Why are people expected to smile all the time? What happened in our society that we are all expected to advertise our unbridled happiness through a showy display of teeth?
It’s like this weird Russian guy at work who, first thing in the morning, occasionally asks me, “Why you no smile?” Because, dude. Because it’s 8:00 in the morning and I’m tired and I’m cold and you creep me out. I will reserve my morning smiles for people who don’t creep me out.
And it’s not like I say “hello” to him without a twitch of a smile like a serial killer. He just sidles up to me and asks me that. Well, no smile for you! (You’ve just been Seinfelded!)
Or, like, today, when I was on my way to the bathroom, he looks at me and says, “Smile! It’s Friday!” Well, yipee-kiyay, motherfucker, but that doesn’t mean I walk around with a smile plastered on my face the whole goddamn day. Again, I’m not a serial killer.
But I play along; I smile a toothy grin and shake my fists near my head while squealing “Yay! Friday!” in a nauseatingly high-pitched voice. Are you happy now? No, you’re not, because that was creepy and forced. But you made me do that. You reduced me to that.
I like to think that I don’t have a perma-bitchface, and that my “at rest” face is slightly pleasant, at least in attitude. Perhaps I’m wrong. But that’s my cross to bear.
So, note to you, Russian dude, and all other people who think it’s appropriate to demand a smile as casually as a derelict demands spare change: It’s my face and no one is forcing you to look at it.