Do you smile at random strangers? I do; quite a lot as it goes. If I catch someone's eye when I'm walking along the street or standing in a queue I'll invariably smile - sort of my default setting, or a nervous habit? Anyway, it's a friendly thing to do….isn't it?
So there I was the other day, waiting to get on the train, and as the doors opened and people stepped out I went into automatic smile mode - not inane grinning, just smiling - when an older gentleman walked past me saying,
'...you really shouldn't laugh at me like that.'
In a very loud voice.
Well, that truly shattered my cheery little bubble. I was so surprised no words came out. Nothing. How had that gone so wrong?
And I wasn't flipping laughing.
So off he went, convinced he'd put some rude woman in her place, while I got on the train in a bit of a daze thinking WHAT'S THE POINT?
This brings me rather neatly onto another of my habits - dwelling - I've talked about this before: I am a big time dweller….. so of course I sat and stewed.
'Safer to be glum? Is my smile weird?' (must check), but mostly I was kicking myself for not saying anything to him; for standing there like a lemon. I'd been ticked off for no good reason and hadn't done a thing about it.
Really hate that.
I spent most of my train journey thinking about it, which is mad, because there's some seriously important stuff going on at the moment. But this is what I do - dwell on totally pointless trivia rather than focussing on things that matter.
Maybe it's some kind of subconscious defence mechanism; filling my head with petty pettiness to block out proper worries that could hurt more than just my feelings.
Maybe I'm trying to justify being a hopeless dweller.
Wish though I'd stop wasting my time on grumpy old strangers.