Just to see them smile…

Smirking Baby

Have you ever stopped to consider just how ridiculous we must look to little kids sometimes? I know I personally take my face contortions to another level in my attempts to make a baby smile, laugh, or just keep looking at me with those piercing baby eyes. I’ll make faces, blow up my cheeks, wiggle my eyebrows, crinkle my nose, show my teeth in a crazy smile, or simply smirk at them. And when that little munchkin smiles back, giggles at my silliness, or keeps looking at me with interest (or more probably confusion), I always feel a great sense of accomplishment. I love their unadulterated expressions and the fact that they don’t hide their joy.

Maybe I love it because I know that those babies aren’t judging me — they perceive somebody exuding joy and they, in turn, reciprocate that joy. And while it’s not exactly like they can choose to ignore the person smiling crazily at them as their mom holds them while in the grocery store line, it seems like they always choose to see the good in the person engaging with them. They don’t know if you’ve been having a miserable day, week, or year. They don’t know your life, accomplishments, or failures. But they do know that you’re smiling at them, and they (hopefully) acknowledge that. You smile, they smile. There is a beauty to their innocent joy and interaction with people and something so intriguing and contagious about those happy, smiling faces. Once that baby starts smiling back at you, it’s almost impossible to turn away and stop smiling at them.

So I guess the main point of this post is to say that, every now and then, a crazy smile is a great way to spread joy… You never know who could use a dose of it.

P.S. I dare you to Google Image Search “smiling baby faces,” or watch this video of babies laughing, and not smile. I couldn’t do it.


You Talkin’ to Me?

I’m not averse to conversing with strangers. I was probably more timid before I took a journalism class appropriately dubbed “Talking to Strangers.” But since that class, I’ve experienced more ease while going up to a random person and asking for a high-five or asking them what they think about the weather (in response to dares from my friend). So if somebody were to ask me a question or start a conversation with me, who am I to object?

But on to my real point. I was walking to class one day and another student was walking in my direction, talking to herself. I’m not one to judge… I’ve done it before (at times, I’m convinced my thoughts/conversations are of the same caliber as Gollum/Smeagol conversations). A few milliseconds passed and then I thought maybe she was talking to me. I didn’t know her, but I was ready to acknowledge her if she said something else. Then I realized she was having a full-blown conversation, proceeded to see the white earbuds, and it all made sense.

Phone conversations via earphones.

I don’t think it’s rude or weird or annoying. But man, it messes with me when I’m passing somebody and they’re talking out loud, seemingly to me, then to themselves, then to somebody who could be miles away, but whose sound waves are amazingly flowing into those tiny white earbuds.

And while I’m sure the intent of the person conversing via earbuds is not to dupe me, they’re doing a fantastic job at it. So much so that I’m becoming convinced that earbud phone conversations are going to be detrimental to my sanity. Well, that’s a bit extreme. But they probably will make a fool of me.

One of these days, I’m probably going to think that somebody is talking to me. I’ll get all excited, maybe smile, wave awkwardly, and start to say something back. Then I’ll realize that, no, they were not talking to me, and I’ll have to act like my wave was an attempt to swat at a fly in the air and that my conversation was also with somebody on the phone. But then the other person will see that I actually don’t have earbuds in, perceive that I thus cannot be talking on the phone, and will probably conclude that I’m just a tad bit weird. And isn’t that the truth.