Weekly Cynicism: If You Tell Me to Smile, I’ll Do It Even Less

There are many things on any given day that push me further over the edge than I already am.

Bad drivers, slow walkers, other peoples’ small children, and the reliable crotchetiness of the elderly are only some of the countless annoyances I endure every day of my life. The daily half-hour commute to school, and then work is enough to drive anyone crazy– when you work at a restaurant the destination is even worse than the journey.

But more off-putting than all of the aforementioned irritations is my coworkers’ compulsion to tell me to “smile.”

“Why don’t you smile more?” they ask.

Or even better they say, “wow, you look happy.”
I think if I was constantly smiling I would look insane, possibly even violently deranged.

Why am I not allowed to look neutral for a few hours? Can’t my facial muscles relax for a while? Is it mandatory to look pleased when you bus tables at a busy restaurant?

I didn’t know that being covered in sweat, grime, ketchup and other people’s half-eaten food was an occasion during which I must be visibly and outwardly happy at all times.

I was also unaware that my teeth are so attractive people want to be able to see them during all hours of the day.
The more people tell to smile the more I want to sneak up behind them and pull little hairs out of their head and when they turn around in shock and pain I will ask them, “What’s the matter? Why don’t you smile more?”

Photo courtesy of Max Howell: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mxcl/

Kasey Tveit

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