...for a different kind of girl

silent surburban girl releasing her voice, not yet knowing what all she wants to say about her life and the things that make it spin. do you have to be 18 to be here? you'll know when i know.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

"i can live for two months on a good compliment"

it's never been easy for me to accept a compliment. it's probably not easy for many of us to bask in compliments, especially if they're not doled out on a routine basis or are actually just back-handed attempts at praise (i.e. "welp, that dinner wasn't so bad afterall").

when i receive a compliment, i try my best not to pass it back to the person giving it like they were forcing me to touch something nasty or insisting they must be (take your pick) blind, crazy, in possession of poor taste or a hermit simply in thinking enough of me to say something nice. compliments, i've read, are little gifts and you should accept them with grace as you would any gift given to you because it makes the giver feel good.

so, honestly, i got this really spectacular gift from a woman whose purchases i was ringing up at the bookstore during the waning hours of christmas shopping. i was tired, i could barely mutter "would you like a gift receipt tonight?" to people after talking for so long, and i was about ready to end it all when i completed a transaction and wished this unassuming, motherly woman at the other side of the counter a merry christmas and handed her purchases over. she turned to leave, then quickly stepped back into the line of customers forging ahead and leaned over the counter with a smile and said something to me. because she whispered, i had to lean in closer and asked her to repeat herself.

"you have the loveliest complexion, and your eyes, dear, are very pretty," she repeated, this time a bit louder.

i was stunned by the graciousness of her compliment, and i have to admit, i stood up a bit straighter and felt rejuvenated as i thanked her (over and over again). her kindness carried me through the remaining hours of my shift. as mark twain said, i, too, can live for two months on a good compliment. i was still holding onto that lightness when i returned home and my husband asked how the night had been.

" heh...maybe she was hittin' on you!" he smirked when i relayed my story to him.

wha? impossible! you're taking my gift and making it something dirty!

then i shared the story with a male confidante.

"duuuude!" he cheered. "she was so lookin' to get her books for free, ya know what i'm sayin?!'"

after reminding him that, based on our history, i was certainly no 'dude,' i had to conclude that guys must like to go for that "cinemax moment" any chance they can. at least the sampling of the male population i put this hypothesis out to.

i'll just take it as the compliment it was meant to be, because now, even days later, i recall it and it makes me smile.

and besides, if she was actually trying to get her books for free (ya know what i'm saying?!), she surely would have gone straight for complimenting the kick ass rack located mere inches from the lovely complexion and pretty eyes.

and that, my friends, is my "cinemax moment."


Blogger The Savage said...

Could be she was a looney what escaped from the nut house... or could be me in disguise.. wait. no.. I'd have complimented the rack...

Wednesday, January 03, 2007 4:23:00 PM  
Blogger Cherrie said...

Isn't it a sad commentary that we often are suspicious of compliments because we think from past experience they are not sincere?

It's great that you let your defenses down for this one!

Thursday, January 04, 2007 12:07:00 AM  
Blogger Nanette said...

Aw :)

Thursday, January 04, 2007 1:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leave it to a man to turn a nice compliment into somethin' dirty! :P
I had a young man years ago remark that I had the most beautiful blue eyes he'd ever seen, and told me they were the color of cornflowers. I had no idea what that was but I was so happy to have something so nice said about me I didn't care. I still remember that, and it's been 10 years.

So what's the secret to your beautiful complexion? : )

Thursday, January 04, 2007 8:22:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Like you, I tend to be a bit embarrassed when someone gives me a compliment, and I want to deflect it, or explain it away. But I've learned over the years to just smile, thank the giver of the compliment, and try my best to believe that it has some basis in fact.

Good for you that you could accept it at face value; I'm sure that it was meant in all sincerity and innocence (I mean, if she was tryin' to score some free books, wouldn't she have said it before you rang her up?)

And gosh, DKG, could you help a guy out? All this talk about the kick-ass rack is getting me all hyperventilated. . .

Thursday, January 04, 2007 8:28:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we have the same male confidante. I get called dude on a daily basis. I think it's nice, though. It means that he truly thinks of me as a friend.

I would have complimented your rack. Hey, I like boobs, and I'm not afraid to say so.

Thursday, January 04, 2007 8:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am bad about compliments the worst. I cover up like you wouldn't believe in RL. I am just embarrassed and I don't know how to take one without explaining it away.

Thursday, January 04, 2007 1:07:00 PM  
Blogger April said...

yeah...i don't accept compliments well, either.

although a couple of months ago this man i passed on the sidewalk told me i had the most beautiful eyes.

it still makes me smile. :)

i'd so kill for a kick-ass rack, though. lmao

Thursday, January 04, 2007 2:23:00 PM  
Blogger FTN said...

I think I'm going to start complimenting strange women on the street, just to make their day.

Are you sure I won't get slapped, though, if I mention boobies?

Music is big in my house and with our friends, and I'm forever telling my wife and friends of ours that they need to learn to take a compliment about a song they performed and not say something like, "Oh, it was okay, but in this part we messed up so-and-so." That drives me nuts.

And then last week a friend complimented the recording of a song that I sang and played guitar on. And I did the exact same thing. "Well, you didn't hear the parts that I screwed up."

Thursday, January 04, 2007 3:34:00 PM  
Blogger perdido said...

I think she was just being nice. I have complimented complete strangers in the past because I genuinely felt whatever it was I was complimenting them about - it also makes me feel good to hopefully say something that may have a positive effect on them or lift their mood - as it did yours.

Thursday, January 04, 2007 4:10:00 PM  
Blogger for a different kind of girl said...

ah, all my wonderful dudes....i have to admit that in writing this post, i felt like i was doing that whole "oh, no, please stop!" motion with my hand while my other hand was motioning to "keep brining it on!" a deep sea diving trip for compliments. even while i try to accept them with grace, i still want to say "oh, what? this old thing?!"

savage - of course you would have noted the rack, and i would have blushed (and then complimented your tongue).

cherrie - you're very right. i sometimes bite my tongue to not respond beyond a 'thank you.' it's wonderful, though, how a kind word can make the day(s)!

nanette - hey, my semi-wonder twin!

taja - i dated a guy once who, while we were driving home, complimented my eyes, and even though in my head i was thinking "how am i gonna break up with this guy?" while he was doing it, i still smile when i recall it. heh...i bring it up to my husband from time to time! oh, and the secret of my complexion? beats the heck out of me. an apparent good day that day, i guess!

desmond - i do have a secret here. the key to not hyperventilating is deep, consistent breaths. eh, probably not much of a secret (at least not as secret as my kick ass rack!).

biscuit - heh...i read you today, dude. i won't gush to a fellow boob girl.

cat - i'm a singer in the choir you're preaching to! i'll remember to wave the next time we hit the high notes!

april - i once walked by a guy in college who elbowed his friend and said 'did you see those hooters?' and i have to say, even though i remember it, it doesn't make me smile (cause hooters? no. no. no.). well, maybe a tiny smile on the inside. and honey, you have a nice backside!

ftn - like hooters, women you compliment randomly on the street may respond better should you opt for a word other than boobies. just sayin'. would tossing panties at you while you played guitar and sang constitute a compliment? i just want to be sure...

cassee - you're right. this lovely lady was being so gracious to me and it truly did make my moment brighter. i try to do the same when complimenting people. thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, January 04, 2007 9:56:00 PM  
Blogger FTN said...

Panty tossin' is the ultimate compliment.

Friday, January 05, 2007 1:25:00 PM  

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