My Reverie on the Variety of Smiles

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Smile for Me

"People smile for all sorts of reasons, only one of which is to signal happiness." -Nick Morgan.




According to Daniel McNeill, the author of the book called The Face: A Natural history, the first smiles of a new born baby appear within two to twelve hours after birth and they seem to be of devoid of any content. Babies just issue them and parents start bonding. The babies obviously do not know what they are doing. In between the fifth and fourth week, the social smile starts as the baby focuses the gaze on a person's face while smiling. Thus, this marks the endless phase of pulling up the corners of your mouth that goes on and on until you decide to turn into a frowning miser, die or suffer from facial paralysis.




As I was going about my business of living my life last night, I found myself thinking about the smiles that I have issued in my short time on earth. I remember fondly that my brother was a natural smiling baby, and he still is even today. Based on the stories offered by my chatty mother, he used to flash his white-teeth smiles even while getting a scolding. My mother said it was futile to get him to be serious or straight-faced, and before long, you'd see both of them smiling widely for no reason. Great trick to have, I’d say if you’re looking to escape the wrath of a cool-headed parent. As for me, I was not blessed with that forever-smiling face, until I knew it’d served me a purpose. Cunning.




Well, there are many kinds of smiles out there. There’s that smile you reserve for your private cam-whoring sessions. Ever notice that it’s not the same kind of smile you flash when another person is snapping the picture? Then, there is the miserable smile. Everybody has this smile; I have a few versions of the same one. You can even pull up the edges of your mouth right now, as you tune in to some abysmally sad thoughts.




Next, say hello to the snickering smile that you put on when something untoward happens to your great enemy. Some people can manage a real big belly laugh at that. There is also that dampened smile you give when the effort to impress your so and so on Valentine, goes out of the window, when you find out that so and so is planning for a Valentine date alright, but just not with you. Some of you might be doing that knowing smile, right now. Okay that is a fake plastic smile. You can stop right now.




I feel like I am an impulsive smiler. My smiles come out unpredictable, and they may startle the innocent onlooker so that he or she may then be triggered to smile. I like when this happens. My sister often says that I get excitable when I smile that unpredictable smile. I start laughing when she says that, because it's true. My significant half would say that I am such a smiling person, but I think that’s because his presence triggers euphoria, and that he’s compelled to say the best things about me.




When I am not smiling though, people mistakenly think that I am a snob or just plain unapproachable. I used to smile a lot, back when the years to my age were lesser. Some were genuine smiles, but some were ones that I wear because it was expected of me. As I grow older, I stop planting fake smiles on my face. I feel the best when I don’t have to put on a forced smile. It makes me tired.




Sometimes, I smile for no reason that my friend finds it eerie. I didn't know that I could freak people out by smiling, but now that I find that there is such a thing as an eerie smile, I do try to limit its occurrences, and use it to my advantage. I flash them when I'm alone mostly, or when I am goofing around. But then again, I am a vampire, so an eerie smile just fits the character. I get a kick giving it out for free when I see naughty little kids.



"Some people wear their smile like a disguise. Those people who smile a lot, watch their eyes. I know 'cause I'm like that a lot. You think everything's okay, and it is...'till it's not" -Ani Difranco


shanaz@RS | 3:33 AM | Labels:

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