Day 149: When Irish/Italian eyes are smiling

Sorry, what was your name again?

Sorry, what was your name again?

I learned something today about smiling. All this time I thought turning up the corners of your mouth was all it took.

Turns out, that’s just the half of it. The heart of a smile comes from your eyes. (You already knew that? Sheesh.)

I’ve been trying to make an effort lately to be more “smiley” in general. But that’s just what it was, effort. I was missing that special twinkle that takes your grin to the next level.

Leonardo Da Vinci clearly knew all about this secret when he painted Mona what’s her name, who’s all about the eyes.

How did I come upon this nugget of knowledge, you ask?

I caught a look at myself in the ladies’ room smiling hello at someone who was leaving and boy was I surprised. My mouth was doing its bit but I actually looked kind of sad — those darned eyes gave it away.

Not that I want to have a fake smile plastered on my face all day — au contraire. But when I do smile at someone I want it to be the real deal.

So for the rest of the day I relaxed and when I wanted to greet someone happily I really smiled … eyes first.

Smiley face trivia 🙂

  • Worcester, Massachusetts, is the birthplace of the yellow Smiley Face. That’s where Harvey R. Ball, who co-owned an advertising and public relations firm, designed the smiley in 1963 to boost the morale of workers of two recently merged insurance companies.
  • Harvey Ball was paid $45 for his artwork by State Mutual Life Assurance Companies of America.
  • In the late 1960s, N.G. Slater Corporation began making smiley face pins, which quickly became a hit with the public.
  • During the 1970s, the yellow Smiley Face became an omnipresent symbol of happiness and good cheer, appearing on everything from buttons and cookie jars to neckties and sleeping bags.
  • At first, the Smiley Face design was used by itself. Later, the phrase, “Have a nice day!” was added.

smilestampMore Smiley Face trivia 🙂

  • At its peak of popularity in 1971, more than 50 million Smiley Face buttons were sold. It has been used in countless advertising campaigns, most recently by the discount chain store, Wal-Mart. (Which is ironic, since there’s no store that can more effectively erase the smile from your face, IMO.)
  • In the 1990s, the Smiley Face — a retro icon — returned to popular culture and eventually launched a whole new generation of Smiley Faces online, as the first emoticon.
  • In 1999, the U.S. Postal Service issued a Smiley Face postage stamp in the “1970s Celebrate the Century” set.
  • Harvey R. Ball, designer of the Smiley Face, died on April 12, 2001 at the age of 79.
  • His motto: Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile. 🙂

Smiley Face source: smileycollector.com.

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