Peace! Love! Ecstasy!

When this girl was in Paris she inevitably encountered some moody Parisians (and some nice ones too!). Bethie and I were on the metro on the way back to our hostel, suspiciously named "Oops!," and a couple of old men strutted on and began to play their accordions. Oh, Paris. While Bethie and I were smiling ear to ear, the rest of the busy travelers were less than impressed. In fact, some of them looked down right pissed off. I unsuccessfully tried to smile at the guy sitting across from us and he didn't even have the courtesy to glare at me - "I'm not even going to waste any energy on you by altering my facial expression," he seemed to say. What's gained by being this way? I would rather burst into a beatific smile on command, and regularly, than nurse a sour expression like a self-inflicted wound.
Walking down the streets in Florence I've tried on multiple personalities. I've done the pouty, I-have-somewhere-to-be purposeful walk. Then there was the jaded, I-live-here-and-nothing-phases-me-anymore strut. They were okay, but I don't think they looked either good or convincing on me. Lately I've donned the incandescently-happy-and-cheerful-girl, what should we call it,... parade. Apparently (I just used a thesaurus) parade is a synonym for walk and I think that's the most accurate.
I've found it's way more enjoyable to connect with the random people I meet on the street instead of brushing them off like flies. Instead, if I feel like smiling, I smile. I love watching people stare after me, wondering why I'm so happy. I sincerely hope I incite them to recall a time where they unsuccessfully tried to hide a smile, and how it burst out of them like a ray of sunlight through a window.
Today I took my happy parade even further. I went to the market today, spontaneously bought a bunch of tulips initially unaware of what I should actually do with them. As I was walking down the street, listening to this song, I passed Rosella's shop. She's a gorgeous Italian woman who's always been incredibly nice to Beth and I...she needed a tulip. So it went the rest of my walk through the city - my happy, hippy parade spreading sunshine and now, flowers - how appropriate.

The thing is, why not do something like that once in a while? As everyone has heard since grade school, less muscles are used in smiling than in frowning, so unless you're working on improving your muscular strength around your mouth, just give it up and bust out those pearly whites. I don't care anymore if it's painfully obvious that I'm one of those legendarily friendly American girls, after all, no one criticizes the Mona Lisa for her mysterious smile.
Today as I walked by with my tulips I passed a number of street vendors selling prints of famous artwork. One of them clutched his chest and called out, I kept walking but put my hand on my heart and smiled back at him. One of my new favorite songs shouts, "Peace! Love! Ecstasy!" I wholeheartedly agree.

P.S. Sorry for the creepy mime picture.

No comments: