Grandma Says..

Observations and views from a different set of eyes

Slapping On A Smile

on April 4, 2013

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I’ll share a little secret with you.  I have a secret weapon, one that’s easy to carry and you can whip it out and use it on that person who’s getting on your last nerve.  It’s a simple smile!

Yeah, yeah, you might think that someone with a name like “Cranky” ( or, some of my readers call me “Cranky Pants”) you wouldn’t think I even knew what a smile was.  But, I smile…I smile a lot!  Because smiling keeps me from being arrested for battery when someone tries to get my goat.

It confuses them, it confounds them, and it stops them in their tracks.  Most people are defenseless against my simple little weapon.  It leaves them speechless, defenseless and they soon pack up and leave me the hell alone.

I don’t know if they think I’m crazy for smiling at their insults or their efforts to dampen my day; I really don’t care.  I love the dazed looks on their face when they realize they can’t get to me while I’m wearing my smile armor.  Defeated, they’ll wander off on another subject or go find another victim for their crappy attitudes.  I just wave good-bye and smile a little brighter as I do.

I know it’s hard not to rise up to the challenge of verbally knocking the stuffing out of someone who seems intent on dragging you down to their level of bitterness.  Misery loves company, they say.  Well, my smile sends them a message that they should take their company down the road; I’m invincible…I’ve got a smile!

It’s Snowbird Season here; packed with out-of-towners.  They congest our traffic; crowd our beaches and edge us out of our favorite restaurants.  They also spend a lot of money while they’re here; money that this state needs to survive.  Residents here tend to forget that; they take the opportunity to gripe loudly about how they want these interlopers to leave..and they do so loudly!

Yesterday, I traipsed off to Wally World to pick up a few things.  I knew the parking lot would be full and the lines long; I knew that this would not be a quick in and out caper.  But, like ninety-nine percent of the retirees that live in Florida; my time is flexible.  Except for tee-times, doctor’s appointments and that all important cocktail hour that most retirees here revere, we really don’t have to be anywhere at any specific time.

So, of course, I was standing in line behind a woman, with a full basket and a frown on her face.

“Don’t they have any more open registers?” she complained to her husband.  When he shook his head, I thought, here we go.  The husband wisely wandered off to check out the magazines.  I just stood silently holding my two small items, knowing there was no chance of this witch letting me get ahead of her.

The woman turned to me and started to complain about the store, the lack of people to man the registers and those awful snowbirds.  I instantly slapped on a smile.

At first, I believe she thought I was agreeing with her by smiling.  But, I spoke not a word…just smiled.  She faltered, she turned around and shut the hell up.  Without an audience, these people are reduced to muttering their rants to themselves until they reach a poor hapless clerk.

And, yes, the whole line was treated to having this women repeat all her complaints to the girl behind the register, but, she seemed to have lost some steam.  She kept casting quick looks at the crazy woman behind her, smiling to beat the band.

I could have been sucked into the abyss of misery this woman laid before me.  I could have told her that her complaints were petty, insulting to our visitors and suggest she take her complaints to someone who gave a damn.

I also could have told her I had noticed her husband’s Construction Company Logo on his tee-shirt and ask her what would his business would be like without the snowbird’s influx of money.

But, to do so would risk the “Cat Fight in Aisle 3” announcement over the PA system, so I used my secret weapon and eventually she got out of the store and out of my life. When I reached the girl behind the counter, I gave her a sincere, heartfelt sympathetic smile and wished her a great day on my way out.

So, the next time someone is stepping on that last nerve; just slap a smile on your face and watch what happens!  That smile just might turn into a chuckle when they go running for the hills!

Just saying!

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21 responses to “Slapping On A Smile

  1. sheilamariegrimes says:

    Smiles are just frowns turned upside! Thanks for the post!

  2. btg5885 says:

    I love your comment about not giving an audience and just smiling. You did not take the bait and you can swim freely and happily. Well done, BTG

    PS – I must tell you a story my wife just did. She was being tailgated for by a truck who followed her into a grocery store lot. The guy got out and went in the store in a huff and hurry. My wife ends up behind him in line where he is buying cigarettes. He is 11 cents short and says “I will run out to the truck and get some change.” My wife hearing all this, said “I got this and paid the 11 cents.” When he thanked her, she said “but next time stay off my ass.” He apologized and said he was craving nicotine. My wife took a chance, but had the upper hand having paid his remaining bill. That 11 cents was priceless.

  3. ericaatje says:

    Beautiful!!! Let’s smile at the world and make the world smile back!
    I’ve lived at Mallorca (Spain) several years ago and there I learned being relaxed, manana, manana… When people go in line at a register in a supermarket, they simple go to the one where the aisle ends. They don’t mind other rows are smaller or longer, they just go stand in line…

    • When I moved to Florida, I too expected a slow, easygoing lifestyle would be enjoyed by all. These people are always in a rush to go nowhere! So, I just bring my smile!

      • ericaatje says:

        That’s what I do too! I don’t mind the wait. Everyone’s got to pay in the end… 😉 And when I go grocery-shopping, to the doctor or somewhere else, I know it can take more of my time, so I plan this in. I’m always too early… with a smile.
        At the doctor’s too, people complain about the time they have to wait. I always think about the time I’m going to spend at the doctor’s, she always takes her time and listens to you and that’s the important thing. So I don’t mind to wait… 😉

  4. kerbey says:

    Kill them with kindness! The only way to sink down to that level is to rise above.

  5. mcwoman says:

    You are a wise woman! I’m glad I found your blog.

  6. Bastet says:

    Very wise indeed…smiling has always been my favorite weapon, and a way to put an aura of good humor around me…thanks for the fine post.

  7. barbtaub says:

    My favorite smile is the one I give to Mr. RoadRage. As he’s offering me the finger, I ramp up the smile wattage and wave as if I think he’s saying hello. None of them has actually shot me. Yet.

  8. mummyshymz says:

    Loved this. A smile holds so much power!

  9. Sallyann says:

    My Dad always says “keep smiling ~ it makes people wonder what you’ve been up to !”

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