“Benefits” of the UofC’s late departure

By Leila Sales

There’s this quotation that I hate. It’s something like, “Don’t frown because you never know when someone will fall in love with your smile.” As a journalist, I spent a good two minutes diligently searching Google to see who first said this. Unfortunately, all I came up with was the Inspirational Chat Forum and one of those pop-up windows informing me that I was the 375,898,046th visitor to this website and that I could win a million dollars if I clicked on a link.

I’m suspicious of these sorts of pop-up windows because they’re designed to resemble Windows dialogue boxes; the idea being, I guess, that you’ll think, “Ah, that looks just like Minesweeper and thus totally unsketchy!” But I have a Mac, so designing ads to look anything like Bill Gates’s products is a surefire way of losing my respect.

So I was disgruntled by this pop-up window and thus did not finish researching the origins of “Don’t frown because you never know when someone will fall in love with your smile.” But that is OK, because I doubt that anyone ever actually said it. Like, if your mother said that to you, wouldn’t you smack the ho? Yeah, you would. And yet this quote continues to parade around the Internet like it is not an insult to all people with an IQ score in the positive digits.

Actually, though, I don’t hate this quote because of my intellectual superiority. I hate it because my teeth are yellow. Really, it’s true. I have canary-colored teeth. Well, like, if the canary were dipped in a vat of white paint and retained just the slightest hint of its original coloring. Then I would have canary-colored teeth.

So I can’t always smile. I’m scared people will say to me, “My God, Leila, what did you eat for breakfast? Canaries?”

Did you know, though, that canaries are a delicacy in some parts of the world? Actually, I totally just made that up. But it would be neat if it were true. Anyone want to Google it? If Encyclopedia Brown were alive today, do you think he’d go by Google Brown?

Anyway, in spite of my morose veneer, I have been smiling more often these past few weeks. That’s because I am on a quest to convince myself that still being in school, when all my friends from home got out two weeks ago, is awesome. Here is some compelling rationale behind that blatantly false assertion:

1. People on summer vacation often go to the beach. What is on the beach, you may well ask, other than people with free time and scantily clad hotties? Let me tell you: There are alarmingly high rates of sunburn and shark attacks at the beach. You know where there aren’t shark attacks? The Midwest. And sitting on the A-level, thinking about how I am not getting skin cancer, is so goddamned fulfilling that I don’t even know what to do with myself, other than, like, study.

2. I have never read Ulysses. You also have never read it, unless you are one of those people taking that class entitled Ulysses. During the school year, there is a very good reason why you and I are not reading Ulysses: It’s because we have a lot of course work, and we for sure can’t just lounge around, frittering away our time on entertainment like James Joyce. But when it’s summer, and we are still not reading great literature, then we must confront the fact that we are shallow slobs who want nothing more than to watch Degrassi Junior High 20 hours a day. Although, again, I may just be speaking for myself.

3. School offers a marvelous opportunity to avoid the real world, by which I mean “grown-ups,” particularly, “your parents’ friends.” Parents’ friends show up only when you are home (e.g. in the summertime), and then they tend to have this unhealthy obsession with your schoolwork and future. They are forever inquiring into your classes and “plans for after you graduate,” even if you are only 19 and fully intend to take upwards of six years getting your B.A. But, over the summer, you have to put up with these middle-aged people because, frankly, you have nothing else to do except sleep until sundown.

So the next time one of your friends brags to you, “I spent all day reading magazines while working on my tan in Hawaii,” be sure you counter with, “Yeah, well, I spent all day doing reading. And it rocked.” And then smile, so they’ll know you mean it. And so they’ll never suspect that you are about to punch them in the brain.