August 24th, 2008


Smile that frown away♪

Today in church, I was remembering what I learned at Disneyland (how smiling is really important), and so I made sure to smile as much as I could. Not like a big huge smile, but making sure not to have a neutral face, which tends to look like a frown. It was hard to keep it up, because I don't smile all the time, so it's not very natural and it feels weird. I'm hoping that the more I do it, the easier it will be.

Anyway, while I was doing that, I learned something pretty neat. We were in the library, as per our calling, and the librarian from the ward that meets after us came in, as he usually does before their Sacrament Meeting. He started doing something with the copy machine. He seemed pretty focused on it, so we just let him keep doing it. But then the lady who comes in every week to get copies of their ward's Relief Society program came in. The other librarian was still doing whatever he was doing with the copier--he kept taking paper out and putting it back in and throwing things away and stuff. He seemed kind of stressed out. So I asked him something like, "Are you having trouble with the copier?" I thought I was being nice, but my voice might have sounded a little too amused.

He said it was fine, he was doing something for his wife (probably what he needed the copies for), so let's all just calm down. Now, we were not uncalm at this point, and under normal circumstances, such a comment might have annoyed us to the point of no longer being calm. But this time, since we were smiling, instead of annoying us, it just made us laugh (inwardly, because outwardly would have been rude). I said, "I think you're the one who's not calm," but he ignored me. That probably would have made me even more upset, especially because I kind of got the impression that he didn't want my help because either I was younger, I'm a girl, or both. (We usually assume it's because we're younger, because we spent a large part of our lives with the honest belief that no one is really sexist. We also suspect he was having a bad day.) But as it was we just laughed to each other about how he didn't want help from a little girl (while smiling helps with better attitudes, apparently it doesn't make me any less mean; eheh), and let him keep doing whatever it was he was doing.

It was kind of getting to be a problem, though. The lady who had come in for copies needed them before Sacrament Meeting, because that's when she was going to fold them (she doesn't trust anybody else to help her fold them, either; we've all tried). I had to leave early to play prelude music for our own Relief Society, but Athena says he finished and eagerly helped the lady with her copies. (Athena had offered to do it, but I guess he really wanted to help?)

But anyway, the point is, if you make sure to smile, it's easier to keep smiling when people are being annoying. This is especially important, because if he was having a bad day, our getting mad at him would probably have only made things worse for everybody.

Today I'm thankful for the magic of smiling, that lady getting her copies, getting compliments from one of our old Japanese professors through the girl in our ward who was on a mission where he was mission president, cute kitties by the CD player, and Primary songs.