I had gotten in the habit of stopping at a particular gas station on my way to work, to get a cup of coffee. (I can't make good coffee at home. I've given up.) Almost every day, the same cashier is there, and there is a man who hangs out in the store and talks to her. Frequently, he has something to say to me when I come up to the register. It would be fine if he were saying, "Good morning," but it's usually along the lines of, "Smile!" or "Aren't you excited to go to work?" or some version of him telling me to smile.
Now, I do offer the cashier a polite smile and a greeting, but I don't think I'm required to walk around grinning all the time. I struggle with depression and mornings are often very difficult for me. I do my best. It's not like I'm scowling at anyone, but a blank expression is all I can manage on some days.
Usually, I give him no response other than a brief, nervous smile. But that isn't going to stop his comments. Last week, he outright stared at me without saying anything. I glanced up at him, and he continued to stare openly. I haven't been back to the gas station since then. The problem is that it's the only place that's convenient for me to get a cup of coffee on my way to work.
I don't know what to say. I'm certainly not going to explain to a complete stranger why I don't look happy. And I really didn't know what to say to the staring. Help?