A Sharp Woman

There is a woman I see fairly regularly whom I’ve come to think of as sharp.

She’s very slender and always dresses well. Her slight frame is slightly on the pointy side, I think she could stand to put on a few pounds, but no matter.

She doesn’t look young, on the contrary her face is lined and wrinkled. It’s hard to speculate on her age, it seems likely that she is younger than she looks.

I’ve heard her speak, not kindly, to others. She can be intimidating, whether intentional or not I’m not sure. I wonder what her life is like, if she is happy, or if her apparent gruffness is a reflection of some pain she has experienced.

As I’ve met her in passing over the past few months, I’ve noticed a persistent scowl on her face. We don’t know each other but I always smile at her when we meet.

Until recently, she has not returned that smile, in fact more often than not she appears to ignore me altogether. Then, one day, unexpectedly, she returned my smile! I felt victorious just in the fact that she had smiled at me! From that day forward, when we met she has continued to acknowledge and smile at me, sometimes even saying “hello”.

It’s a silly thing really, but I like to feel that in some way I’ve started to break through her sharp exterior and that one day we’ll have a real conversation.


I’m a writer, reader, and creative. I thought by now I’d have things figured out, but I keep coming up with more questions. I think that’s okay. I’m here most mornings pondering ordinary things.
  1. I love this post. The milk of human kindness. I am a firm advocate that we get back what vibes we send out, and I would like to bet that it feels wonderful that you helped this gruff lady to smile 🙂
    Blessings to you. ( Enjoyed my visit here today too ).

  2. It’s amazing what a simple smile can do, breaking through who knows how thick an exterior? I’m sure you will have that talk one day, beginning a true friendship.

  3. I like your description of this lady. I have worked with a few people like this in the past and it is always a challage to get them to smile, but when they did, I was so blessed to learn about them as I know you will! I pray you discover the real person behind that coolness!

  4. Sal – thank you for visiting! I hope you come back often.

    Joanne – It’s true that a smile does wonders!

    Terri – I’m sure we’ve all known someone like this. It’s always interesting to find out their story.

  5. What a blessing! It goes to show if we’re all conscientious of the lives people may have – where they’re coming from – that we can make this a better place. Imagine if everyone put that much thought and effort into connecting with those around them.

  6. I don’t think it’s silly at all! I love this story. I think you’ve penetrated her “shell” a bit and who knows where it will go from there?

  7. It goes to show that persistence pays off. When I see someone like that…I make it my goal to keep smiling until they finally smile back.

    Great story.

  8. How lovely. Your open, giving “roundness” finally melted some of her sharpness. You may be exactly what she needs in her rigid and/or sad life!

  9. And maybe a real friend. Great thing you are doing for her! I just read that the best facelift is a smile.

  10. Pat – I loved that comment about the best facelift being a smile! It’s true, isn’t it?!

  11. I loved this story. It’s a reminder that the little things in life can break through to even the crustiest people in our lives. It really is what we do, and not just what we say!

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