You may not know this about me but I’m a really friendly guy. I might not always wear a smile on my face but I like to smile when I pass people in the hall at work, in the supermarket; pretty much any time or setting I do my best to portray a happy disposition.
And I get angry when people don’t reciprocate. And then I get nasty…In my head because I still dont’ want to offend you by saying what’s really on my mind. At least that happens most of the time. Sometimes I just can’t help myself.
It’s like, “Hey lady, I just wasted a smile on you. What can you give me in return?”
Of course soon after I think the world owes me a warm and fuzzy (not figuratively of course because that would be incredibly uncomfortable and gross), I catch myself and step back long enough to realize that I’m being stupid. Because really, I’m not the type who goes out of my way to help someone so that I can get something in return, so why should I expect everyone to smile when I smile at them?
Some people like when I smile. Other’s think I’m weird. I’ve also learned that its not healthy to smile at kids on the playground because mom’s have 911 programmed on speed-dial in their cell phones in case strange men like me smile at their kids. Men think its especially awkward when I smile at them. I don’t have to explain why.
I get the same reaction when I open the door for someone. Once I opened the door for a woman at the store and she told me she could open the door herself. My first thought was, “How about I let you walk through half way and let me slam your head between the doorjamb and the door and you can tell me how to open it?” But common sense prevailed, I smiled and walked away.
We were at a family gathering in Lava Hot Springs recently and I put out my hand to help a lady navigate down a slippery slope. She stared at my hand like it was diseased (maybe it was) and proceeded to sit down on the dirt and slide down on her butt. Sad for me (and her butt) and for being neighborly.
Someone once said that “chivalry is dead.” I never understood that when I was a kid and now that I’m older, I understand it completely. The world is so suspicious of our collective and individual motivations. We live in a world where we are quick to judge the motives of others. We often ask the question, “Why are you doing this,” when someone does a good deed and sadly we’ve been conditioned to think these things because there are people out there who do things with undertones.
My parents taught me right. We treat females like ladies (even when they refuse to be treated like one), we serve and help the elderly; we seek out those in need and we share one another’s burdens. That’s what our parents insisted on in our home and it is what I strive to do daily.