Aight, so today's fare: compliments. I suck at getting them.
A simple thank you will suffice. A simple thank you will suffice. I coach myself thusly whenever I enter the compliment minefields. For instance, Thursday, I'm having a girl party. NO, it's not like that! We're all mothers, for crissake. Sheesh and sit up straight!! Anyway, girls are all, "Omg, I love your top!" "These cheesecake-bites are sooo good." etc, ad nauseum. I'm not against compliments--not at all, keep 'em coming--but I'm just not good at getting them. In short, I forget to say thank you. I either do the self-depreciating thing: "Yeah, the top distracts the eye from my huge ass, don't you think?" or I refuse credit: "Oh, yeah, those are store-bought. Target had a special."
I think the problem is rooted in the fact that I get stared at, a lot. I just do. (Truly, I'm no Angelina. I dunno why they stare.) Anyway, it's rather a fact of my life, one that I've accepted. Most of the time I get off on the attention, I'm a Leo, after all. But it makes me complacent, in a way, like I deserve it or something.
For instance, there's the whole kid complimenting issue. Someone tellsl my son, "You have the most beautiful eyes." He truly does. Grey and huge, lashes to die for, like Elfin eyes. Anyway, he says nothing, and I hate saying, "Son, now say thank you," to my kid who's nearly as tall as me. So do I say thank you or what?? They weren't even talking to me. And I can kind of take credit in a genetic way, but I can't really take credit for planning for my kids' beauty. It's really luck of the draw, ain't it?
So many compliments are a bit sidewise. Like the one I got the other day. "You're so tan, you should have a lounge with your name on it." See? I got nuthin. I do get tan in summer. It's fun cuz I get to be a woman "of color" for four months. Yup, I get that dark. I know people admire it, though sometimes it leads to awkward verging-on-discrimnatory comments. But how does one respond to that? Maybe it's not even a compliment. Hmm.
Here's another. One time, some stranger complimented me to her friend, "She's so pretty." She said it loud enough I could hear her; we'd just sort of smiled at each other in passing the way strangers do. I said nothing. Hopefully that was right. It felt funny though, like I should have said something.
Or it's even more sidewise. "Did you get that top at Old Navy? I bought it, too!" Am I wrong in wondering how to respond? She likes it, too, obviously, she bought it. And she's acknowledging my cleverness for buying the same thing. But then, maybe it's not about me. Maybe compliments aren't really about the complimented but about the complimenter.
Sometimes, though, someone blatently compliments me and I just ignore it altogether. Someone just complimented me via email and I failed to acknowledge it in any way. Blip. The brain failed to compute a reply. (belated thank you, btw!!)
I also forget to compliment my friends. I forget their birthdays; I forget to call them;I neglect them for my writing. Hmm. Maybe if I complimented them more, and watched their responses, I'd learn what to do.