Smile LIke You Mean It
They say a smile goes along way. Of course, in a city like New York if you smile at a perfect stranger, that simple act can range anywhere from flirtatious to psycho. However, in that same token that simple smile from a random person can change your entire perception of the human race. When you smile like you mean it, you just might be amazed at what gets reflected back to you.
The week started off amazing, for I was able to catch up with a former coworker (and friend) this past Monday at the bar, Boxers. Over beers, I sat and listened about how he recently met someone and actually likes the guy. As I noticed how genuine his smile was when talking about his current situation, it was then and there that my faith in relationships slowly began to become restored again.
After seeing my friend in his state of euphoria, I told myself that it might be time to get back on the saddle again. So, I dusted off the online profiles and began to see what was out there. By the time Thursday rolled around, I had a date booked for Friday evening.
Thursday and I found myself in an area that I rarely frequent…Harlem. I was volunteering with an organization called, Harlem RBI. It is an after school program for kids ranging from the ages of 4-22. I wanted to work with the youngest kids because they make me so happy and luckily for me I got selected to work with the kids that ranged in the ages from 4-6. I think I was more nervous to meet the children then the other way around. I wanted them to like me so much and I know kids can smell fear so I put on the brave face and smiled. Within the first ten minutes of me helping out with the kids, I had them wanting to sit on my lap and I was beaming from ear to ear. The children’s smile back at me almost had me in tears from joy but I had to hold back because I knew they wouldn’t understand. By the end of my volunteering session, I was hooked. I will be visiting the children again and it just goes to show you that all children every really want is to be heard and loved.
Friday and I was ready to let the weekend begin. I could already tell that my date for that evening was going to be a challenge because he hadn’t made any official plans on where to meet but all he said to me was, “Let’s meet.” I was already annoyed with him and me having to get him to pick and place and time. I guess I got what I deserved because he finally picked a place and wanted me to meet him in front of the Tick Tock diner on 34th Street and 8Th Avenue for coffee at precisely at 6:45. I got ready and began walking over to the diner when I felt my phone vibrate. It was a text from him telling me that he was already standing in front of the diner. Of course, this was a half hour prior to when we were to actually meet. There is early and then there is crazy early. I told him I would do my best to hustle over there because I didn’t want him standing in the cold too long. I finally arrive and the dude already has a coffee from McDonald’s in his hand! We hug and then I ask him, “We aren’t getting coffee or are we?” His response was, “We can get coffee but I don’t really have that much time for this date.” I could already tell this date was going to be a doozy.
We try to go to a Starbucks but of course, it was packed. We end up at some Pax deli on 33rd Street. With his McDonald’s coffee in tote, I am compelled to order something at this deli. I get a coffee and sit down and then he starts the date off with saying, “Are your eye lashes real? They are really long and they are great but…are they real?” I tell him that they are in fact my real eye lashes. He begins to tell me that he gets hot easily and wipes the sweat off his face. As he continues to tell me about himself, he is constantly looking at his phone. I finally say, “Where is that you need to be?” He tells me he is meeting a friend for dinner in Queens later. I told him, “We can end the date now if you need to catch a train.” He assures me that he is having a good time that I am attractive and also have a nice smile. I was hesitant about this date to begin with because his profile indicated that he was 29 years old and I felt that was a smidge too young for me. A friend of mine assured me that 29 isn’t too young for me, so there I sat listening to him and watching him constantly clear the sweat from his forehead. He was obsessed with my face. It started with the eyelashes, to my smile, and then my skin. He asked me my routine and what products I used. I didn’t feel the need to go into detail with this but told him that no matter what; never leave the house without wearing sunscreen. It was there that he got caught in a lie. He agreed with me about the sunscreen and said, “I wish I would have started using anti-aging creams earlier because now that I am in my thirties…” I stopped him mid-sentence and said, “I thought you told me that you were 29. How old are you?” He said, “Oh yeah. I lie about my age because no one wants to talk to someone in their 30’s.” It was there that I ended the date. I said, “I am in my 30’s and I don’t appreciate the lying.” He apologized and said, “I DO think we should get together again. I can take you to Jackson Heights.” I got up, shook his hand and walked out of the deli. It wasn’t my worse date but it certainly wasn’t the date I was hoping for.
Saturday was busy and I was grateful that a hangover wasn’t stopping me from all that I needed to get done. I managed to participate in a survey for, Coors Light, for a friend’s marketing company, followed by an intense yoga class and then got ready to meet my girlfriend and her boyfriend for a night out on the town. We started out at our favorite ghetto bar in the East Village, Sly Fox. After a few shots and beers we headed to a birthday party at, Old Town Tavern, in Union Square. When we arrived, it was a very intimate party and I was already kind of buzzed. I wasn’t sure about meeting these new people since I was the third wheel but I smiled and before I knew it; I was listening to people plan their wedding, smiling and having a great time. It was also in the midst of this party that my younger brother announced via text that his boyfriend popped the question and they are now officially engaged to be married. By the time we closed the bar down; it was time for me to go home.
Yesterday was one of those perfect fall days in the city where if you walked on the sunny side of the street you were warm and on the opposite side; you were chilly. I met my friend for tea in the village at, Tea & Sympathy. All these years of living here and I have never been to this cute and quaint place. We had tea, scones and talked about almost every topic possible. It was nice to catch up with him and get excited about his future. After we parted ways, I decided to walk home and enjoy the weather because before we know it, it will not be an option to walk home in the winter months.
This morning, I woke up smiling. Not sure why because I had an 8 a.m. dentist appointment. However, if you are lucky enough to wake up on a Monday morning smiling; don’t question it. The dentist appointment went off without a hitch and I began my walk from the dentist to the office. As I had my stride going to the pace of the music in my ears, I realized that I should start getting my money ready so that I could quickly grab my morning coffee. I wasn’t paying any attention to what was ahead of me, as I was busy fumbling in my bag to get quarters. There was construction going on Madison Avenue and 41st Street and that is when it happened…I tripped over one of those bright orange traffic cones. My quarters went flying and as I picked myself up there he stood…Mr. Oklahoma! The guy I went on a few great dates with last month and then he disappeared. He stood there looking at me on the ground not really sure if he should help me up or take the time to confess why he pulled a Houdini on me. Instead, he smiled at me and I refused to smile back. He walked right past me and I collected my quarters. Not the best way to start the week off but I knew that if I smiled back at him; that would let him know that his behavior toward me was acceptable.
After my traffic cone incident, I realized just how affective and powerful a smile can actually be. Can you imagine your worse day and some kind person just smiles at you and suddenly whatever you were going through suddenly begins to feel better. Or better yet, you owning that power with your own smile to change someone’s outlook on life. You should never do something for someone else with hopes of getting something in return, in the others we all should, Smile Like We Mean It J
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