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Is Smiling a Girl Thing?

I’ve never noticed that women smile more than men. And, this story does seem to suggest that they really don’t once gender rolls and power structures are equalized. Still, it does take as a given that generally it is true.

I was speaking with a friend of mine a few days ago, and she casually mentioned feeling bad about not smiling after lunch (something to do with food and braces) because she didn’t want her friends to think she didn’t like them.

I was fascinated by that statement because it would never have occurred to me. I would never have assumed that she might be consciously choosing to smile or not smile. I would have guessed that if somebody is smiling, it’s a natural rather than a forced thing. That’s certainly true of me. The only time I consciously smile is if there’s a camera pointed at me, and even then…

See, this is why people don’t make any sense to me. There are always all of these levels of hidden subtext to which I’m completely oblivious. Even when I think that I begin to understand it I get bitten on the ass because it’s not consistent or predictable. I need to figure out some strategy to get more zen about that.

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