This was someones profile update this morning. This someone is a very pretty girl and on the upswing of "spiritual" hippy path. I know that's what it is because I've seen it before and know the look.
The reality is if you walk down the street here in San Diego or in San Francisco where she lives here's what happens.
The person you're smiling at will assume you're easy and hit you up for money. And though they do this for everyone you now have the distinct characterstic of being a "nice person" and probably will relent if they bother you enough.
Depending on how you're dressed the person you smile at may or may not avoid eye contact and clutch his or her purse in fear that you're about to ask for money or are a prostitute.
Being a pretty girl I'm confident she has mastered the avoid eye contact move that would save her from persistent would be suitors when she's out. You know the guys. The ones you tell there's about a chance in a million that she would ever get with them and they walk away thinking "there's a chance!".
It may sound pessimistic of me to say these things but I've lived in San Francisco where literally every 15-20 feet someone is freaking out, shooting up or asking you for money. On tv yesterday I saw a story in which a lovely elderly lady invited the neighbor girls into her house for bible study. The girls came back later in the week and beat the elderly lady to death thinking she must have some money around. Smile!
Just yesterday I went to my favorite coffee spot to write. As I normally do I try to claim a seat next to an electrical outlet before getting my coffee. The coffee shop is long and narrow so I had to squeeze past a man standing at the bar. As I did he reached for my hand but I easily avoided him. Usually this is enough for the local crazies but not for this one.
I ordered my coffee and took a seat close to the door instead of close to an outlet. The crazy decided to flatter me by walking up to the opposite side of the table and three feet away just stared at me. Swaying a little as if in a slight breeze. Alcohol fumes almost visible in the 10 am sunlight.
He mumbled something at me. I looked up and in my sternest voice said "Just go" He mumbled again. I said "go" this time louder.
"I find you attractive" I deciphered from his third mumble
"Go away, leave me alone" I continued. Then packed up my stuff and gave my coffee back to the guys behind the counter. Crazy followed me up to the counter and reached for me again.
"I find you attractive" he said again as if his opinion of me would change my opinion of him. He didn't move fast and just sort of ambled. It was like being hit on by a zombie.
This back and forth continued. I would say "go away" and he would reply with "I find you attractive" or sometime throw in a "what's wrong with me?" I would move away and he would confront me always staying a few feet away.
"God I fucking hate crack heads" I said to break this loop. It was funny because this got a different reaction from him. "I'm not a crack head!" he responded. Seems even crack heads don't like being called crack heads. Do you have to be politically correct even at this low level of humanity?
"I have money" was the next flattering remark he came up with to convince me of considering him.
I didn't want to leave because I didn't want him following me home. I didn't feel like I needed to physically defend myself because he was careful to stay back. The guys behind the counter called the police and hid me in the back until he was handcuffed and hauled off. What would he have done if I had actually smiled at the son of a bitch?
I wanted to tell the girl with "Smile at five strangers" this story and decided she probably knows better. Saying everything is beautiful and safe regardless of evidence to the contrary is the same mindset that sends people to the streets with misspelled signs claiming the president isn't a citizen despite evidence to the contrary.
A few minutes ago I looked again at her profile and several people had commented positively to her profile. All men. All single. She brought it on herself.
I deleted her from my friends list.