I reached my hand into the fish bowl full of “Buddy the Elf Meets Martha Stewart” clichés this morning, the very jar that sits on my bedside table, and pulled out “people should smile more.”
What a fine cliché for a cloudy Wednesday morning, don’t you agree?
Someone reading this is bitter over today’s cliché, I just know it. Well, proceed to take five minutes to place yourself in someone else’s cuticles. Just imagine how disgruntled my fingers felt over this selection. My left ring and index fingers were really pulling for “everything happens for a reason.”
But alas, we have the concept of smiling more.
First Thought on Clichés) I really would adore meeting the man (yes, I think he is a man) who decided upon the concept of clichés. What kind of upbringing did he have that made him start huffing and puffing over people saying things like, “every cloud has a silver lining.” Poor boy, he should probably digest this blog post as well. Chances are, he didn’t smile as often as he should have. I can totally picture him kicking and screaming in the middle of aisle 8, “Mommmmyyyyy, Stopppppp telllllllingggggg meeeee thaaaatttttt currrriiiooooosssiiittttyyyy killllledddd theeee catttt!!!!! I ammmmm nottttttt takkkkinggggg onnnnneeeee fooooorrrrr theeeeeee teeeeaaammmm annnnymmmorreeee!” Poor boy.
Second Thought on Clichés (to make the first one feel a little less lonely)) Making clichés relevant is a favorite past-time of mine, sitting right next to attempting to create peanut butter coffee and the great pleasure I get from burying myself in sociology textbooks. I delight in a mission to turn the overused rhetoric of an army of Mrs. Field’s Cookie Bakers into a tangible text that is hard to put down. Clichés are far more than stuffy words that bear the burden of Cranky English Teachers. Clichés, in my experience, have the potential to walk, talk, carry a scent and serve a phenomenal purpose. So yes, I am on a mission to spin clichés into a whole new context right before your eyes. Spin them finer than a web made by Charlotte. Spin them tighter than a track laid down by Drake.
Professora con sonrisas, I wrote to him in the first letter. That is what they have decided to call me, I continue writing.
I hadn’t pulled out a sash and a crown and titled myself all on my own. The name had come from a three-year-old who met me eye to eye, his eyes having been quite careless in granting his eyelids to let the wild clan of tears loose.
“Professora con muchas sonrisas,” he whispered to one of his classmates a few days later and before long, the Little Ones were gathering around me anticipating the magic trick.
An old trick I had honed back in the days of teaching hysterical tiny tots at the ballet barre.
The Little Boy stepped through the crowd of his classmates and Fixed a Fabricated Frown on his Face.
“Did you forget your smile today?” I asked him.
“Again?” I asked, letting out an overly exaggerated sigh. “Will I have to give you mine?”
“Si,” he repeated, nodding his head.
“Ok, but you better take really good care of it. I don’t have many left.” And with my fair warning, I covered my mouth with my hand to wipe the smile from my face. Replacing It With A Fabricated Frown, identical to his.
With caution, I cupped the smile in my hands and allowed the audience of preschoolers to peek in. Peek In & Giggle.
“Here we go,” I said, opening my hands and plopping the imaginary smile right onto his face.
Instantly, the Little Boy Laughed & Laughed, causing me to wonder if it really was possible to lend smiles.
From that point forward my duties as a preschool teacher consisted of wiping noses, pumping hand sanitizer, introducing letters of the alphabet and passing out smiles as if they were candy. The Little Ones often check me at the door to see if I am wearing the dress with the big billowing pockets. The Ideal Dress For Carrying Extra Smiles. Extra Ammo To Fight Off the Fabricated Frowns of Four-Year-Olds.
La Professor Con Muchas Sonrisas. The Teacher With Many Smiles.
It’s a good name. It’s a good skill to have. It’s a good magic trick to know how to perform. I just wish it worked beyond rooms with walls covered in finger paint and paper snowflakes. I wish I could take my magic trick out at parties or that my little black dresses had pockets to fit some extra smiles into before a night out with the girls.
To be very honest, I am 22-years-old and still fighting the urge to don a bright red hooded cape and sling a wicker basket full of smiles over my shoulder to skip through the subways of New York City and pass out joy in the form of curled lips and toothy grins.
Not only do I think that red hooded capes are way underrated on the runways these days but a lot of people in this world are looking to smile more but they need that nudge. As if we need a cue to smile these days. That Beautiful Image in the Park. That Familiar Face. That memory that shows up to greet them in the middle of a long day at the office and a pile of unending paperwork.
Let me guess, the person who read the beginning of this post and got bitter over my cliché selection is the very person who wants to jump right in with a comment about the fact that smiles are stupid and too simple. Smiles don’t help broken hearts. Smiles don’t make my student loans go away. How very right you are, jeepers, want to write a guest post?
Oh goodness, an unexpected visitor is knocking at door number three. About as endearing as the bachelor who was kicked off the show in episode thirteen but comes back to wow America in the finale!
The Third Thought on Clichés!
Welcome to HannahKaty.com, what words do you have to offer my fine friends and blog readers?!?!
Third Thought on Cliches) People are always going to tell you that the simple things will never matter. The verbs that don’t take much time will never make the difference they will say. Smiling more. Talking less. Listening more. Whining less. Those same people will tell you that small acts will go nowhere in a Very Big World. They are the very ones who neglect to open the door for others or string gratitude into their sentences. They are the ones who will criticize you for even thinking to fill your heart’s filing cabinets up with the prospects of being the change you wish to see in the world or getting people to smile and laugh a little more.
Don’t listen to them. Don’t give them your breathe. Don’t give them your attention. Don’t give them your energy.
You…. You just go on searching the clothing racks for that perfect red riding hood cape and head off to Pier One for a great wicker basket. Fill it with your smiles and get on to working this world in a way that those with the Not-So Fabricated Frowns never could. You just keep working because you know the truth behind those little acts and the good they deliver. And still, even if those same people refuse to take one, make sure to offer them one of your mystical magic trick smiles anyway.