I was running along the river this weekend. If you do as often as I do, you know that you end up seeing a lot of the same people and because on this particular river almost everyone runs a loop - even though you can run over 10 miles on each side without crossing or turning around, almost everyone runs some type of loop because 1) loops are more fun than out and backs because you see more even though it's all the same river and 2) bridges are neat.
but the loop means that instead of seeing Familiar People once, I usually see them twice. Which was nice on Saturday, because there was this Pretty Good-Looking Guy who had a nice stride (I always check out people's strides) and smiled all happy-like (unfortunately not flirtatious-like, but that could have been because I was a sweaty fool) at me - Twice. Which is a big deal because in the northeast, runners are not so friendly and a smile at a young, albeit sweaty, woman, is more rare than you'd think. So after I passed the Pretty Good-Looking Guy the second time, I'm smiling all happy-like. Ahead of me, walking the other direction listening to his old school Walkman is a slightly tattered Old Man. And because I'm feeling so happy, I smile briefly at the Old Man as I run by, thinking very little of it.
But a few strides later, I hear him yell back at me (yell in a kind, not aggressive, way) "thanks for the smile; that was very nice". I regret that I didn't turn, I just gave him a behind-my-head thumbs up and kept going the other way.
But it just goes to show that a smile goes a long way. Note to the northeast: It is okay to smile. It doesn't mean you're flirting or hitting on anyone. It just means it's a nice day and you're a nice person. Try it, please? For the Old Man.
"the eyes are the window to the soul"
-I forget who really said it, but I heard it from my 10th grade English teacher - who was FABULOUS.