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How will you wear it?


A smile…pass it on

“So, is it a command or a request?”

What? I was standing in line at the grocery store, double checking that I got everything that I came in to get. I must have had a very puzzled look on my face as I looked at the older gentleman in line ahead of me. He repeated, “Is that a command or a request?” as he pointed at my Smile Generation t-shirt.

“Well,” I replied, “I suppose most people smile when they look at it, so it must just be a given.”

“Hmmm…” he said fighting off a smile of his own, “I just have fun reading people’s t-shirts.”

I explained to him, “If you were out at the Irvine Marketplace at lunch time today, you would’ve seen a few hundred of us wandering around with this shirt on. It’s for the launch of our new website called The Smile Generation.”

I turned around so he could read the back of my shirt. “We have several hundred dental offices across 5 states.”

He just smiled at me, so I smiled back. He said, “You have a nice smile.”

I replied, “We have good dentists.”

He laughed.

When he got to the register, the checker asked if he wanted to donate $1 to the City of Hope for pediatric cancer research. He said he would, and she asked him to write his name on one of the cards they hang up around the store. Instead of writing his name, he pointed to me and said, “I want to write down her company’s name because she’s just been so nice. And I like her smile.” I flashed him my pearly whites again, thanking Dr. Reagan and Dr. Buehler in my head for all the work they did in my mouth. Then I turned around so he could see the back of the shirt and get the spelling right.

I smiled and said, “Thank you,” and he smiled back before gathering his groceries and wishing me a good day.

How do I wear my t-shirt? Well, I started wearing mine for charity:water. Then I wore it so I could wear a t-shirt and jeans to work. Next thing you know, I’m wearing it for pediatric cancer research. How will you wear it?

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  • Well, that is somehow unique yet so puzzling for others. LOL
    I wonder how exactly that old man looked like when he was looking at your shirt.

  • Thats a unique and very inspiring story, the attitudes that you shown to the customer will give you more than you gave to him. Even me smile after i read the story.