Tag Archives: smiling

What do you think?

This is a story I read someplace years ago.   Because I remember it twenty or thirty years later, it obviously made a great impression on me.

“I was in a grocery store” a woman wrote.  “Pushing the cart around when a lady approached me and said, ‘Cheer up!  You look so sad.  Nothing can be that bad.’   I watched her bustle away as tears rolled down my cheeks.   My son had died four days earlier.  This was the first time I’d gone shopping and not bought  his favorite foods.”

Another story.  The writer had been diagnosed with a serious but not immediately fatal disease.  The first time she attended a support group for people with this diagnosis, she listened for a few minutes, then stood and said, “You’re all so depressed and depressing.  I’m not going to allow this to ruin my life.   You have to learn to  get over this.”  I didn’t read any more of the book.

What do you think about these stories?  I’m going to give you a few minutes to think.  Then, as usual, I’m going to give my opinion.


Okay, here are my thoughts.   There are people who believe we should be smiling all the time.  These people may have a mental condition or they may just be thoughtless and insensitive.   Normal people grieve.  Normal people don’t smile all the time.  Normal people are often in a blanced mood, neither up or down.  Normal people don’t tell others how they should feel without knowing their histories–or, even if they do know their backgrounds.  It’s not a bit hlepful.

With the second story, I truly believe the writer thought she’d sent a good and optimistic message to that group.  She hadn’t.   Any time we’re diagnosed with an illness, it’s unsettling.  Joining a support group is a healthy  step.  I have the same disease this writer had and learned a great deal in the support group I attended.   I wonder if the seriousness of this problem ever hit this woman or if she’s lived in constant denial.

My ultimate thought is that we love and support others.  We don’t judge others because we do not know what others are experiencing.  One of my favorite quotes is about:  Be kind because everyone you meet is facing a hard battle.

Why are these women so happy?

When I was looking for clip art of a woman cleaning a stove for my last blog, I discovered that, by and large, most of the photos which feature women cleaning show really happy smiling women doing a multitude of chores.  Cleaning a toilet has never made me as happy as the woman on the left.  In fact, I can’t think of a time when I beamed at the toilet brush.

Nor have I ever danced and sung with the mop.  

My thought is that I’m not doing housekeeping correctly.   I don’t smile while cleaning.  I have always considered it a chore, one to be approached only when one cannot get through the hallway or the odor threatens to asfixiate all inhabitants.   Although I don’t hate loading the dishwasher and hate washing clothes less than that, I cannot think of a single household chore I like–much less one that makes me smile or dance.  In fact, about the only way I get through them is by having the television on so I don’t have to notice I’m cleaning

Which brings me to this question:  what do you do to make housekeeping fun?   I mean, while sober.   

Thank you.