A Little Smile Goes a Long Way


Tuesday nights are pretty predictable when it comes to me and Nate.  After work, we rush off to church for a Bible study, always forgetting to pack a snack to munch on, and we subsequently make an emergency trip to Subway after the study at 8pm.  And trust me, I don’t exaggerate when I use the word ’emergency’ here.

A lot can happen on a twenty minute drive home when one is hungry enough to chew on a leather boot.  I figure that the money we dish out for a couple of sandwiches is nothing compared to the marriage counseling we’d need had we driven home hungry.  (Anyone else get a serious case of the grumpies when they’re hungry?).

Well, this past Tuesday night was no different.  Nate and I stood in front of the counter to figure out what we wanted on our sandwiches.  We seriously deliberated over whether or not we needed a small bag of chips.

And then… We met him.

Upon first glance, he was your typical highschool kid.  He sported an afro, probably was into sports, and — although I shouldn’t admit that I know this — looked a whole lot like Corbin Bleu from the Highschool Musical.

But it was his smile that we really noticed.  Because he had one.  And he wasn’t afraid to use it.

“Hey, my friends, how’s it going?” he said, greeting us with a wide grin.  “What can I get for you tonight?”

Nate and I were a bit startled to be greeted in such a way.  After all, we come to this same Subway every Tuesday night, and we fully expected to be served by the familiar grumpy face we see every week.

So we may have paused a moment in shock, but we collected ourselves and placed our order.

“Soooo,” the kid continued, practically dancing with giddiness as he whirled around the counter, tossing tomatoes onto our sandwiches.  “How was your weekend?  Good?”

“Hmmm, yeah,”I replied.  “But it went by too fast.”

“Oh, don’t they always,” he said, chatting about his days off and what he does for hobbies and asking us if we’d be watching the Superbowl.

By this time, Nate was lying on the floor in shock and needed recitation.*

*slight exaggeration*

The kid paused a moment, collected his breath, and continued by pointing at my coat.  “Hey, I like your jacket!”

“Thanks,”I said. Now I’m smiling, because I totally got this jacket on sale and — well — it really is cute.  Then, without thinking, I gushed, “I love your personality!”

Nate choked slightly in embarrassment at my exclamation (no exaggeration), so I quickly added, “Because no one is friendly like this anymore.  It’s great.”

But the kid didn’t look startled or surprised at all.  He just smiled like he gets comments like that all the time.

A smile.  A little bit goes a long way.  So imagine what a bunch of smiles can do.

Smile at a stranger today and see what happens.  🙂

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6 Responses to A Little Smile Goes a Long Way

  1. allieksmith says:

    I love this! A smile really does make SUCH a difference!

    P.S. I get the grumpies hard core when I’m hungry!

  2. Sarah says:

    A smile really can make all the difference! Thanks for the reminder to wear a SMILE. 😀

  3. barbz2011 says:

    …a little smile DOES go a LOOONG way. You never know who’s day you are making.
    P/S: I love his personality and am sure it’s for the same reason as yourself. Maybe even more because he didnt make a big/ any deal at all out of it when you mentioned it to him. Please say hi to him when you see him again. 🙂 …

  4. jelillie says:

    There is nothing so disarming in this world as an expression of common kindness. It is truly uncommon.

  5. sarahnsh says:

    I get serious grumpies when I’m hungry and I haven’t eaten, that generally happens with me and the man on Sundays because we get a late start. Yes, wearing a smile can definitely brighten someone’s day, very true! It’s just harder when you’re hungry and ready to chew on a shoe to help the hunger. 😉

  6. Stephanie says:

    There is a Subway near our work and the guys that work there are just like this! They joke with each other, the customers and have smiles on their faces all the time. There is another Subway that is closer to work but i don’t think I have EVER seen anyone there even crack a smile. It is so nice to go to a place where people are happy! It makes me want to quit my job and go work there…

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