Smile In the Face of 2020
Everyone’s friends know them well enough to know them for what separates them from everyone else.
Maybe you’re the GI Joe fan of the group, what with all of your awesome vintage GI Joe action figures and encyclopedic knowledge of the cartoon. Or you might be the Pathfinder RPG Podcast guy, even if they’re unaware of the full extent of the scope of your podcast network. Maybe you’re the strong one, with surprising strength and a talent for destruction.
Just spit-balling totally common roles within a group.
Me, at least this time of year, I’m Smile Cookie Guy.
For one week every September, famous Canadian* coffee shop Tim Hortons sells Smile Cookies, oversized chocolate chip cookies with blue frosting eyes and a pink frosting mouth. They cookies cost $1, and the whole dollar goes to local charities.
*Tim Hortons has been owned by a non-Canadian company since 1995. First by US company Wendy’s, then Brazil’s Restaurant Brands International.
This is not a paid blog post, by the way. I love me some Smile Cookies. My average number of Tim Hortons cookies purchased that week is 1.25 a day (I usually panic the last day and buy them out). The other 51 weeks of the year? Average of 0.0 cookies per day.
Lots of reasons!
First of all, they are delicious. Who knew a little more sugar could bring a chocolate chip cookie to life?
Second of all, Is there a more universally pleasant icon than the smiley face? Seriously, when I walk into a Timmies and a rack of cookies smiles at me? Of course I smile back!
Third of all, community. You can’t be your group’s Smile Cookie Guy unless you share your enthusiasm for friendly baked goods with your friends.
Being The Smiley Face Guy
My friend Matt once told me he doesn’t care about Tim Hortons Smile Cookies, but he enjoys my coverage of Smile Cookie week. My friend Denise messages me every year as soon as she gets wind of when Smile Cookies are back. She assumes I already know, and most of the time she’s right, but there have been years when her annual message clues me in.
My friend Shaun’s reactions might be my favourite. He focuses on the misshaped smiles and eyes, speculating on what those smiles hide.
I don’t know when Smile Cookies started, or when I first got on board the smile cookie train. Honestly, keeping track of details would over complicate things. My smile cookie posts appeal to friends because they are fun and frivolous. It’s a cookie with a smile on it that brings me joy, a joy I then share.
This Year Was Almost Different
In March, my social media habits changed.I reconsidered what role my focus on positivity and pop culture played in creating a false sense of tranquility (by 2020 standards). So I scaled way back, reading more than sharing, and what I shared tended to be political.
When I came face to face with Smile Cookies this year, I had to ask: what do I do? Take the year off?
But what about the charity? Sure, there’s a capitalist component. I buy more lattes when the Smile Cookies are out than any other week. But it’s hardly the worst use of charity for a company’s bottom line.
Smile Cookies represent simple joy, a touch of the positive. Not sharing my Smile Cookie experience not only wouldn’t generate that joy, it would generate an equal and opposite amount of confusion.
“Costello, you’re the Smile Cookie Guy. Where are your smile cookie pics?”
Right here, friends!