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I saw a woman smiling

GUEST,for this thread 26 Jan 01 - 10:36 PM
katlaughing 26 Jan 01 - 10:41 PM
GUEST,bflat 26 Jan 01 - 10:50 PM
Allan C. 26 Jan 01 - 11:24 PM
Hollowfox 27 Jan 01 - 11:49 AM
SINSULL 27 Jan 01 - 12:59 PM
Allan C. 27 Jan 01 - 01:23 PM
Little Hawk 27 Jan 01 - 03:20 PM
McGrath of Harlow 27 Jan 01 - 03:37 PM
NightWing 27 Jan 01 - 03:47 PM
R! 27 Jan 01 - 05:24 PM
Matt_R 27 Jan 01 - 06:11 PM
GUEST,John Gray/Australia 27 Jan 01 - 06:15 PM
Matt_R 27 Jan 01 - 06:22 PM
SINSULL 27 Jan 01 - 06:48 PM
Jeri 27 Jan 01 - 07:24 PM
katlaughing 28 Jan 01 - 12:06 AM
Susan from California 28 Jan 01 - 05:43 PM
Jeri 28 Jan 01 - 06:08 PM
Susan from California 28 Jan 01 - 08:31 PM
Rick Fielding 28 Jan 01 - 10:26 PM
mkebenn 28 Jan 01 - 11:09 PM
mkebenn 29 Jan 01 - 06:16 AM
GUEST,Fibula Mattock 29 Jan 01 - 07:02 AM
Bardford 29 Jan 01 - 10:14 AM
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Subject: I saw a woman smiling
From: GUEST,for this thread
Date: 26 Jan 01 - 10:36 PM

I was out doing the grocery shopping a few days ago at my little slightly upscale supermarket. You know, the kind where mothers are always calling out "Ashley"! (or Jason, or even God forbid, "Brittney"!)

As I was standing there..in baked beans, I think.. I watched a woman of about 40 come striding through the front door and head to the cold cuts counter, smiling all the way. I heard her greet the gal behind the counter in such a cheerful way that I did a double take. You see I'm one of those people who loves to talk to others in stores or elevators. I do it because it's fun, but I'm often aware of quizzical looks around me. I suspect many are thinking "what's he so damn cheerful about"? I'm not, really. I've got the same cares and concerns as most people, but I think being friendly to others in public, just serves to remind me that "I may never change the world, but I absolutely refuse to let it change me".

But I digress. Feeling rather foolhardy, I followed (at a discreet distance) this woman for a couple of aisles, and sure enough, I heard her say "how's it goin'"? to a box boy. What a contrast to the other shoppers going about their business with that drab "far away" look in their eyes. I decided to act. I went up to her and said "I've been noticing your smile, and I just want to thank you for it" (or something stupid like that). As I had hoped, she didn't pepper spray me, or even look like she thought I'd escaped from the looney bin. She simply said "why THANK you".

Made my day.

I know it's tough for a lot of people these days, and it's easy to feel "beaten down" by the system, or illness or just plain lonliness, but boy, a simple smile can show a lot of folks that your still a winner.

I'm not usually this sentimental.


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Subject: RE: I saw a woman smiling
From: katlaughing
Date: 26 Jan 01 - 10:41 PM

And it doesn't cost a thing! Good for you and for her! I've noticed elderly people, esp., are usually surprised and very pleased when I go out of my way to meet their eyes and smile. I almost always get a smile in return and it just lights up their faces. Makes my heart chakra light up bigtime!

thanks, guest for this thread

kat


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Subject: RE: I saw a woman smiling
From: GUEST,bflat
Date: 26 Jan 01 - 10:50 PM

You are so right. My grandson since he was around three greets everybody with a friendly hello and conversation of some sort; often sticks his hand out for a shake. He developed this style on his own and at seven is still doing it. Takes some people aback but most folks chuckle and respond in a friendly manner. Adults love it and other kids don't know what to make of it. But, he persists until he gets a response. He is so upbeat. I am grinning as I write this because my minds'eye can see him doing his thing.

Ellen


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Subject: RE: I saw a woman smiling
From: Allan C.
Date: 26 Jan 01 - 11:24 PM

I'm happy to say that I have been dating that woman for nine wonderful years!


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Subject: RE: I saw a woman smiling
From: Hollowfox
Date: 27 Jan 01 - 11:49 AM

When I'm paying for something and the cashier says "Have a nice day.", I reply "This will certainly help!" It lightens their day to have someone remember that what they're doing really does make a customer's day better.


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Subject: RE: I saw a woman smiling
From: SINSULL
Date: 27 Jan 01 - 12:59 PM

If you really want to freak someone out, ask the man or lady at the toll booth "How are you?" with a smile. It has to be the worst job in the world.

I make it a policy to compliment children - "You have the prettiest hair", "That is a great jacket." Always a sincere observation. Brightens them right up and Mom too. Or just take a look at a child and smile at Mom. Says it all.

People "know" me where ever I go in my neighborhood or where I work because I always smile and say "Hi!" There's an ongoing feud between the people in my office and a repair shop across the street over parking. But all the men who work there wish me a "Good morning", ask about my family...It is so much easier to be friendly than to scowl and act superior. Treat people with respect an friendship and they respond.
On the other hand there is our mailman...


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Subject: RE: I saw a woman smiling
From: Allan C.
Date: 27 Jan 01 - 01:23 PM

Whenever someone delivers the semi-automatic, "Have a nice day!", I always respond with, "I promise!". I really mean it when I say it. But it also, I think, might cause them to think about what they have just said. Perhaps, next time, they might really meant it.


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Subject: RE: I saw a woman smiling
From: Little Hawk
Date: 27 Jan 01 - 03:20 PM

Ah, well, this is good stuff! I will just have to try a bit harder, cos I've been somewhat cheerless lately. Must be the post-Christams blues. Thanks for posting this reminder!

- LH


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Subject: RE: I saw a woman smiling
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 27 Jan 01 - 03:37 PM

What I like is shop assistants who are on your side, rather than the companies. Complain about something and they say "Loads of complaints about those, they're rubbish. Have you tried the Pound Shop to see if they've got something better?"

We get quite a lot of that in Harlow. We call it the Harlow Effect, and it drives the management barmy.


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Subject: RE: I saw a woman smiling
From: NightWing
Date: 27 Jan 01 - 03:47 PM

I'm generally that way too. I have a slight tendency to get preoccupied by things, but most of the time I'm the guy who smiles at the others at the bus stop and greets people as I'm walking home.

Been riding the bus here in Denver for over ten years (haven't owned a car for that period). When I started riding the bus, I started saying, "Thanks" to the bus drivers as I got off. NOBODY ever did that before; I got a few odd stares when I started doing it. Now most everyone in the city thanks the drivers as they get off. Odd thing, too. A few months ago the Denver Post published a study. Claimed that employees of Denver's RTD (Regional Transportation District, the bus and light rail people) had an incredibly high level of job satisfaction. The most common reasons? "Most of my contacts with our riders are very positive." "I like the people who ride my busses."

Don't know whether it's valid or not, but I take great pride in that. *S*

BB,
NightWing

P.S. So who's that grumpy BEAR that comes OUT of his apartment every morning? *LOL*


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Subject: RE: I saw a woman smiling
From: R!
Date: 27 Jan 01 - 05:24 PM

True story: Over twenty years ago my husband and I were walking through the mall. Across the corridor, coming toward us was a family. Mum and daughter had matching dresses; Dad and son had matching shirts - all with a made-with-loving-hands-at-home look, and outdated, to boot. To me they looked as though they had stepped out of their Levittown tract home in 1950 and time travelled to the mall. Everyone was clean and well-brushed but it was apparent that money was scarce. My old china spied them also. He walked over to the father and said "Excuse me, sir, but I'd like to tell you what a fine looking family you have." Dad smiled, straightened, and puffed out his chest. Mum glowed. I was so ashamed of myself for thinking as I had. My husband saw an opportunity to be kind - he did think they were a handsome family - that I missed. Since then, I've always tried to smile, make eye contact, say something positive or friendly. It makes a difference to that person and to you.

Reen


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Subject: RE: I saw a woman smiling
From: Matt_R
Date: 27 Jan 01 - 06:11 PM

I woman smiled at you? You lucky dog!


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Subject: RE: I saw a woman smiling
From: GUEST,John Gray/Australia
Date: 27 Jan 01 - 06:15 PM

Yeah, I love to have a chat with people in malls, supermarkets, in the street and, believe it or not, the sanctum of silence - the doctor's waiting room. My boys were always saying - under their breath - dad, don't do this, you're embarrassing us.

FME / JG


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Subject: RE: I saw a woman smiling
From: Matt_R
Date: 27 Jan 01 - 06:22 PM

I'm too shy and neverous. I never talk to people unless I have too. But I do smile. Sometimes.


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Subject: RE: I saw a woman smiling
From: SINSULL
Date: 27 Jan 01 - 06:48 PM

This past summer on a subway train packed with sweaty tired people, so packed you couldn't fall down if you tried, I and thousands of others were horrified when the train stopped between stations and sat. The conductor announced a medical emergency on the train ahead which in MTA terms means a minimum half hour delay. Amid the grumblings, cursing, etc. I announced "You have all died and gone to hell! Deal with it!" There was instant laughter, several translations for the non-English speaking, and then, miracle of miracles, conversation and commiseration. i was very pleased with myself.


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Subject: RE: I saw a woman smiling
From: Jeri
Date: 27 Jan 01 - 07:24 PM

SINSULL - good one!

My Mom was always embarassing me when I was a kid by talking to complete strangers. Once, she had surgery for something, and I could never find her when I went to visit because she'd be in someone else's room chatting.

I might have posted this before, but she was in the hospital for a long while before she died. There was a cleaning woman who would always switch her O2 over from mask to nose thingies and move her meal tray to her bed so she could eat. The day after my Mom died, I made a point of finding that woman and telling her how much I and my Mom had appreciated her help. I told her my Mom had said that she'd done more to help than any of the doctors or nurses on that floor. I don't think she had a clue how much what she did mattered, or that anyone even noticed.

I was in rush hour traffic in DC and bumped the truck in front of me. I sat stuck there, and watched as the driver got out and strode purposefully toward me, checking for damage on the way. I rolled down the window expecting to get yelled at at the very least. He smiled, and asked if I was OK. There were no dings or dents, he said, but he wanted to make sure I hadn't been hurt.


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Subject: RE: I saw a woman smiling
From: katlaughing
Date: 28 Jan 01 - 12:06 AM

This reminds me of that old song, don't know the name, but some of the words were "just let a smile be your umbrella"

When I was a very young mother, married to a very young man who told me how "short, fat and dumpy" I was, everyday (at 110lbs dripping wet), I was kneeling by a box stocking shelves at work one day. Two old ladies came by and I looked up and they caught my eye. One of them laid her hand on the other's and said, "Oh, my dear, just look at that beautiful child's smile. Isn't she just beautiful?" It took me a minute to realise she was talking about me. I like to think I started not believing my husband that day and had the courage to get away from him a few years later.

Smiles are contagious and completely free. They make great givaways and can have lasting effects!

kat


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Subject: RE: I saw a woman smiling
From: Susan from California
Date: 28 Jan 01 - 05:43 PM

To move this in the direction of music, there's a great song by Joan Baez called "Hello In There" that is about the importance of connecting with people in small ways, maybe by just saying hello.


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Subject: RE: I saw a woman smiling
From: Jeri
Date: 28 Jan 01 - 06:08 PM

Actually, it's by John Prine - here. Great song!


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Subject: RE: I saw a woman smiling
From: Susan from California
Date: 28 Jan 01 - 08:31 PM

OOOPS! I guess I remember hearing the Baez version, my apologies to Mr. Prine!


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Subject: RE: I saw a woman smiling
From: Rick Fielding
Date: 28 Jan 01 - 10:26 PM

I've always talked to folks in public places, and when I see someone go beyond the call of duty simply because they enjoy it, I always let them know it's appreciated. Outside selected environments I'm still pretty shy, but making the effort, makes ME feel optimistic about tomorrow. The posts here have been very gratifying.

Hello in there is one of my all time favourite songs. Brilliantly written.

Rick


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Subject: RE: I saw a woman smiling
From: mkebenn
Date: 28 Jan 01 - 11:09 PM

SomeOne said"Treat others like you'd like to be treated", or something like that. I'm not much of a talker, but I'm quick with a smile, I have patience with people less physicaly fortunate than I, and I open the door for all females and anyone over seventy. Funny, sometimes people are surprised. Mike


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Subject: RE: I saw a woman smiling
From: mkebenn
Date: 29 Jan 01 - 06:16 AM

refresh


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Subject: RE: I saw a woman smiling
From: GUEST,Fibula Mattock
Date: 29 Jan 01 - 07:02 AM

Now I've had a nice encounter today. I went to the bank to lodge a cheque, and because my usual bank account is in Northern Ireland I normally have to pay a 2 quid lodgement fee as there are no branches of my bank over here in Bristol. I went up and explained that I needed to lodge the cheque and the young fella behind the counter said "oh yes, I remember you from last time. How did we sort this out for you then?" I replied that I paid a 2 pound fee, and he smiled and said "Oh never worry about that", took the cheque and lodged it and wished me goodbye with a smile. No fee. Happy customer! THANK YOU NICE BANK GUY!


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Subject: RE: I saw a woman smiling
From: Bardford
Date: 29 Jan 01 - 10:14 AM

Isn't it lovelerly how important the small, simple gestures can be. The reference to the John Prine song reminded me of a time when I was a volunteer on a geriatric psychology ward. I was assigned to be a companion to a couple of old gentlemen whose families weren't nearby. There was a woman on the unit who spent her entire waking day saying "wah" (..no, hold your head like this and go 'wah'..)The staff would wheel her over to an isolated hallway where she would sit by herself and say "wah", as the world passed her staring, vacant eyes. I don't know how many times I walked past her, embarrssed and sad for her, and ashamed at my shyness and inadequacy to help. One day, and I don't know if I'd been listening to the Prine song around that time or not, I stopped, and said "Hello" to her. She stopped saying "wah", looked me in the eye, and said "hello" right back. Then back to "wah". Made my day.
Here's a line from 'Friends' - the Led Zeppelin song, not the TV show:

Mmm, I'm telling you now, The greatest thing you ever can do now,
Is trade a smile with someone who's blue now, It's very easy just...

Cheers, Bardford


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