The Magic of a Smile

It’s a personal thing, I know everyone is different.  Some people really treasure their alone time.  Those people probably wouldn’t want to deal with a cancer diagnosis in the same way I have.  But me, I’m a people person.  The last thing I wanted to do was sit at home—giving myself time to get angry or depressed, perfectly reasonable reactions.  I want to have fun, to chat, to be around people.  Over the past few months, I have treasured every friend who has taken the time to meet me for coffee or lunch, to go for a run or a walk, and to shop—be it at a thrift store, Nordstrom, or even just a Target run. I’ve had the best time with all my friends, but there is one bonus I’d have never expected.  I meet the friendliest people when I’m bald!  My hat usually ends up coming off during or immediately after a run, and occasionally when I’m shopping, too.  I’ll be so impressed with all the big smiles and friendly waves I get, and then I remember that I’m bald.  The older ladies are the sweetest, and so many freely share their experiences of cancer with me, a complete stranger.  The preschoolers are fun, too.  Some of them are a little put off by my bald head, but are surprisingly honest.  The ones I know always ask the same thing—“Why aren’t you wearing your hat?”  When I tell them my head was hot, they usually run off smiling, pleased with the answer.  The really little ones have been a tiny bit afraid of my bald head, but they warm up fast—and soon treat me the same as they always did.  There is one cutie at the bus stop, though, who never paid much attention to me before, but once I stopped wearing my hat, she became my best bud!  She was very curious, but I let her rub my fuzzy head and always answered with a smile, and that was all she needed.  I’m sure that there are people who have seen me and felt sorry for me, but no one has ever treated me with pity.  Somehow good lipstick and a smile go along way, and no matter how much someone may have wanted to pity me, it’s hard not to return a genuine smile. 

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