How Do I Remove My Grin?

Tamias striatus -- Tamia rayé -- Eastern chipmunk Bas-Saint-Laurent -- Province de Québec -- Canada Prise en juillet 2007  --  Taken in July 2007

Tamias striatus — Tamia rayé — Eastern chipmunk
Bas-Saint-Laurent — Province de Québec — Canada
Prise en juillet 2007 — Taken in July 2007

Recently, I received this message:

Dear Dr. Matt,

I have a serious problem. I can’t seem to get this ridiculously cheesy grin off my face. By the way, I think your moustache is really hot and it makes me smile.

Sincerely, Grinny McGrinnerson.

Now, I can certainly relate to the feeling the writer is talking about, and I’m not just talking about the fact that I have a hot mustache. You know folks, sometimes we’re having a mediocre or not-so-great time, and you want to know the solution? Put on a ridiculously cheesy grin, and see what happens. Sometimes that grin is just there, people, because life is so dang good that we can’t help ourselves from grinning from here to Meemaw’s house.

Here’s what you may not have considered, though: you see, you associate that cheesy grin with the good times. You think that the grin goes on your face when everything is just plum wonderful. Have you ever considered this: maybe the good times come around because you’re walking around with a cheesy grin on your face. You look like a pleased-as-punch chipmunk with his cheeks stuffed full of peanuts, and when others see you, and when you see yourself, you can’t help but just continue that grin, and it just gets better and better. Before you know it, you wonder if that ridiculously cheesy grin will ever get off your face. Likely, you don’t care if it doesn’t.

I’ve heard it said that a fool is happy only when times are good, and sad when times are bad. In other words, a fool is a slave to his fate. It takes a little extra something to not be that fool, to be happy regardless. You got money problems? Stop being sad, people. What, do you think someone’s going to pay you to look morose? Your lover left you? Sure, grieve, that’s fine. But did anyone tell you that you could not grieve AND have a ridiculously cheesy grin on your face? And are you sure you’re not sad just because you think you should? Because you’re the fool who reacts to things as you were taught to react? Be the daring individual who jumps up and down for joy that they’re gone, that dances in the streets when the wallet is a little light. Who cares if that seems strange? It’s your life, so what would you rather do with it?

So, Grinny McGrinnerson, that grin is not a serious problem whatsoever. Don’t get the grin off your face. Until you want to. The only serious problem would be in someone or something wiping that grin off your face before you were damn well ready to put on a different facial expression.

Dr. Matt

Dr. Matt

Dr. Matt* gives advice on relationships, life, death, half-life, pet ownership, sexuality, asexuality, proto-sexuality, and mustache growing. * Dr. Matt is not a real doctor.

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