I am in a particularly good mood tonight, for no reason that I can ascertain. You could even make the argument that I am in better spirits than I have any right to be, given the amount of work I have hanging over my head this week. Maybe it’s because I have something special up my sleeve–I do love a good scheme, a little mystery, a bit of surprise.
But really, my good spirits are in keeping with my entire outlook of late. I think it’s one part good weather, one part exercise, and one part sleep. I have just been so much more delighted to be alive lately. Even when things are falling apart, like they sometimes do, I seem to be much more chill about it. If I didn’t know better, I’d say someone was drugging the living daylights out of me.
But I digress.
When I am in such good spirits, I step up my bus game.
My bus game, for those who haven’t been keeping up with my Twitter, started with cheery smiles and chirpy greetings for the bus drivers and cheery smiles for my fellow riders. After this appeared to have no impact whatsoever, I stepped it up to chirpy greetings, smiles, and then smiles and waves once I left the bus. This, too, has had a less than desirable impact, except perhaps to make several of the bus drivers hate me. One of them I am convinced actively avoids the stops I want to get off at. He will see that I have pressed the stop button and am standing, waiting to disembark… and then not stop. The only bus driver that seems to like me is a Middle Eastern man in his late 50s or early 60s, which, as we’ve established previously, is the demographic where I am unduly popular.
Lately, however, I have started trying a different tactic–focused beams of sunshiney happiness. This works well with children under the age of two or three. Recently, I played a fantastic mirror game with an infant in a pushchair (that’s stroller to the Yanks). He mirrored my movements remarkably well for someone so young. This tactic does not work so well with adults, though I have had occasional success with older ladies. (Okay, with one older lady–I rewarded her friendliness with a vividly pink carnation).
Tonight, however, I was in particularly fine form. I have a charming new haircut, and freshly brushed teeth–perfect recipe for a good smiling bus game. I practiced while we were waiting for the bus. No takers, but it wasn’t dampening my resolve. Several bus stops later, from my perch on the second deck of the bus, I spied a couple of kids getting on the bus–a girl with a cute platinum bob, a girl in a blue shirt with long doe-colored hair, and a boy in a black hoodie. I beamed at the girl in blue as she and her companions waited to board the bus. She looked up and began gesticulating frantically. As she and her compatriots climbed onto the second deck of the bus with me, I heard her squawking, “Why is that lady smiling at me?” I popped one of my headphones off and considered answers.
“Because I am happy!”
“Because where I come from, hon, we like to share our happiness.”
“Because I know it makes you uncomfortable.”
All of those, of course, or true, but upon contemplation I just put my head phones back on and grinned at my reflection in the mirror. Let her stew on that for a while. Let her be a little uncomfortable. Maybe the mystery will change her life.
When I got off the bus, still grinning, I waved at the kid with the messy blond locks who had been getting the worse end of a wrestling match at the bus stop. He gave me a thumbs up.
It made my day.