This writer of what he termed “romantic comedies” is a master of humor and sentiment. I can’t tell you how insightful I think this simple explanation is.
“If girls realized their responsibilities, they would be so careful when they smiled that they would probably abandon the practice altogether. There are moments in a man’s life when a girl’s smile can have as important results as an explosion of dynamite. In the course of their brief acquaintance Joan had smiled at Ashe many times, but the conditions governing those occasions had not been such as to permit him to be seriously affected. He had been pleased on such occasions; he had admired her smile in a detached and critical spirit; but he had not been overwhelmed by it. The frame of mind necessary for that result had been lacking. But now, after five minutes of solitude on the depressing platform of Market Blandings Station, he was what the spiritualists call a sensitive subject. He had reached that depth of gloom and bodily discomfort when a sudden smile has all the effect of strong liquor and good news administered simultaneously, warming the blood and comforting the soul and generally turning the world from a bleak desert into a land flowing with milk and honey.
It is not too much to say that he reeled before Joan’s smile. It was so entirely unexpected. He clutched Mr. Peters’ steamer-trunk in his emotion…In the almost incredibly brief time in which it took the small but sturdy porter to roll a milk-can across the platform and bump it with a clang against other milk-cans similarly treated a moment before, Ashe fell in love.”
P.G. Wodehouse (Something Fresh, 1915)