The placating smile

So I've gotten really good at an invaluable skill lately; one I call "the placating smile."

You see, sometimes people bug me. Generally, I'm okay. Generally I don't let people get to me. Actually, if we're speaking generally, GENERALLY I'm actually pretty fond of people. I like people-company. But normal people can be hard to come by in Rankin Inlet. There's this theory I have that the people who come here (here, as in the north) are either being pushed or pulled north. Often running away from something else. It's not an iron-clad theory. But it explains some of the whackos we have (probably myself included).

Seeing as "normals" are getting hard to come by, and I'm tired of being crotchety, I've developed "placating smile" to help defend me against the nutsoid masses.

It's a great response to "HOLY CRAP YOU LOOK TIRED" (um, no, I feel fine, but thanks for saying I look like shit) and "Do THIS totally unnecessary busy-work chore."

So next time a dingbat asks you to do something they think is PARAMOUNT, just raise your eyebrows and make your eyes medium-wide (think: a "really?" expression), and give the sweetest little half-smile. Then blink your eyes a couple times, like their request is taking some time to process.

That mix of disdain and innocent sweetness is enough to convince the eejit that you have heard their request/comment, and processed it. But also lets you snarkily but silently tell them you think it's dumb/rude.

Try it out.

Before I trademark it, yo.


Anonymous April 27, 2009 at 10:31 AM  

That reminds me of the Finishing School joke.

WW April 27, 2009 at 10:32 AM  

Why did I move to Nunavut?

Well this may be a cop-out answer... but "why not"?

I'm young, eager, and not really scared of the cold (not now that I have my Canada Goose parka). I have traveled parts of Europe, lived in France... 5 of our provinces and so... a window opened to the north and I crawled through.

It's cold.

It's remote...

But most days it's pretty darn cool too (yah yah, I'm punny)

I won't be here forever. But who knows what the next few years will bring. A year ago the north was a fleeting thought, and I remember thinking of it as a place where you "pay your dues" before moving on.

I don't really think that anymore. It's not about paying dues, it is about getting to do things I might not have the chance to do "down south." It's about having weekends off, and being a full-time reporter at 22. It's about holding onto this experience with both hands, squinting against the wild snow and wind.... and coming out the other end panting, out of breath, and totally exhilarated

Jackie S. Quire April 27, 2009 at 10:32 AM  

Haha. I don't know that one, Clare. You'll have to fill me in.

Jackie S. Quire April 27, 2009 at 10:34 AM  

WW - thanks for the reminder. Feels like a lifetime ago that I wrote that.

Mongoose April 27, 2009 at 12:09 PM  

"There's this theory I have that the people who come here (here, as in the north) are either being pushed or pulled north. Often running away from something else."

I've always thought so myself. Well, some people are born here, but the ones who move up here often do so because they weren't fitting in down south one way or another. Especially the ones who move and stay.

Personally I like to imagine myself as a bobblehead doll and play circus music in my head while they talk. I got in that habit from driving cab.

Anonymous April 27, 2009 at 2:37 PM  

Two women were sitting in a waiting room when the one turned to the other and started making conversation, saying

"I hope this doesn't take long, I've got to get home. Tonight is the fourth night this week my husband is giving me a present for my birthday. He's doing giving me something all week."

The other replied. "Wow, that's nice."

"Monday, he gave me these 1 caret diamond stud earrings. They cost over $5,000."

The other said "Wow, that's nice."

"Tuesday, he gave me, well us really, tickets to fly to Paris. We're going to spend my birthday there, have supper and fly back the next day."

"Wow, that's nice."

"Yesterday, he gave me a new Prius. A silver Prius, can you imagine."

"Wow, that's nice."

"He's so generous, I can't wait to see what the present is tonight. Has your husband ever done anything like that?"

The second woman replied, "Sort of, he sent me to Finishing School for a birthday present once."

The first looked puzzled and asked "Finishing School? What do you learn there."

The second said. "Well, how to be more refined. For instance I used to tell people to "Go F*** themselves" alot. Now I just smile and say.. "Wow, that's nice."