Thursday, January 20, 2011

Smile! Yuch!

I know I am going to rot in hell for this post - I do not like to use the plight of homeless people for entertainment in any way. But maybe it is the stress of my dental cleaning from earlier today that has made me just HAVE to write about this.

There is one homeless man that I have been seeing on the subways for years and years and years... he has outlived relatives and friends of mine,. Yes, it has been that long. And, if I had to pick one of the subway homeless who bothers the hell out of me, it is him. Maybe you have seen him? I will call him Mr. "Smile." He's the one who goes up and down the subway train politely suggesting that "if you can't give a little something, at least give a little smile!!" Boy oh boy, does he annoy me.

I have absolutely no problem with giving a little something to homeless people. I don't do it on the subway, because it happens to be illegal to panhandle on the subway so I don't want to do my share to encourage illegal behavior. I do happily give to homeless people I see on the street all the time. I've had friends exclaim to me in shock - "You shouldn't do that!! They're just going to use it to get drunk!!!" Yea? How do you know? If a penny of it goes towards a crumb of food that they need, then I have done my job as a fellow human being. After all, it's not their fault they are homeless. Who in their right mind would be homeless if they could help it??

But, now back to Mr. "Smile." I do not like to be told how to act, either by a stranger like you, or even the closest friend or family member. If I choose to frown, I shall. In fact, I have a lot of trouble smiling on demand even when I have to pose for pictures. In photos where the photographer tells me to smile, I usually end up with a half smile, half twitch -- kind of like I am recovering from a mild stroke.

So, Mr. "Smile," your suggestion to me that I look up from my magazine or whatever I'm doing on the subway, and give you a big toothy grin from ear to ear, will actually backfire and result in me just tensing up and frowning even more and then burying my head in my chest deeper.

Now, if something is funny, or someone did something nice for me or for someone else, I smile. It doesn't even take a thought, it just happens. Why? I have no idea. It's one of God's little gifts to us humans, I suppose.

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