived in Montana, why he is here now, his passion for studying Big Foot, his love of ceramics, the chaos over Muslims in the Middle East, Folf, his Roman Catholic upbringing, has anti-war stance and what it’s like to be a senior person on a college campus.
He didn’t have any teeth, and he wore a pony tail that looked like a failed attempt at a man bun.
I’m not judging. I’m fleshing out the character in this story.
(Okay, I might be judging a little. I am an INFJ.)
Some of the conversation was interesting, but I’ll admit to trying to get a word in to excuse myself.
Finally! His grandson came down from throwing a frisbee and said, “Pops! It’s time to go!”
I said, “Yeah, nice visiting with you, I have to get back to my kids.”
He stuck out his hand and said, “What’s your name? Are you single?” His grip tightened, not in a scary way, but I did grab his wrist with my left hand to release my right hand from his. I waved and said, “See ya!” as I walked off. He said, “You’re cute! If you ever get bored …”
I walked home fast. I wasn’t so much smiling as laughing.
I walked in the door and Jen asked, “How was your walk?” I told Jen that I was glad she’d insisted I take the bear spray. When I explained, she said she was glad I’d taken the spray, too. She wasn’t at all surprised, because she knows what I attract.
As I sit here typing this post, I’m smiling. I’m smiling at the Universe for continually putting these types in my path. I never really understood why before. I didn’t know what I was doing to bring this into my world.
Now I know it’s my smile. It’s my smile and my ability to listen, and there are so many people out there who just want to be heard.
*Why must they refer to that as a Resting Bitch Face?