Or so I thought...
Yesterday I think I met the first man for as long as I can remember that is totally immuned to my charms. Okay, I'm not as conceited as that sounds. Not even close. I'm no Marilyn Monroe, but I'm no John McEnroe either. But rarely has a man not smiled at me after I've smiled at him. Believe me it's not because I'm beautiful or sexy. I've just always had that effect on people. Even people who are known for not smiling much.
I offer as proof someone who for anonymity's sake I will call WS. He was one year behind me in high school. I was friends with his sister who was in the same grade as me. So of course I knew him too. We were all in marching band together. My senior year my lunch changed to the same as WS. His sister, another mutual friend, WS, and I had lunch together every day.
WS was known as a very serious person. He rarely smiled. In fact he smiled so infrequently that only his sister could say for sure that he even knew how.
Although I knew WS, I had never spent much time with him. I was a bit nervous our first lunch together. I'm actually a very shy person and in high school it was even worse. So shy that lunch was nearly over before I looked up. When I did finally look up I noticed that WS was watching me quite closely. I gave him a weak smile and looked back down.
"Are you always this quiet or does it come from an extreme dislike of your present company?" WS asked just above a whisper. "Oh no!" I answered immediately, worried that I'd offended him. I looked up again and found that he was studying me intently. I glanced in his sister's direction and realized that her and our other friend were deep in discussion and paying no attention to us.
I looked at WS again and blushed. "I guess I'm just shy," I said. "You guess?" he countered, raising one eyebrow. Suddenly it all seemed quite funny and I laughed. Then the most extraordinary thing happened. WS not only smiled, but he laughed. To confirm the rarity of both things happening, his sister looked at both of us in amazement.
Thus began a year full of smiles and laughter. WS still didn't smile or laugh often, but that was only when I wasn't around. Many people, including his family, asked me to tell them my secret. I told them it was no secret. I just smiled at him and he smiled back.
I often wonder where he is and how he's doing. And I wonder if he continued to smile more after I graduated. I hope so.
So armed with my WS experience, I arrived at my evening bus stop today determined to make this new man smile back. He walked up a few minutes after me and I suddenly found myself feeling shy. All of my determination having fled I quietly waited for the bus while staring at my shoes. Mentally I berated myself for not following through with my plan, but my eyes remained glued to my feet.
When the bus arrived I climbed aboard and quickly found a seat. I busied myself with getting comfortable and getting my CD player situated. When I lifted my head to slide my headphones on, I saw him intently watching me. Not in a creepy stalker kind of way. (Relax, Cleggy!) But in a way that reminded me a great deal of the way WS would watch me. As if I were a puzzle he was trying to solve.
Still no smile, but tomorrow is another day. I'll keep you posted.