Lately it seems I am walking around with a perma-scowl on my face. My eyebrows huddle together like two old men discussing politics. My jaw is set tight, to the point I wake up with an aching face.
Thursday night, I had an early dinner with friends. Towards the end of dinner I got a call and a text. "Buy Advil." OK, baby girl is teething, but Advil has become Jan's go-to and it bugs the fuck out of me. She doesn't need it. But he overdramatized (he was with both of them ALL day - haha!) and so I left dinner and raced to Shopper's Drug Mart.
As I was pulling into the Shopper's parking lot, a man was walking toward the entrance. He paused, smiling, to let my car pass. I was grumpy and hot and I HATE driving, so I guess I didn't smile back. As I passed him I heard, "You could smile."
My blood was boiling -- is still somewhat boiling -- at this comment. I wanted to chase after him and yell, "Sure I could smile, you patriarchal fuck. But my BABY needs Advil and maybe I didn't feel like fucking smiling at you. Maybe you shouldn't judge someone based on the fact that she's cute and she didn't smile at you when you let her pass you in the parking lot!" And on and on. Because hello there, two boys that read this site, girls fucking HATE being told to smile, or the expectation that they should always.
I tried to look for him in the store, so I could wave the Advil packaging in his face at least. Because, you know, I'm too passive to actually confront him. And part of the reason I was so angry was that he was right, I could have smiled. Should have smiled. Not because he's a man and I should do as expected, but because someone was being nice and my frown put more negativity into the world. The world doesn't need that right now. The world needs people to look at the stranger beside them and smile.
Sometimes it's hard to keep things in perspective. We're so weighted down by daily life and bills to pay and 25 year mortgages looming over our heads that we forget how lucky we are. Right now my friend Ana's boyfriend, whom she is very in love with, is lying in the ICU, battling Pancreatitis that resulted from his Leukemia medication. He just turned 30.
His name is Jordan and I really need everyone to smile for Jordan. To not be sad or worried, but to think about someone who looks like a cross between a young Richard Gere and Josh Groban (though Jordan would hate me comparing him to Josh Groban, but he's cute!), and send good thoughts. He's a fighter, still so full of life. He needs your good energy and your positive thoughts to fight this illness so he can get out and love my friend until the end of time.
I think if we all do this when we read this, and we think of love and smiles instead of cynical dark thoughts (as I'm very apt to do) maybe Jordan has a fighting chance. Thanks Internets.