Thursday, December 09, 2010

i’ll give you something to smile about

When Work Cathy walked into a meeting yesterday, a guy she didn’t know said, “Smile! Let’s see your dimples.”

“I don’t have dimples,” she said.

“Sure you do—right here.” He screwed his fingers into the corners of his mouth. Later, when a plate of cookies was making its way around the room, he passed it to her and said, “Here ya go, Dimples.”

Today at lunch I was walking back from Hallmark, where I’d found myself looking at a card featuring a nativity scene and thinking, God, there’s another person who got pregnant without even trying. On the sidewalk, a greasy-looking guy in his thirties called out, “Smile! It’s a sunny day!”

“Fuck you,” I said.

Translation: 1) No one would ever tell a guy to smile. When guys brood, it’s considered sexy. 2) You don’t know me, asshole. Maybe my grandmother just died. Or maybe I was bummed that the bread in my sandwich was a little dried out. Either way, not your business. I feel sorry that I can’t deliver Cheery Holiday Greetings Cheryl to AK on a regular basis, but I’m pretty sure I haven’t incurred any emotional debts with you, greasy dude.

I’m mildly worried that Cheery Holiday Greetings Cheryl has been abducted by pod people, and Eff You Cheryl has been left in her place. It’s troubling to not feel like yourself. But actually, half a block later, I found myself smiling really big.


Tracy Lynn said...

I like both Cheryls, although Eff You is my favorite because she is so unexpected.
I love you, Multiple Personality Cheryl.

Cheryl said...

Maybe Eff You Tracy can teach me how to properly wield a spoon.

Keely said...

Well, if it makes you feel any better, Mary had to get knocked up by a God. It's better than raped by a swan, but still, who knows whether or not she and Joseph would have been successful conceiving. And it looks like God had pretty crummy insurance, I mean, a *manger*? Really? How is that even sanitary?

Claire said...

You're my hero.

I hate it when-I was going to say "people" but it is only men- I hate it when men tell me to smile and I hate myself when I reflexively do. Argh. No good from that.

Not sure I can pull off the Eff You Claire, but I like having it as an option. Perhaps the existent, Yes-I'm-flipping-you-off-while-driving Claire can work her way up to it.

Cheryl said...

K: Swan babies would be pretty cute, though.

C: I have great faith in the potential of Eff You Claire.

Peter Varvel said...

Weeks later I am still laughing about a closing line from The Santaland Diaries:
"And please don't tell my boss I called you a bitch - you tell him I called you a fucking bitch, because that's what you are."

I wish I had the balls to use that line at work, or to even muster up the brass to be Eff You Peter.

Cheryl said...

Some fucking bitches just hafta be told.

Claire said...

Aw, it's like I have an Eff You mentor. Sweet!

Jesi said...

i was thinking of doing a whole post about strangers comments pratically everyday. if it isn't "smile," it's, "you look fine today," and if you have your ipod on it's guys just looking at you and smiling really big. god it's so annoying. i'm surprised more women don't buy guns and shoot all those bastards. and what gets me is these men actually think they are paying you a compliment/doing you a favor.

women are amazing because of all the crap that they put up with. i don't think men could handle it.

from now on i'm going to flip off anyone who tells me to smile or says something to me, etc.

i'm so over it!

Jesi said...

i like how i can delete my comment but not edit it.

anyways, the first sentence is supposed to say, that i wanted to blog about comments from strangers, which i get practically everyday.

there now i feel better.

Cheryl said...

J: Or when your 70-something office-building landlord repeatedly tells you how nice you look without your glasses. Not in an entirely pervy way, more like a kindly grandfather who wants to give you tips on catching a man. That's fun too.

Nerissa Pacio Itchon said...

Ugh! One of my biggest pet peeves ever is when random guys tell me to smile. I feel your pain! Don't worry, I know cheery Holiday Cheryl is still buried under there:-)

Cheryl said...

Somewhere--I'm trying to lure her out with cookies.