Monday, February 19, 2007


One of my coworkers used to come around to my cube every once in a while and remark, "You're too happy." This comment first struck me as a little puzzling and amusing. I never thought of myself as being exceptionally happy. So if I was so unusual, did that mean that other people were not so happy? I'd smile through staff meetings. Another coworker also told me that I was always smiling, and it makes other people feel good.

Once during an exceptionally hot 100 degree weather Waltz Week, after everybody was sweating and exhausted from learning the Russian Mazurka Quadrille, suddenly RP spun around and pointed directly at me, announcing to the entire class, "She's still smiling!" I probably smiled back with wide eyes.

I took a lot of the beginning and intermediate dance classes many times over. Half the fun came from just smiling at each new partner, some of whom were quite flustered and apologetic, but smiling always seemed to make them more relieved. And I really find it fun to dance with beginners, sometimes.

One of my former boyfriends asked me why I smiled when I'm napping or going to sleep. Again, these sorts of questions were puzzling. Why not? Sleeping is comfortable and fun. At least, I thought so....

I didn't realize that smiling was so unusual. But apparently unusual enough when just walking around that I attracted multiple stalkers while using public transportation when I did an internship in the city one summer. One of the train yard workers tried to engage me in conversation every day, and hit on me, and said something to the effect of my having such a nice smile unlike all the people walking around with serious scowls on their faces. The other stalker was totally creepy. I learned to walk really fast with five foot long strides.

After turning in a paper at the History Corner after an all-nighter, I suddenly found myself smack face to face with Chelsea Clinton and secret service agents behind her. I must have been a frightful sight, with raccoon eyes, glasses, disheveled, rained-on, and disoriented from lack of sleep. To top it off, there was no hiding the wide-eyed surprised look in my face. I didn't know what else to do but smile, and she smiled genuinely back at me.

When we were little, my uncle used to pick me up by the feet to turn my smile upside-down. Of course, that just brought out more laughter.

My mom says I was always smiling when I was a baby...

Well, this was to remind myself of myself, because until recently, my neutral state was always to have a smile on my face and feel that way, and it's really weird to feel like a different person.


Speaking of dancing, I get all the dance e-mails about performances and events, and wish I could be a part of it. I'm so curious what this Friday's special gig will be like, I almost want to drag myself there.


fourthbreakfast said...

Hi there. Linked through Lara David's blog post about you. I just read a few of your posts. I'm sorry it's been a tough health road for you.

Some of your symptoms (20 min brain time and exhaustion) sound a little like hypothyroid. Also, people with Hashimoto's (a form of hypo) get hives/rash.

Sorry to just butt in. My friend had thyroid issues a few years ago. It took a long time to diagnose and I just wanted to share.

Best wishes to you.

Lara said...

most of the dance events really aren't that great anyway, although admittedly i may be a bit more cynical about them these days. we do miss seeing your smile on the dance floor, though. i hope sometimes you still manage to smile. i found myself writing just yesterday in my journal: "it feels like i've forgotten how to smile..." it's a painful feeling, losing that brightness. but i believe it will come back.

dancing dragon said...

fourthbreakfast - Is it Lady O? Thanks for visiting and your suggestions. Actually, thyroid issues were one of the first things we suspected, but my thyroid hormone levels are normal (at least, in the blood...). I hope your friend is well now.

lara - Yeah, I just miss the carefree nature of dancing, really a luxury. Along with an effortless smile, I'm wondering when it will come back.

fourthbreakfast said...

Yep! FourthBreakfast otherwise known as Lady O. :)