The Unfriendly Consequence of a Pandemic

I smile with my teeth. Every last, ginormous one of them. All the time. And sometimes my neck gets involved, when I’m really excited. I can’t help it.

Universally, my eyes disappear. Like – poof. Lisa has no eyes. 

That’s kinda why this pandemic thing, with the masks, is a little bit of a hiccup when it comes to just being friendly to strangers – like in the grocery or….just the grocery really. We see no other humans because we can’t go anywhere else.

Oh, well I bike and run, but don’t do my mask on those. 

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Surprise still totally works. Like when you find toilet paper.

Years ago, a chic, stylish, endlessly cool British friend of mine ran a phrase by me about smiling “with my eyes.” I had no idea what she was talking about, I just knew it sounded intriguing and fancy like so many other things that were foreign to me. 

I have a better idea now, when I just see it in other people (most specifically my oldest daughter does it without trying) but I have no clue how to do it myself.

I tried. I look super weird. 

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The “not as excited – just friendly” smile. But still….no eyes. No teeth. 

But man, wouldn’t it come in handy these days? Having the ability to smile with your eyes, since your mouth is covered — or should be? At the old man in the produce section or the mom who can’t find ranch dressing in the condiment aisle?

Or, at the grocery guy, the one who always sings in the parking lot and makes funny noises to screw with people, who is taking the extra time to sanitize your cart?  Or the cashier, who has no mask, but hasn’t missed a day — with or without a shield at her register. 

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Skeptical still works, too. As in “does that lady really need five dozen eggs?”

I smile, still. I do. I just know that my smile’s only audience is the inside of my mask. I can do every other expression with my eyes — they are key to every emotion for me. Except when they disappear in friendliness — or total joy. 

Anybody got this one figured out? Someone should teach an online class in “smiling with your eyes,” because it looks like it may be a life skill we may need going forward. That, and it’d be so funny to attend.