Just Because I’m Smiling

Hello dear reader(s)!

I bet you thought this was going to continue with something like, “…doesn’t mean I am happy.” Or some other quote you have probable seen on Facebook a million times about hiding how hurt poor little you are and that you are faking it.  But it’s not.  Because to those I say, “So you’re a drama (non-gender specific royalty member) AND a liar?  Goodie for you!”

Nope, not this kind of post.  And hopefully, not ever.  If I write a post along those lines, please have me committed as I am obviously a danger to myself and everyone who might be unfortunate enough to read that kind of crap.

This particular post, if it pleases you people, is about what happens when a happy person ventures out into the world of unhappy and/or conceited people.  And all it takes is a smile.

I’m in my late 30’s.  My wife is in her early 30’s.  We go out together.  Generally, if I am in public, (at this stage in my recovery), she is likely close by.  Sometimes, I’m just glad to be out of the house.  I am usually (especially on days I am able to get out) happy to be alive and I show it.  How do I show it?  By smiling.

Now I don’t go around with a creepy serial-killer wide smile of all my not-so-pearly whites, but generally, the corners of my mouth are at an upturned angle and you might see the bottom and top of a tooth or two as I walk along.  It is kind of a natural reaction over the simple fact that I am happy to be above ground.

You would think I am some sort of side-show freak with the reactions that I get.  I smile.  Gasp!  Shock!  Horror!

So to finish the title, it is, “Just Because I’m Smiling, Does Not Mean I Am Smiling At You.!”

Get over yourselves!  I am happy with my wife.  I smile.  I’m not hitting on you, flirting with you, trying to come on to you.  You are what, 17?  18?  87?  No.  Just no.  Can’t a person just be happy without you thinking that someone is going to offer you candy from their no-windowed Chevy Van?  Can’t a person try to spread a little cheer without you needing to run and hide behind the old lady in the motorized shopping cart.  And no, old lady in the motorized shopping cart, I’m not hitting on you either.

Have women been so harassed that every friendly person becomes a creeper?  I’m not trying to fondle people’s feet, I’m not asking them for hugs, I’m walking by and smiling.  I don’t even turn my head as I pass.

And it isn’t just women.

The other day I was out of coffee supplies at home.  Desperate, I drove to a local drive-though (Thru, for ‘Mercans) coffee shop to get a triple shot, coconut milk, no whip, white mocha.  Having been a barista in a past life, I knew the ordering order of this shop and seemed to make an impression.  When I got to the window I was friendly (as I always am with people who have to deal with people for a living) and made a couple jokes with the young man (and we’re talking young) who was taking my money in exchange for my coffee.  As we were waiting on it, the young man begins making small-talk with me.  I talk back, because I am always friendly and there isn’t anything else to do while waiting.  I’m chalking up this experience to good customer service.  At first…

Then he starts to talk about how him and his friends love to go out dancing.  “Do you dance?”

“Uh, no.”

“Oh that’s too bad, because you could totally come out with us.”

“No, I can barely get in and out of this car.  And I don’t really go out.  (Doing my best to draw attention to my wedding ring.)  But I appreciate the offer.”


And then there was the girl who liked to molest my scalp.  Let me take you back.  Do the wavy flashback thing if it helps you get in the right frame of mind.

It was 2010…probably.  I didn’t have the cancer BS going on, and, consequently, still had hair that needed to be cut.  I was in luck.  My wife’s uncle did hair and was one of the best in the business.  Likely still is.  Anyway, I was in need of a hair cut and he offered to give me a professional haircut without the professional price.  (I mean the kind where he can do the fading without electric clippers, professional.)  There was only one problem.  The hair washing girl.

I’ve had my hair shampooed many, many times, but this girl (and I say girl because she was at least 10 years my junior, and acted like one) would stroke my scalp like a catholic priest would stroke an (nah, just kidding, too easy.)  Then she would find whatever excuse she could to lean over me.  It was awful.  I told my wife I didn’t want to go back without her and made her watch so I wasn’t scalp-raped.  And while my wife was watching?  No scalp rape.  Totally professional.  As soon as my wife went outside to sit in the sun?  Right back to the scalp fondling.

I finally stopped being nice to her at all, and even scowled at her.  Eventually, I started getting sick and the haircuts were no more.  Now, I’m not going to say there is a bright side to cancer, because I have written a million times about that bullshit belief.  However, I’m not sure which was more uncomfortable, the chemo, or the scalp molestation.

So remember ladies and gentleman, friendly does not necessarily mean interested!  And also remember to ask before you attempt to get sexual gratification from someone’s scalp.


Author: Josh Wrenn

Cancer survivor, wanna-be artist, musician, author, and all around good guy.

38 thoughts on “Just Because I’m Smiling”

  1. I get told to smile a lot, which I find hilarious since it’s recently become one of the pet peeves of certain vocal online ideological groups.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I call them “neo-feminists” (because I know feminists who aren’t pearl-clutching man haters). They’re the same ones who spend their time online ranting about things like “manspreading” and “mansplaining”. According to them, a man telling a woman to smile is benevolent sexism and a textbook example of a micro-aggression.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is why I avoid making eye contact with and smiling at people. I don’t want them to think I’m hot to trot.

    The hair girl is just creepy. I know a lot of guys who would eat that up, but my husband said the same thing after he got a face full (while my son and I were present, no less).

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That sexy scalp…just kidding. Wow, that was, awkward. Um…

    This reminds me of the time my married coworker from my former job would drop me off from work because we lived five minutes away from each other and I didn’t have a car. So it was really no big deal to pick me up and drop me off. I live with a bunch of girls, some who are younger than me. I remember this 18 and 19-year-old who came walking from the local restaurant with their styrofoam to-go boxes and one of them actually kicked her foot up in the air and winked at my coworker. I got out of the car and when I went inside, the two girls asked me:

    “Is that your coworker?”

    Me: “Yeah. Why?”

    “He’s HOT!”

    Me: “He’s 37.”

    “Dayum. You should shag him!” (Note that I live in San Antonio, TX. I think “shag” may be one of those words that’s trendily used among high school seniors and college freshmen).

    Me: “He’s a married man.”


    Me: “So, what? He’s a married man. And he’s old. And grody.” (I was trying to redirect the conversation)

    “He is NOT grody. And being married doesn’t mean anything. Ask his wife. Maybe she likes three-ways.”

    Me: “I don’t think she likes three-ways.”

    “How do you know? Have you asked?”

    Me: “No.”

    “WHY NOT?”

    Me: “Because…that’s awkward. And he’s an old man.”

    I told my coworker. Then he asked me how old the girls were. I told him “18 and 19.” He spat out his coffee. Yeah.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Today I learned that all married couples are down for an extra buddy. But you’ve gotta ask the wife first. Wow. They went on to say my coworker looked just like the dude from Dawson’s Creek. Apparently watching shows from the 1990s is popular among people six to eight years younger than me.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. OMG, I’m laughing so hard that my husband wants to know what I’m laughing at, and all I can say is “It’s too much, you’d hafta read it!”
    Sorry about your scalp rape.
    Yes, women are so often taken from smile to “Why don’t you want to [commit questionably sexy acts with me] that we tend to be wary of smiles.
    Thank you for the laughter 😀

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Launching a new site can be hard. Just keep up the posts with these, or maybe copy and paste a recipe and make sure to link to the new site to follow more, give it some time, and you’ll have followers before you know it.


  5. The shampoo girl is weird, no doubt. I smile at everyone I pass, but most people nowadays just avert their eyes, or are looking at their telephones, which makes me want to stick my foot and trip them. But I hold back. I am friendly to everyone too, but it seems as I get older, people don’t seem to take it for anymore than it is. Pooh on all of them I say, if they want to clomp around all day staring at their phones and being generally bad-tempered, let them wallow in their own misery. They are not bringing me down with them. I’m with you on this one. I am going to walk down the street, listen to the birds, look at the trees and flowers and be happy. Because I like being happy, it makes everything in the world seem so much better. Life is great!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Maybe I’m weird but I’ve never been able to understand what the big deal is. People smile at me, I smile back. Being scalp molested when you’re wearing a wedding ring – nay, when your wife leaves the room – is beyond rude. I can only think she’s one of those sorts of girls who screams sexual harassment when someone who she’s not attracted to smiles at her…
    Full circle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She may be, who knows. I did later find out that she asked my wife’s Uncle about me and he was instantly…yeah…he’s dating my daughter. (at that time, we weren’t married.) Showing the wedding ring was only possible at my final haircut there. So yeah, I wonder if she’d be complaining about some guy making eyes at her while she had to shampoo his hair.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I can relate to this 🙂 I smile at people in general. I’m always polite to any customer service people because I’ve worked all those jobs and know how it it to deal with the public. I work at the mall and my coworkers laugh at me because I know everyone…..even the custodial staff and security guards by name. But I do get the occasional guy that seems to think I’m in love with him because I smile and love to laugh…..le sigh.
    Great post as usual!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think if more people smiled and laughed just because, or if things were funny, then maybe we’d run into less of these issues because it would be normal. Maybe right now the only time people smile and laugh is when they are flirting. Who knows?

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Glad to see you smiling. I know how you feel! I hate smiling sometimes because people see that as an invitation when I’m just being nice. I can relate to the barista moment because I have been a barista myself for the past 4 years and I hear all sorts of stories and some just be told from me asking “hey, how are you?” But smiling helps them too, nonetheless. The woman in the salon crossed boundaries and that must have been weird. Good post! 🙂 Happy Easter!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I saw a meme on fb today that made me think of this. It showed a picture of a guy holding a door open for a lady and it said, ” being polite is so unusual these days it is oftem mistaken for flirting”
    keep smiling!

    Liked by 1 person

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