Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Simple Power of A Smile

I was driving home after feeding my friend's cat last week, when I saw an attractive guy walking his dog along a sidewalk that abuts some preserved wooded land fairly close to where I live. As I passed by, he looked at me -- and I at him -- but sadly, when you're driving along and these moments occur you often don't realize them quickly enough to do something until it's too late. 

Damn, I thought afterwards. I should've smiled at him. 

Now granted, it wasn't like I would have been able to actually meet him; after all, I was in my car, driving by. But I might have made his day and he might have made mine, if we had been able to exchange smiles. And one simple thing that I wish to manifest right now is the confidence and on-your-toes thinking to flash a smile at an attractive stranger. 

A lot of people are afraid to do this. We've been wired since children to keep to ourselves and not to talk to strangers. And have you noticed how many people avoid eye contact and sort of walk around in an invisible, protective bubble when they're running errands? Or they're staring down at their mobile phone. 

There's also the fear that someone won't smile back. That's when you need to remind yourself to have a thick skin and realize that when you smile at someone, you're doing it simply because it feels good to you and without the expectation of getting anything back in return. 

I remember one woman at my last company that absolutely never smiled. It was odd. She always looked so miserable and the few times I tried being friendly with her, it was obvious she didn't want to chat with me. A guy who worked in her department told me once that she was shy, but I wasn't buying it. You can be shy, but still muster up a friendly face and demeanor when someone talks to you. But I'm digressing...

There have been a few spontaneous moments in my life when I was confident enough to smile at a stranger while just going about my day. One of those moments happened a few years ago when I was on my way home from work. I was waiting behind a car at a red light, waiting to turn right, when a group of teenage boys pulled up in the lane next to me. 

They spotted me, and were trying to get my attention. They looked so young (but then again all teens get younger looking to me as I've gotten older) but the driver must have had his license. It didn't seem to bother them one bit that I was clearly old enough to be their mom. We all know how horny boys are at that age, and at the risk of sounding like a pedophile or a middled-aged cougar, I decided to have some fun. 

I smiled at them. I winked and batted my eyes and blew kisses at them. 

They went nuts. It was like I was Heidi freaking Klum or someone in the car next to them. Clearly they had no clue that I was pushing 40 at the time -- or if they did, they simply didn't care. 

I remember one of the boys in the backseat stuck his tongue out and started panting like a dog. He was like the Rolling Stones logo come to life. Come to think of it, he kind of reminded me of a young Mick Jagger. 

At that moment, I bust out laughing. The light turned green. I turned right and they turned left, but not before I gave them one final wave.

The interaction totally made my day, and no doubt it make theirs. It was fun, spontaneous, and hopefully harmless -- after all, I have no intentions of dating a teenage boy and we were in cars, so that made it feel safer. Where did that woman inside me go? To this day I haven't done something like that again. I just haven't been brave enough and quick enough to act on the moment, but I intend to manifest that part of me back. 

I would welcome the opportunity to smile at an attractive stranger -- who's more age appropriate, obviously. I'll just have to utilize the law of attraction and get my confidence lined up again.

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