Monday, December 10, 2007

It's Like Playing A Record Backwards To Hear The "Real" Meaning

This weekend while Christmas shopping, I was feeling a bit Scrooge-like; most likely prompted by the unseasonal heat and throngs of shoppers.

In the store, I passed an older woman who was looking at me the entire time I was walking toward her. I figured she caught my un-holidayish scowl, so I said as I passed her, "Ugh. I'm just feeling a little Scroogey right now." She smiled as if she knew what I was feeling.

A while later, I ran into her in the Christmas card aisle. She came up to me, touched my arm and said, "I just wanted you to know that I wasn't looking at you because I thought you were scowling or looking like Scrooge, as you said, I was looking at you because I think you're very beautiful." Well! I'll be damned.

Since I really was a little cranky from starting my day out with three hours worth of dental work, I imagined how I must have looked; like a petulant child, all hot and whiney, trailing behind my mother in the over-crowded store when I was "caught" wearing a scowl by a stranger. Then it turns out the stranger just thought I looked beautiful. How absolutely unexpected!
I thanked her sincerely and we went our seperate shopping ways.

After I thought about how nice it was to be complimented by a complete stranger (which is something I do often, so I have a fondness for it), it brought back the memory of another time when I was shopping and got a compliment; although I'm not sure the delivery was as smooth as this older womans was...

I had an armful of clothing and was looking through the dress rack for more things to try on. I kept passing the same lady, who was looking at me for periods of time I thought were a little too long. Did I have a stalker?

As I rounded the dress rack again, she came up and stopped right in front of me. I smiled and shifted to the side as if to pass her when she said, "I just wanted to tell you that I think you're extremely beautiful for a not thin person."


I laughed to myself thinking, was that a compliment? but just said "Thank you." Or maybe I said, "Uh...thank you." I'm not really sure, but I always refer to that event as the time I got the "un" compliment or the "backwards" compliment.

Honestly, I'll take 'em any way they come. I like when people are bold and say what they think, especially if they're complimenting me in the process.

Mostly though, I like the ones that I don't have to decipher.


Tui Snider @mentalmosaic said...

Unexpected compliments are great. And after 3 hours of dental work? Heck, I'd still be drooling and loopy.

The opposite has happened to me, where I was feeling great, and then people say, "Are you feeling ok?" (That's how I learned never to wear Khaki. It makes me look ill!)

Other times, I'm feeling like crap, and people say, "You look great."

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

Well despite the dental work, sounds like it ended up being a rather fabulous day :)

I've had the same experience as Tui...feeling good, people ask if I'm tired, etc.; feeling like crap, I look great.

Can't win for losing, I say.

Sauntering Soul said...

Well, based on the photos I've seen on here, I think you're beautiful too (in a completely non-stalker way).

I had a guy tell me once that my eye area was the most beautiful of any woman he's ever gone out with. I asked "what about the rest of me?" and he said no, just my eyes. Gee thanks. He later asked me if I would lose xxx number of pounds so he could marry me one day so it turns out he was just an ass.

Sauntering Soul said...

P.S. I'm tagging you for a meme. If you don't want to do it, I won't be upset. :-)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like she dispensed good medicine :)