Have you ever had one of those comments or compliments that you just don’t quite know what to do with? When you think that the person who gives it to you probably means well (or may be on track for a sexual harassment claim!), but for whatever reason, it doesn’t quite sit so well with you, make much sense to you, or you wonder why they felt the need to say it?
I’ve had a few. And as my picky brain tends to do, it’s these curious and odd “compliments” that stick with me long after I’ve forgotten a normal nice thing that somebody said.
I worked in the finance industry for a looong time. Probably too long. And the company I worked for was fond of a long and boozy lunch/dinner/evening/conference/party. There was one guy who consistently drank way more than he should have. You’d see him swaying on the dance floor, his eyes bloodshot, and if you knew what was good for you, you’d steer clear. On one weekend conference, there had been the usual drinking. Our boss had inexplicably disappeared and made it widely known that he was giving a female employee a foot rub. “Oh, I dunno why he’s doing that”, Trevor slurred. “Oh, why’s that?”I asked (stupid, stupid, stupid). “Oh well if I got you up to the room, I wouldn’t be giving you a foot massage, I’d pork ya.” I had to ask. Fortunately my friend was armed with one of those sharp, prong like hair clips and gave him a friendly stab in the chest to fend him off. She drew blood. She didn’t mean to. Don’t worry, I don’t think he felt a thing.
I took my gorgeous baby boy out to the shopping centre. You may think me biased, but damn he was cute. Big, bright blue twinkling eyes, dimples, a ready smile and soft, sticky uppy, blonde hair. “Oh look at him,” cooed the shop assistant. “Look at those beautiful big beady eyes!!”. The what what? Is that what you really meant to say??
There was a boy. A boy I’d always had a crush on. He was really gorgeous, and funny, and artistic and as charismatic as hell. He was prone to sweet gestures, sending funny postcards written in French, finding things that made me laugh, and delivering them to my work and then disappearing. Gazing into my eyes one day, he said “Do you know what you remind me of with those big brown eyes?” “No, what’s that?” I asked (stupid, stupid, stupid) “You remind me of one of those cartoon cows with those big long eyelashes”. Awesome. He must have picked up on the awkward, crestfallen silence and quickly tried to backpedal. “But in a good way – you know like one of those cute cartoon cows…… or a cute puppy dog with big sad eyes?” No.
I sure know how to pick them. One guy I briefly dated, was sitting across the table from me. “Do you know what I really love about your face?” “What?” I asked (stupid, stupid, stupid). “Your eyebrows are really perfectly placed”. WTF? Above my eyes? Where else would they be? This comment was echoed by a guy who used to give me a lift to TAFE “You have really great eyebrows”. Is that the facially related compliment equivalent to “you have a really nice personality”? I didn’t even know that men considered eyebrows, unless they were so bushy they looked capable of growing legs and crawling off your face.
Hubby check: Me: “Wayne, what do you think of my eyebrows?” Wayne: “They’re neat. Why?” So thankfully, there’s at least one guy who hasn’t given my eyebrows a whole lot of thought, even though he’s been looking at them for over twenty years now. Don’t think I want to be known as “that Banana Head with the great eyebrows”.