January 4, 2015

Smiling At Hellmart

I tried a little something new today. I walked into Hellmart for me weekly trip with a smile on my face. Weird, right?

As I pulled into the parking lot, I spied a woman who could have easily been me--nondescript (but kinda beautiful anyway), pushing a cart full of groceries that will contain "nothing good" according to her family, and a scowl on her face. Without even looking in the mirror, I realized I had a scowl on my face as well.

I decided then to smile.

I have resting bitch face--I own that.

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I also own the fact that people who smile draw smiles in return, they are less stressed out and less stressful, and they are, well, generally happier. So, I plastered a smile on my face and went grocery shopping.

I smiled at people, I spoke nicely, I really had an enjoyable trip to Hellmart. As my grocery cart (and bill) was piling higher than I would have liked, I smiled anyway and didn't seem stressed out. Whatdoyaknow? It works.

Then I saw her.

Several years ago, I was the target of a cyber, although very public, attack by some small-minded people. And standing before me was the leader of this attack. She was standing there with her boyfriend/husband (whatever) and her child who was in the cart calling out "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy" and being ignored. I don't know if she saw me initially, but I saw her--and her resting bitch face.

My first instinct was to stop smiling. But I didn't. I smiled, grabbed what I needed and moved on.

As I headed to the checkouts, she just about ran into me ... not on purpose, though. I widened my smile and said, "Excuse me," as I maneuvered my cart out of her way (even though I clearly had the right-of-way).

Her scowl got scowlier, her shoulders slumped even more, her head dropped and she looked the other way.

I continued smiling as I checked out. I wondered about her and if she was as unhappy as she appeared. (My guess, based on my personal experiences with her, is that yes, she is as unhappy as she looks.)

Then I walked out with a cart full of groceries. I stood beside the car and clicked my clicker. It didn't work. I tried the key. It didn't work. Finally, still smiling, I jiggled the handle to find it unlocked.

It wasn't my car, of course. I realized that when I slammed it shut and walked toward the next aisle over where my car waited for me.

The whole time I smiled. It was the least stressful trip to Hellmart I've ever had.

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Life's to short to do anything other than smile.

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