The Wal-King Dead

J'MelSmiles and cries.

By J’Mel Davidson

As Ethan Hawke so eloquently stated in the hit romantic comedy Training Day, “Life is all about the smiles and cries.”

Bear witness to this sobering truth, my babies. Because even as we spin through space on his big dying rock while essentially alone, day-to-day minutia is a necessary distraction to keep us from going mad. That minutia, dear reader, is split between the good and the bad. The smiles and the cries.

Smile: Wal-Mart makes me smile. I’m a simple man. I love the simple things in life. When I am given an opportunity to visit the Evil Discount Giant, my heart grows three sizes. The store is the perfect mix of frozen entrees and over/under dressed middle-aged women that a growing boy can’t help but covet. And while I will admit that there are much sexier women at Target or Winn Dixie, those stores aren’t as close and I’m not that picky. Any place where you can observe a nice selection of panty lines then buy some whole wheat tortillas, boxer briefs, and season three of Gilmore Girls is an American institution and deserves to be on a stamp.

Cry: I’ve never enjoyed small talk. At some point in our social history, it became necessary to partake in aimless nothing-chatter rather than just enjoying the silence. I hate that people are asking how I am out of habit and not because they really want to know. And no one really wants to know. But they feel that they have to say something other than hello. You don’t! The weather isn’t an acceptable topic for discussion unless some real Roland/Emmerich stuff is going down. It’s fine to just be in the moment, silently, sharing space. It’s perfectly acceptable.

And while we’re on the topic of weather not being a topic, people should stop trying to use their current location’s weather as some sort of badge of courage. Yes, I understand that it’s colder where you are than where I am. Bully for you. It doesn’t mean anything and you didn’t do anything.

Cry: I finally had to leave Facebook. Didn’t notice, did you? Doesn’t matter. It did me more harm than good—flirting with no reciprocation, promotion of projects to no avail…And the worst of all, backseat smart guys attempting and failing miserably to add onto my perfect punch lines and rhetorical hilarity. Bottom line is that not checking a “newsfeed” 180 times a day gives a person time to read actual news!

Smile: I joined Pinterest! It’s all the useless “posting” of Facebook without the annoyance of “friends,” “thoughts,” or “comments.” Plus-sized Asian cosplayers, sweet art collections, crafty no-bake cake recipes! And about 60 percent less murdering of the English language.

Pinterest is like a Facebook Nicotine patch. When I left the infernal Social Network, I still needed useless Internet busy work. Pinterest filled that hole. But don’t worry, I realize that I’m still just as bad as the rest of you. I think I’ve pinned about 1,000 things and I honestly don’t think I’ll ever look at them again. So, yeah, we are all broken.

One Last Cry: I realize that the world we live in now means that people are always staring at their phones. I accept that (even though leaving Facebook means I never have to take out my phone. No one calls me.) But for the love of all that’s not ignorant, if you must crush candy, YouTube, or World Star in public, turn the $&@! volume down.

So, count up your smiles, friends. Make them count, no matter how small. They are the things that will save your life. I can’t get Chinese delivery where I live, but I won’t cry, because I started a Pinterest devoted to my childhood toys and that makes me smile.

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