Working in a grocery store, you notice the disgusting smiles all the fucking time, and they are never genuine. You smile because you're afraid to anger the customers, because it's part of being an automaton; the social context; the service. It doesn't have anything to do with whether you're happy or not. I'm sure it's the same for all the customers. I force myself not to smile or greet the cashier whenever I'm shopping because I want to spare them another useless facade. I'm sure most people deal with this and it's part of the social culture in many places.
If anyone has seen/read Monster, there is a journalist called Grimmer who is very friendly and polite. He's always smiling. He's not smiling because he's enjoying himself, he's smiling because it's the only emotion he learned how to mimic. His wife left him after his apparent lack of grief at his son's funeral.
I can identify with this so much. I'm just like Grimmer.
I realize most men have difficulties showing emotional weaknesses, but it's more like an inability to me. I can't cry, I can't scream, I can't get angry, I can't laugh, nothing. When my dad had a heart attack, I was so afraid. Not for his life, but for the other relatives suddenly realizing my grief wasn't as real as theirs.
In every social setting with another human being I'm afraid. I'm not especially afraid of big black men or aggressive drunkards, in fact I'm more afraid of small children because they seem to sense that something is wrong with my facade. Probably because they haven't adapted to the idiotic social rules of the adult world. I'm afraid of them, so I smile.
I'm not afraid of death, I'm not afraid of rejection - I'm afraid of human beings. Terrified that they'll notice I'm not one of them.
Fortunately nobody seems to have realized yet. Human beings... they are so stupid sometimes
(just scribbled down some thoughts cause I couldn't sleep... apologize for the terrible writing)