Wednesday, April 25, 2007

A Smiling Face Will Brighten The Day

I read something a year or two ago about the fact that smiling doesn't only reflect the fact that a person is happy, but by itself can make the person feel happy. It seems that when we smile the act of arranging our facial muscles just so somehow releases a brain chemical that makes us feel happy.
I keep trying to figure out how I do it, but I can usually manage to put a smile on a young lady's face. In this case I see her all the time yet I never can remember her name. The most fun though, is putting a smile on the face of a harried cashier who looks like her boyfriend just dumped her. Not that I'd wish THAT on anybody, but just knowing that I'd brought a bit of joy into her life makes me feel good too.
This morning found me sharing a table with an older woman (yes, there are women older than I am) that I've never seen at Starbucks before, but I've known her for years from the Greek Orthodox Church. She asked me when Dawn was making the Big Move from Tampa to Miami, we talked a bit about Father Philemon Payatis's health (pretty good,it seems), and then she asked me if I could take a few photos for her. It seems that she'd gotten a ticket recently at a nearby intersection that she didn't feel was justified.
We drove over there, all of two blocks away. It's a convoluted intersection incorporating a guard gate, and a bunch of streets come together at crazy angles to one another. She was charged with not stopping AT the stop sign, which was set back a good 20 or 25 feet from the intersection. She'd stopped FOR the stop sign at the point where she could actually see if there were any oncoming cars. It seems that a car directly in front of her did the same thing, was also pulled over, and not issued a ticket, just a warning. I shot a dozen or so photos from various vantage points and gave her the roll along with a coupon from Walgreens good for a free upgrade to 5x7 prints. She insisted on at least giving me a few bucks for the film.
She was hell bent on not just mailing in the ticket with the fine. She wanted her Day in Court! I told her that there was a fairly good chance that the cop wouldn't show and the case would be dismissed. When we parted company she was wearing a lovely smile.


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