I went sailing on Sunday and damn, if I didn't catch myself smiling like a maniac! The maniacal sailing smile is just one kind of smile, though.
Smiles come in all shapes and sizes with varying degrees of sincerity.
Here are some of my favorites:
1) The “Say Cheese Smile”
(It's the smile we've all honed over years of snapshots and fingering through photo albums. It's the smile we can count on to always look moderately decent, whether we're in front of the Eiffel Tower, or sleeping on a worm-carrying Tequila bottle in downtown Mexico City, or offering cigarettes to the monkeys at the San Diego Zoo, making vulgar poses beside Ms. Mona Lisa, or acting out 'Frankly, my dear, I just don't give a damn' in a bar in Casablanca. It's the reliable pointed-lens-inspired smile.)
2) The “Nervous Smile”
(It's the I'm-a little-uncomfortable-and-don't-really-know-what-to-say-so-here's-a-nice little-lip-crescent-to-fill-the-awkwardness Smile. This one is especially popular in Japan.)
3) The “I'm a self-recognized idiot Smile”
(This is one of my favorites and by far my most frequently used smile. It's the one we use when we realize we just said something really stupid, absurd, gullible, inappropriate or completely out-of-context. For example: “Oh! You went to the dairy museum yesterday? How nice. I sang karaoke with a cannibal.”)
4) The I-Know-what-you're-talking-about-but-really-have-no-clue Smile
(It's the smile we use when we didn't understand a word of what was just said but we really wish we did, because it sounded exceptionally intriguing. And it included a wet, sexy surfer!)
5) The sincere humour-inspired Smile
(It's the sincere face muscle response to hearing something that we find genuinly funny. In my demented case, it might be inspired by an exclamation like: “The sky is vomiting felines and pregnant precipitation again!” or “I just realized I'd forgotten to realize. Again.”)
6) The True Smile
(This one is entirely individualistic. It might be salty, ocean wind-inspired, or rice-field chorus frog-song conjured. It could be anything really. Like the image of electrons in Adidas sweat suits irradically jumping from lotus to lotus as they cycle through their iPod playlists. Or, it could come when an old friend is sewing a patch on their bathrobe and looking for their passport. Or when you can finally see those stars that had been drinking Heinekins behind a murky sky for so long..)
Well, there are at least 2842 more Smiles to address, but (as you may have noticed from my recent lull in posts), I'm really busy right now.
But, I'll find time to test-drive a few more smiles today!