Can’t Smile, Won’t Smile

Humph. What is it about bad moods? What is a bad mood? Why do I always seem to be ‘in’ them? As far as I can recall, I’ve been in a bad mood for about 15 years now. I can’t remember when or why it started, but I’ve definitely been on the ‘moody’ side for quite a while. On ‘good’ days I’m still in a bad mood, but to a lesser degree. I once saw a good mood far off in the distance… it was through the bottom of a vodka bottle. I keep trying to find it again.. but keep passing out before I can reach it. Ach well.

I have one of those faces that, when I just have a straight face on (i.e. not laughing, crying, smiling, gurning), it is just expressionless. I can be sitting watching something on television and no expression will cross my face. If I talk to somebody for longer than five minutes my face relaxes and up once again comes that blank screen. It is because of this that people think they have a God-given dispensation to ask the following question. “Ooh, what’s wrong with you?” Well, if anything was guaranteed to put me in a bad mood it is that sort of bullshit question. There’s nothing WRONG with me; it is just that my face isn’t doing anything at the moment. Leave me alone. God, NOW I’m in a bad mood. Here are some tips, which may get me out of this bad mood you’ve just put me in, you bastard.

1. I may be in need of a cigarette. Ask me if I want one. If I nod gently then give me one, or take me outside and join me for one. If I snap “I’ve JUST had one for God’s sake!” then back off gently, making calming gestures with your hands.

2. I may have ‘personal problems’. I won’t want to talk about them unless I tell you I do. Listen. Nod. Agree with me. It is NEVER my fault. I am always an innocent victim, unless I say otherwise. If I say it is my fault, nod (always popular) and tell me it wasn’t my fault. I may even smile.

3. I probably have no money. Don’t offer to lend me any, I hate borrowing money. Don’t lecture me about the pair of trousers I just bought, or how much I keep going out. You’re here to make me feel better. You could always GIVE me money, if the urge takes you.

4. It may be a work thing. There’s nothing you can do or say that will get me out of this one. Evacuate the building immediately and don’t make any inflammatory comments about how ‘something will turn up’. Oh yes… something will turn up, all right. Your nose when I stick a chair up it. Shut up immediately.

I don’t like being a misery. It just sort of happens, depending on the weather. Now when I’m in a bad mood, I really am in a bad mood. It is just like this feeling where no matter what anyone says to me I just want to kick them in the face- and never stop. As I walk to work in the morning, still half-asleep and tired and wishing I was still curled up on the sofa with a bowl of Frosties and a cup of Earl Grey, people just seem to make a beeline to bump into me, get in my way or just ANNOY me.

I stagger into the office and switch on my computer where I will spend the next eight hours and people try to TALK to me, ask what I’m doing over the weekend, what I’ve been up to. Hush. It is eight in the morning. My bed is still very much on my mind, my hair is still wet from the shower and I have probably only had time for one cigarette. You’re dicing with death trying to talk to me, I tell you.

I have tried to be cheery, happy-go-lucky etc. etc. but it just isn’t me. It has come to the stage where people EXPECT me to moan about something or be miserable, or have a sarcastic comment. True to form, I normally come up with the goods. If you want me to be happy, pay me more, stop asking me stupid questions, stop asking me ‘what the matter is’ and let me get on with it. What could be simpler?

Oh, and I DO smile. I smile when I find something funny or am happy. So if you want me to ‘smile, for God’s sake’ then stop being so bloody boring and miserable, make me laugh. Now.