To say that Nashville has my heart would be an understatement. In the last few years, I’ve gotten to drive through quite a few times, and each encounter only increases the love I have for this place. This morning, I woke up thinking I’d go down to the Strip and give away some hugs. About five bites into breakfast, I had a brain blast, “Smile Sunday” . . . How the idea for Smile for a Sucker came about, that I can’t explain very well. Somewhere along the aisle to get a new bottle of shampoo, I grabbed a few bags of Dum Dum’s and the day was on.
As with any social deed / experiment, there are nerves. “Will this go over well?”, “Are the police going to be okay with this?”, “Is anyone going to interact with me?”, the list could go on and on. But like every other time I go out, I was proven wrong.
I’ll open with the ratio I observed. For every Dum Dum actually taken, there must have been at least 20-25 smiles. The overwhelming response was just…smiles.
Then came the little parts of the day. About an hour in, I kept smiling and waving to cars that would beep or notice the sign, one in particular stood out. A little dude, had to be 5 or 6 had his face scrunched up to the window and his teeth were the brightest thing I’d seen all day. He DIDN’T stop smiling to save his life. As he sat at a red light with his Dad, I realized I had to get a sucker to him. Let me add in that jumping a lane of traffic in Nashville to give a kiddo a sucker wasn’t on the “safe things to do” list today, but for this little man, it had to be done. As I jogged towards the window, his Dad quickly rolled it down and yelled, “you’re making his day man!” I handed in a few suckers to him, and as I backed away from the vehicle, I asked his name. “Dante!” was the response, of course he was still smiling while yelling it out the window. (Dante, if you ever read this, for any reason. I owe my day to you. There were so many smiles, but yours still stands out. I don’t know if it was the happiness emanating from your face, or maybe the fact you held that smile for a good minute, something about it.)
Next came the Jennings family. Or 9 living examples of the word “Joy” as I should probably describe them!
Cindy for buying me a much enjoyed lunch! It was an absolute pleasure to sit with your family!
Jack for coming back by at least 7 times. Seeing your smile return made my day each and every time.
Bobby for explaining the proper way to pronounce “Louisville”, I wasn’t doing it right, I can admit it.
Lynn for giving me 5 hugs, each one better than the one before.
I could go on and on.
Nashville, you have my heart. Take care of it. I’ll be back for it VERY soon!