Crab Walk

Is it okay sometimes to only act nice? Can people tell the difference?

Some days I am in a pretty good mood, happy with myself and happy with the status quo. Those are the days when I can listen to anyone and truly be interested, willing to celebrate with them, or laugh with them, or be truly sad for them. Then, other days, I couldn’t honestly care less about much of anything, and if I come across that way, I am branded as crabby.

A woman I didn’t know came up to me at the reference desk tonight. She was laughing, and told me I had to see something that was just really funny. She showed me a report of an incident she had evidently written out for an insurance claim, something about her husbands eyes. She had used the word “contacts” while referring to business associates, but the context of her sentence made it sound like she was referring to her husbands eyes, wearing contact lenses. She thought it was totally hilarious. I kind of looked at her, and decided to pretend that I found it funny, too. We talked just a little more, then she left.

Was I being disingenuous? She was a very nice person, just a regular library user having a little fun at her own expense, wanting to share it with someone. Maybe it would be legitimate to call me grumpy, or crabby, but I have no idea why I am feeling this way. Very anti-social, like I just want to go home and take a nap.

I guess we all have crabby days and good days. The trick is to blend them all together so that only those people who are closest to you can tell the difference. Strangers shouldn’t be obligated to put up with my moods just because I don’t feel like doing something. There are surely times you just do it anyway. If you have a chance to be kind to someone, just take it. There is so much pain in the world that any glimpse of kindness can be a godsend. That’s the answer, I think. Just do it anyway.

You don’t always have to feel like it to do it. If we all waited around to feel like doing something, not much would ever get done. Go to bed. Tomorrow, for some odd reason, might bring a totally different outlook on the world around you.

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