Thursday, 13 October 2011

Say Cheese!

Thursday?  Check.

Morning? Check.

Book review?  Nope, sorry friends.  But, I have an explanation.  I ambitiously went to the library last week and took out four books.  These all turned into disasters.  The first was a book on fibromyalgia.  *note - I had written some funny stuff about fibromyalgia, but realized it isn't very popular to make fun of 'invisible illnesses' right now, and I would never want to demean or hurt anyone suffering just to make myself laugh, and considering I am hoping for a job in the social services, I feel it is in my best interest to not look like the world's biggest jerk!  HA I can make mature decisions. 

Next book - about Toronto.  After a summer of travelling I thought it would be fun to read a travel book about my own city.  Nope.  Not fun.  Apparently I know nothing about this city and the area I have always referred to as "the beaches" is actually "the beach".  I thought this piece of information was rediculous enough to give up the book, BUT earlier this week I went to a movie at the theatre in the beaches and noticed it did in fact say "Beach".....  strange but true.....

Third, a book about finding your dream job.  I had hoped to use this practical advice to help me get a job, but also to pass on some useful knowledge.  I realized a few pages in I have already taken this book out of the library and it didn't help last time, plus now my library records show exactly how lame I am.

The fourth book was a history of the condom.  Yes, I randomly wander the library grabbing anything that catches my eye.  I would be such a sucker for books with shiny covers!  It was fine, but more historical and less interesting than I thought it would be.

So, instead of a book review, I have decided to share with you some life advice I was given yesterday.  My love for free things and excessive spare time has led to me attending talk shows in Toronto.  In case you thought Steven and Chris was a one time only thing, I was there yesterday and last week I went to Marilyn Dennis.  Proof?  Sure no problem.

Steven and Chris yesterday had a segment on how to be happier.  I thought this was well timed for my life and was looking forward to some practical tips I could try out.  I only heard the first one, and it was so profound and life altering I couldn't possibly concentrate on the rest of them and tuned out completely.  In fact I have no recollection of the rest of the segment.  Except the psychologist was wearing adorable gray shoes. 

I could make you wait until October 18th when the show airs, and you can see me in the front row again.  Listen people - I was also in the front row of Marilyn, this is not a coincidence anymore.  Jen and I are gorgeous and you just have to deal with that.  I cannot help it if you get chosen for the 3rd or 5th or even back row.  But I do have a fabulous tip to make you happier.

Enough with the suspense.....  here it is......  "Smile at random strangers".

  Yes.  That was it.  It will apparently change your life.  Through this simple act you can spread joy to the entire world.  I don't mean to be rude, but I'm not sure this will work...  especially not in Toronto.  People here are trying so hard to be 'big city' and 'world class' they forget those terms do not also always mean 'extreme asshole'.  Toronto barely survives at being civil.  We let homeless people die on the street, daycares in Regent Park are shutting down because the rich people who have moved into those big new condo buildings don't want their rich white children going to school with poor kids, the TTC has body bags under the tracks for the extreme number of people who can't take it anymore and jump, o and at the Toronto Zoo a mother polar bear just ate her baby cubs to avoid having them grow up as Torontonians.  Could this city use an extra smile or two?  Absolutely!  Am I going to be the one to start?  Hell no!

That's not entirely true.  I did try yesterday.  I showed Jen my friendly, "hello stranger, I am here to brighten your day" smile.  Jen said, "uhmm  that is really more of a grimace....  you might actually scare people like that..."

BUT I did have a small success!  While Jen and I were pushing people out of our way, and sighing loudly at the slow old lady who needed directions from the ticket seller at the subway, Jen got on the escalator first and I went to get on next when a man stepped out in front of me.  When he saw me barrelling through he moved out of the way.  Normally, I would have rolled my eyes and given him a little elbow on my way past for ever trying to get in my way in the first place.  But no!  I had been inspired.  I looked at him, smiled and said, "Thank you."  I was so proud of myself.  I can only assume my kindness brought a smile to his face and his whole day was made better.  You are welcome stranger for my smile.

Jen, obviously following my excellent example, gave it a try this morning on her way to Cityline.  By the way, what is the matter with you Cityline?  Why couldn't we have two tickets?  Sheesh kabobers.....  But I digress....  This morning I received this text from Jen, "Can you please blog about smiling at strangers.  I tried it.  Awkward!  We exchanged a weird 'funeral' smile.  Like, 'hi, I'm so sorry to see you.'.

In conclusion (I always love how even in university I was taught to use that phrase to start a concluding paragraph, in future posts I will also be starting them with, 'in the beginning....' although that sounds a little biblical....), please try smiling at a stranger today.  Let me know how it goes.  I will keep you updated on my attempts at bringing happiness to this city.

I promise to review a book for next week.  And to blog about things that actually pertain more to unemployment than my random babbling.  Okay I don't promise that second one....

UPDATE  I have been rather unsuccessful, yesterday on a walk I told a lady my sweet little puppy was dangerous and would jump on her just to avoid the awkward small talk of her wanting to pet my dog.....  today is another day.....  I will try again......

1 comment:

  1. Oops! I made a typo in my text message ... I meant to say "Akward", not "Award". That makes a bit better sense. I was super akward. I had to see the same construction worker on my corner for the rest of the week while they fixed the road. We didn't get any better at our random-stranger smile exchanges. However, I will perservere ... though earning money I think would make this endeavour quite a bit easier, since the very first thing that lady with the grey shoes talked about was how much money we need to be happy with our lives, and I'm not making anywhere near enough (i.e. $0!)