So, I'm in the produce section of the local Shop n' Save, trying to squeeze my way between the hefty stock girl, her overloaded cart and another customer. I just want a red onion. Just one. A small one even. Nothing is ever simple.
The other customer is finishing what has clearly been a one-sided conversation with the employee. She sees her out and goes for it. "Well, have a nice day, sir."
I'm mentally congratulating her, but it turns out, I'm wrong. She hasn't ended the conversation and successfully gotten back to stocking the produce. No, friends and neighbors. She has inadvertently opened Pandora's Box.
"Oh, I will! I always do! Happiness is a choice. And I choose to be happy all the time!"
The fuck did you just say, dude?
He's wearing a smile that would put the Chersire Cat to shame as he notices me and tries out a "Hi". I grab my onion, give him a quick nod and avoid eye contact at all costs. There is no way I'm getting my ear raped by Captain Happy for the next 10 minutes. Nuh-uh.
But, the Slop 'n Slave isn't a mega grocery store. I can't help but run into this jolly prick as I go about my business. Not even when I try going to the opposite end of the store and try and work my way backwards (you know how you do when there is some particularly annoying family or slow moving senior that always seem to be in your aisle?). This mother fucker went about trying to spread cheer and happiness through the store like Madonna goes about spreading the clap.
I don't care how perfect your life might be, or how much optimism you want to view the world through... When you're out in public, you need to take that shit down a notch. I didn't come here for a smile, I came to part with what little hard earned cash the government and my exwife deem fit to allow me to have and buy food. If I wanted a smile, I would have spent my afternoon off drinking beer and masturbating.
I can't stand aggressively happy people. To be honest, I always find myself wishing something tragic would occur in thier lives, just to wipe that idiotic smile off their faces for 5 fucking seconds.
Of course, it would only last 5 seconds before they whipped out one of the old standards: "Everything happens for a reason." "God has a plan." "Every cloud has a silver lining."
Not that I'm against a bit of optimism. Most days, my life is pretty comparable to a pile of dog shit. But, I always tell myself that it will eventually get better, simply because it can't get much worse. I try and remember that all the shit I'm going through is just a drop in the bucket of a bigger picture. Mostly, I convince myself of this and I manage to get through each day. That is a healthy level of optimism.
Jumping out of bed each morning and screeching "Carpe Diem, Bitches!", running out the door and assaulting perfect strangers with your smile and insistance that they should cheer up, is taking it too far.
Perky is a quality that should only exist in females between the ages of 16-28. The age range may go further provided their breasts are also still perky. Because, frankly, if you need a support bra to keep the girls from hanging to your knees, you have nothing to be cheerful about.
I don't want to come across as though I feel we should all shield our emotions when we are out in public, tromping around like a group of mindless clones. But, no one finds it socially acceptable to run up to a complete stranger and cry on their shoulder because their life sucks. Keep your baggage to yourself. Keep your fucking sunshine to yourself too.
I can't remember the last time I felt bad about myself and thought; "I know! I'll go out among the unwashed masses in the economically repressed area in which I live and interact with one of the denziens to cheer myself up!" The only thing that makes me feel better about being forced to interact with the general populace is knowing that, eventually, I'll be able to retreat to the Fortress of Solitude that is my apartment.
Happiness isn't a quality you can force on someone. Think of Happiness like breakfast. Breakfast is the most personal meal that people eat. You might go out for breakfast, and the food might be good, but it isn't as good as your mom used to make. The bacon wasn't crisp enough, your over meduim eggs were more like over medium well, the toast was only burnt on one side... Happiness is like that. It's personal. What makes you happy might make me fucking miserable and vice versa.
For instance, your smile would probably be wiped off your face if you stepped out of Shop 'n Save and the sun blinded you, causing you to step out into oncoming traffic and you were left crippled, lying on the pavement in pain as a stray dog wandered along and lifted it's leg on you... However, I would find this amusing to no end. I would smile over that old chestnut for the rest of my days, to be honest.
I'm looking forward to the Zombie Apocalypse. The fall of civilization is going to tickle me pink. Can't wait. I'm going be grinning 24/7. No lie. My brother and I have plans laid in place and life is going to be good in the secret tunnel.
If I woke up and discovered that sharks could fly and saw a random pedestrian get plucked from the sidewalk by a swooping great white, it would bring unbridled joy into the deepest recesses of my heart. I might even burst into an Irish Jig.
My point being, while my examples might seem ludicrous to most of you, they are completely true admissions. And, if I ran up to you in the grocery store and shared them with you, it probably wouldn't make you smile. In fact, I'd probably be leaving that particular shopping experience in either handcuffs or a straight jacket.
Really, the only place outside of cheer camp that aggressive happiness is acceptable is the bar. God bless a happy drunk. You know that mother fucker is only happy because he is so blitzed, he doesn't have to stare his meaningless and miserable existence in the face and pray for a quick death.
However you choose to view the glass, just please do it with a tempered realism. Exposing yourself to the rest of the world should involve a really long rain coat and a pair of calf high black socks, not a smile that swallows your face and leaves me wondering about your mental state, okay? Because, I have to tell you, I've worked in the mental health field, and people that smile for no reason aren't to be trusted. They're generally plotting your death or trying to decide which, of the many, bodily fluids they can fling at you. (In my tenure as a mental health worker, I'm pretty sure I was covered in more bodily fluids than your average asian porn star, I'm sad to confess)
My unsolicited advice to the world at large? Whatever makes you happy, keep it to yourself. Because the world is full of hateful assholes like me, just waiting to piss on your parade and call it rain. If making other people happy makes you happy, find a fucking career that suits that need. Because, trying to spread cheer and joy in the grocery store didn't make me happy, it pissed me off to no end, sport.