Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Smile, Darn Ya, Smile!

I knew this would happen!
(And I look so young in this picture too.) 

They say “smile and the whole world smiles with you,” but that’s not always true.

Especially if you happen to be a Boomer.

Back when I was in my thirties and forties and an attractive young woman walked past me on the street, I had two choices of appropriate facial behavior:

1)  Look up, look down, look away, and not smile for abject fear she would … gasp … not smile back! A fate worse than death. Maybe a lot worse!

2)  Look up, look at her, and smile pleasantly. Which usually did produce a smile in return which was always lovely to look at just by virtue of being a smile. A smile  providing me with a pleasant gratified feeling, and shortly thereafter a rousing sexual fantasy.

Sometimes the experience was even more fun.

During one particularly rainy afternoon in Philadelphia I smiled at an attractive blonde with an umbrella being buffeted by the wind and rain. “This really sucks, doesn’t it?” she said smiling in a particularly charming and impish manner.

No, it didn’t suck for me … it made my day!  And I even managed to hold off the sordid fantasy until later that evening.

Now I am sixty … umm …. err… number!  And now if I walk down the street, and an attractive young woman approaches, I am seized with an insecurity I have not known since tenth grade public speaking class.

OMG, what do I do?

If I smile at her, will she think?

1) Why is that grandfather smiling at me?  Maybe he has a granddaughter my age? Okay, I’ll give him a sympathy smile.

2) Why is that refugee from the movie Cocoon smiling at me? Doesn’t he realize that NOT EVEN if he were the last man on Earth and Earth were about to careen into the sun?

3) Why is that refugee from a Mathew Brady Civil War daguerreotype smiling at me? Doesn’t he realize that NOT EVEN if he were the last man on Earth and I were drunker than I have ever been in my life and I possessed no functioning vision whatsoever and the Earth were about to careen into the sun?

4) Help! Police! Help! 

So I usually don’t smile because none of those outcomes seems desirable.  Getting a “This really sucks, doesn’t it?” seems as long ago and far away as the  first Star Wars movie.

OMG, here come a young woman now! When I was her age, Ronald Reagan was in diapers!

Well, know what? I’m friendly. I’m nice. I’m not in mothballs yet.

I’m going to smile!

(Just in case of the worst, will you arrange to pay my bail?)

I smile.

She smiles back.

“Good morning!” she says brightly. “Always nice to see a smile first thing in the morning!”

How about that?

So, fellow Boomer guys, always let a smile be your umbrella!

That the next young woman will smash you over the head with!


If you liked this post, you'll love my book Perry Block-Nouveau Old, Formerly Cute. If you hated this post, then I hope nobody ever smiles at you again!  But I still want you to buy my book. 

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