The Pointed Circle
The Double Standard of a Smile
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We all have moments in our lives where we have to put on a “good face”; suck it up. I would say we women more than men but as I think about it men probably more so. From such an early age boys are taught not to be a punk. Apparently, some did not pay attention during that lesson [blank stare]. What? Okay, so I deviated a little bit from what I was saying [I digressed]. But we women [well] to show strength we are taught that we have to hide emotion, push through, persevere and not shed a tear. We are mothers, wives, boss chicks, pillars, and rocks. We hide our emotions at work. We hide our emotions at home. We hide our emotions with our mate. We hide our emotions with our friends. We become masters of the “hide”. If we do not cloak our sadness, disappointment, anger or frustrations we are labeled. And what are we labeled you ask? Well, that is an easy one. Emotional [teeth suck]. The fact of the matter is that we are [emotional] but at the end of the day nobody likes a cry baby. So what to do? What to do [sigh]? I guess we will just smile through it; fake it ’till we make it.
Of course I refuse to go into great details but I want to share that I was hit hard with some news last week that crushed my inner being. It ripped my heart out at the core. It threatened happiness as I knew it. It [pause] – you get my drift. Well, maybe it did not do all that but it actually kept me in bed for almost a whole half a night and half a day; crying. Yes! I cry [lip curl]. Now do not go getting all up in arms and ready to beat somebody into a pulp because your favorite blogger [that would be me] was having a pity party at the hands of another. Even though that might make me feel much better I know that the disappointment I felt that stemmed from realizing that I thought I meant more to someone than what I actually did. I thought I was a friend and they proved that I am just someone they knew and would occasionally use. See [there] again, I got mixed-up and gave someone much more weight than they deserved on my scale of friendship. Let me just side track and say living life in your forties are a mutha’. I heard it a lot from my predecessors but now that I am in them [my forties] I, in the words of the infamous Johnny Nash, can see clearly now the rain is gone. Those obstacles in my way? Yeah, I am steam rolling those. Bye bitches! Nothing is worse than thinking that someone purposely used you or only has time to be your “friend’ when they have a use. But tsk tsk, my dear friend, you forgot to put on your poker face so now I know the cards that you have in your hand. As luck would have it, the grapevine decided to be my ally. What the vine is spewing it that stuff that will make an emotional chick snap out and burn your whole mutha effin’ house the eff down. Whew! So glad that is not me; all high strung and what not [blank stare]. But on the real, hurt and disappointment comes from a much deeper place of thinking that someone who you shared some of your greatest life’s moments with genuinely had respect for you and you find out they do not. For almost twenty years you have been in each others circle in unimaginable ways; platonically building each other up, making choices, making decisions, communicating on a whole different level – one that I can not put into words for you readers. All that, only to show when the most major decisions you can make in life that you would not even have the decency to share that with the person who you share seed with or better yet just talked to yesterday. Maybe you forgot. The bottom line was hearing secondary information sent my emotions into a whirlwind. I thought I deserved it first hand just because we were supposed to be “like that”; friends. So I cried. I processed. I cried. I compartmentalized. I cried. I sucked it up. I went to Atlantic City. What? Gambling is my closest friend next to food [side eye].
So as I am looking rather well put together, footloose and fancy free but I am still kinda’ reeling inside. I am smiling through though; as I have been taught to do. Who taught me this Tom Foolery? Anyhoo, that matters not. So I warn, lady at the drive though who is treating me like its my fault that you hate your job you might want to appreciate this smile I’m giving you before I bash your friggin face in with the french fry bag. What? Like you have not had that experience [lip curl]. Or guy who is riding my ass up the Atlantic City Expressway you just might want to go around in your nice shiny BMW that is obviously much faster than my not so shiny Pontiac Vibe. The fact of the matter is if you ram into me because I stop this fake ass smiling and throw on my brakes because your are irking me not only will we probably both die but if we don’t [die that is] I am liable to pull your esophagus out of your throat with my teeth and feed it to the deer that are lurking in the trees waiting to jump out in front me [us] at any minute. Too much [wide eyes]? On a sidebar convo, BMW zoomed around me and got a ticket a mile up. Shout out to the New Jersey State Police! Dude that is texting me pictures of your [well, you know] manhood [if you will] stop! You can not see me pretending to smile and you also can not see me pretending not to laugh. I am in no mood for shenanigans. The woman who is rolling her eyes at me because her man decided to give me the once over; stop. I smiled and said hello because it was simply common courtesy. But if you roll your eyes at me one more time you might find out that courtesy is not common over here in these parts; especially if I stop smiling. To the intoxicated Raiders fan chick who kept yelling the Eagles suck at the bar while the Cowboys where beating us on our home field be glad you picked a fight with the woman next to you and not me two seats over. ‘Cause while I am mucking it up with strangers, my new found compadres, and getting into my sports groove this smile is a charade. You’ll think your coming for the happy go lucky easy target and boom bap boom you’ll be laid out like a pancake. This may be Atlantic City but without this smile I am the real Philly fan that you read about. I mean, who is a Raiders fan anyway? I say all that to say I am smiling but do not, under any circumstances, let that fool you. Typically, people do. You have heard the saying, “they caught it for everything that was going on in my life.” Yep, I bet the person who said that initially was smiling.
The lesson here today people? There are two types of smiles. There are the genuinely created smiles and then there are those that [well] we have to work on. I think you get it. We all have things that create disappointments, frustrations, anger and so on and so forth; emotional pains. Socially we are groomed to mask many of these feeling with a smile. Smiles can be confusing. They [smiles] are not always indicators that everything is okay. Often they are the precursor to such. We smile through. We push through. We get there. Nobody is happy 100% of the time. That person just does not exist regardless of their outward emotion. The danger is that regardless of one’s inner emotion one can chose to wear a smile the majority of the time. It is a socially acceptable choice but is often taken for granted. Hear me on this! As the perceived “happy go lucky” and “give peace a chance” guru I have had plenty of folks mistake my smile for character weakness. People tend to think I do not get angry. People tend to think I am controlled and even tempered. Many think I am laid back. Generally I fit the bill to all those things but I ask you, what smile are you getting from me today? Do you know? Exactly! I chose to smile through my perceived wrongs and considered bull-malarky but on what day or moment does that happen. You do not know? Well, not only is this the case with me but it is the case with others; maybe even you. Let us all take a moment of silence and appreciate the smile; the smilers. If someone smiles at you smile back. Be nice to those who smile at you. Be cognizant that while one can not chose how they feel they can chose how they carry that emotion with them. I [again] fake it till I make it. Life is too short to dwell. On any given day my smile may be a prelude to a better day and so might be yours. But, errrrrr ummmm, on any given [other] day my smile can be a prelude to a not so good day; if you take it for granted. See, its a unspoken double standard; pun intended.