Story Sent in by Fred:
Carol and I messaged each other online for a little while. I noticed that, while she was pretty, she barely cracked a smile in any of her profile photos. I even pointed it out in a message to her: "Why don't you smile in any of your photos? I'll bet that your smile is pretty." In the same message, I asked her if she wanted to meet for drinks.
Uncharacteristically for her, I didn't hear back for several days. At the time, I assumed it was because she was busy. When she finally did write back, it was to reply, very briefly, that she was available to meet that coming Friday evening. We settled on a convenient bar, and that was the last I heard from her until that night.
When she showed up, she was all smiles. In fact, it took less than a minute for me to notice that her smile was constant. She wore a big, fake grin when she talked and when she didn't.
"You're awfully happy," I pointed out.
"Yeah!" she replied, "Well, someone told me I don't smile enough, so now I smile all the time!"
I said, "Are you talking about me? I just guessed that you had a pretty smile, and you do. I meant it as a compliment, if nothing else."
"You sure like telling people what to do," she replied, "But I have to confess, it's tiring to smile all the time! So I brought this."
She reached into her purse and pulled out an adjustable loop of white string. She pulled it over her head, right there at the bar, and set it around her mouth and tightened it, so that it looked like a weird night brace that dug into her mouth and face. She tightened it such that it pulled her lips back into a grotesque grin.
"Shee?" she said, her words distorted, "Now I shmile all the time. Fuh you."
We were attracting stares. I told her, "Okay. That's enough."
"Buh aren' you... thish ish what you wan'ed, wight? Me to shmile? Shee? Me shmile!"
I said, "I wasn't telling you what to do. I said that I thought you probably would have a pretty smile. That's all."
She turned to the bar and said, "I can' dwink cuz I'm shmiling sho much!"
"All right," I said, giving up, "Have it your way." I left her there, and she made no effort to stop me.
I have to confess that as I walked out, I was hoping that she'd come after me and explain the whole thing as a bad joke, but that didn't happen. The whole thing made me sad, but the more I think about it, the gladder I am that I didn't compliment her on something like her eyes. With her logic, she would've ripped them out and given them to me on a plate or something.
Story Sent in by Fred: