On the other extreme are those that seem to be forever spouting optimism. Speaking with them is like mainlining happiness, an injection of flower-scented excitement directly into the soul. Right at the top of that list is my buddy PDS, thus dubbed because it is the shortened version of Puppy-Dogs-and-Sunshine, because that's basically what the world is to her. It's fantastic.
Ranking second on that list is my good friend Island Girl. This is a lady that can absolutely see the good in any situation. And when I say any situation, I mean I once heard her say that she didn't mind the enormous, parking-lot-esque traffic jam we were in b/c she thought the pattern of brake lights on the road in front of us were beautiful. Seriously. (See what I mean? We all need people like these in our lives...)
Anyway, the last time I saw Island Girl, she told me that she had recently been brought into this contest with a friend wherein the object was to give at least three compliments to random strangers a day. If the stranger didn't acknowledge it at all, no points were awarded. If they gave a perfunct response, one point. A nice response, two points. If an actual conversation sprung from it, three points. Any negative reactions were a negative two.
(How, why, or w/ whom this game arose, I have no idea. It's not important for the purpose of this story)
So one afternoon last week, Island Girl and I are out and about and she's telling me about this game. Speaking as someone that is six and a half foot tall and very haole here on Oahu, I was, shall we say, a little dubious. (I like to think myself a fairly friendly, gregarious fella...but I still picture this ending badly and me somehow ending up w -10 points...just the city I live in) She on the other hand was convinced this was a great idea and that it could work. So much so that she was intent on showing me...
Now, to take a half step back for a moment, as many of you that people like this have probably already surmised, for all the wonderful, effusive happiness that they spew, they can tend to be a bit unaware. This was one such instance.
As we were walking through downtown Honolulu, Island Girl spots a 50's-60's year old man walking towards us. He is a haole, with heavily freckled skin and what appears to be a small woodland creature growing atop his head. I have seen some bad hairpieces in my day, but this takes the cake. By a long shot. Island Girl, conversely, had no idea.
Convinced my warnings were nothing more than attempts to derail her, she walked right up to this gentlemen and compliment his hair. As can be expected, the man mistook this for her poking fun and immediately blew up. Badly. Grabbed the rug off his head, waved his arms about, yelled something. (What is was I'm not sure...I was laughing too hard) Once the light turned and the man stomped off, a clearly mortified Island Girl looked at me w/ her mouth agape.