Three Smiles

Have you guys seen Win a Date With Tad Hamilton? Not a particularly great movie, but when I saw it, there was a line that made me choke on my own saliva. Pete, the dork and real love interest (of course), is giving the treat-her-right speech to Tad, and he says:

Like do you know she has six smiles? One when something really makes her laugh. One when she’s making plans. One when she is laughing out of politeness. One when she is uncomfortable. One when she is making fun of herself. And one when… she’s talking about her friends.

But let me take you back.

Shane was what my friends referred to delicately and completely without snark as my “Internet lover.” This was in 1995. did not exist. We had one computer in the house that my three siblings and I shared. No one had cell phones– or at least in any iteration that the current generation would recognize. The Internet was not full of LOL cats. In fact, the Internet was mostly full of nerds in chat rooms.

And if you were a nerd in a chat room, you could, sometimes, find nerdy Internet love.

Shane and I didn’t meet in person for quite a while, but we did, eventually, when he came to town with his folks on a trip, ostensibly to scout out colleges, I think.

Things had already gotten as “hot and heavy” as things can get between two 15-year-olds who email back and forth (and exchange fan fiction, if you want to know the whole nerdy truth), but things in person were a little… awkward.

On my part, there was a lot of blushing and umming and giggling. He was smoother, but I think not as suave as he was hoping to be. Still, there were moments– moments when we both managed to pull ourselves together enough to communicate like reasonably sane and intelligent people.

One such moment came when we were in my room talking (actually talking, with the door open, people– we were nice young things) and he looked at me and he said, “Do you know you have three smiles?”

And I ummed and blushed a little, because I have a way with words.

“You do,” he insisted. “You have the one you’re doing now. It’s like the pretty, polite school picture smile. No teeth.”

And I smiled a little bigger. Who wouldn’t?

“And then there’s that one.” He paused to wink at me. “That one’s your happy smile, the one that goes up to your eyes and I can tell is the real one.”

And then I laughed, probably out of pure glee, because no boy had ever so thoroughly wooed me.

“Aha, that’s the one I love best,” he said. “That’s your super-smile. The one when someone really makes you laugh, or surprises you… in a good way. And I’ve been trying to get you to do that one all day.”

And I think I may have melted into a freaking puddle right then.

So when I heard Pete say his line in that dumb movie, my mouth dropped open until my popcorn fell right out. I may have uttered, “He stole Shane’s line.”

And then I melted into a puddle all over again, even though that movie came out in 2004, nearly ten years after Shane unlocked all my smiles in one 30-second woo-of-the-century, and at least a couple of years after my last conversation with him.

Such is the power of a really good woo.

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