Snark Bite #2

This particular scenario pretty much takes the cake when it comes to my pet peeves. Nothing garners the exact opposite intended response faster than this behavior. It makes me feel particularly venomous. I smell blood in the water when I hear this.

Dear Perfect Stranger:

Please refrain from approaching me, a fellow perfect stranger, and commanding me, with undue insistence, to smile. I find it presumptuous, invasive, and rude to take it upon yourself to dictate not only how I should feel, but apparently of more importance to you, how I express those feelings. You do not know me. You do not know if my cat died today, if I am sick, or if I am mentally writing my grocery list and therefore preoccupied so as to not be focused on artificially manipulating my smiling muscles. Nor should I feel obligated to tell you if any of those things are occurring, so as to explain away my non-smiling face in the hope of winning your approval. I should not feel required to tell you that my face, at rest, naturally looks a little pouty. I have a small mouth and full lips, and if I'm not grinning ear to ear, I might appear sullen. When you tell me to "smile" ,is this a request, a command, or a threat? Can you not understand how this might result in the opposite desired reaction, how this can cause one to feel defensive, taken-aback, and resentful? All feelings that do NOT typically result in a smile. Also, Perfect Stranger, I am standing here, by myself, minding my own business. Would it look very natural for me to start smiling like some demented Cheshire Cat, without provocation? No, it would not. In addition, Perfect Stranger, would you approach me without greeting and command me to "smile" because you actually care about my mood or simply because you are conditioned to believe that it is socially ordained for women to appear pleasant, sweet, and agreeable? Would you approach me and say this if I were a man? I really don't think so. So, in conclusion, Perfect Stranger, please engage in some self-reflection and ask yourself why you care so much whether I am smiling or not. Actually, why don't you just focus on your own mood, and let me worry about mine.
Thank you, sincerely, Liber Vix

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