Monday, May 05, 2008

The Fine Line Between Compliments And Creepiness

Ed and I were in a Panera Bread this past weekend, having lunch. The girl at the counter who took our order was peaches and cream cute. She had long, dark, hair, blue eyes, rosy cheeks and sparkling white teeth. She was extremely pleasant, made good eye contact and was a bit giggly. In that high school sort of way.

She was just charming. I said to Ed, of course knowing she would hear me since we were standing right there, "She's so cute." She smiled at the indirect compliment and Ed gave me his I guess shoulder shrug. "You know, cute in the way where you just want to scoop her up and put her in your pocket." I said.

When we sat down to eat, we talked about the fine line between being complimentary and being creepy. Women can get away with giving compliments to other women, especially if the compliment giver is older. I was at least twenty years older than this girl, so my saying she was "so cute" was acceptable. If a man my age were to do the same thing, it would come off as being a little inappropriate, like he was hitting on her.

And had Ed piped in and said that he also thought she was cute, it might have looked like we were combing the countryside for cute little girls to abduct and take on a journey in the truck with us. You have to be careful there, too. You don't want to look like the main character in a Dean Koontz novel.

Women have it pretty easy, as we never seem to come off as creepy. There are some that come off as crazy, but not typically creepy. Granted, some get sucked into abduction schemes and are used as bait to lure people into their evil web, but again, those women when caught, will always be walking out of the double-wide trailer they've been holed up in with eyes glazed over, wearing a dirty housedress, no bra and their greasy hair in a tornado of activity on top of their head. Not so much creepy, but very much so crazy.

Men, on the other hand, don't have far to go before they cross the creep line. Just one wrong word or a slightly "off" tone can raise eyebrows. Some men can carry it off, they just have a "way" about delivering a good compliment, but if you're not one of those men, in today's social climate, it's best if you just get your lunch and keep your mouth shut.

Save your compliments for your wife or girlfriend.

No comments: