Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Thank You (Stop)
I learned something about myself today. Like most women I know, I do not accept a compliment well. I talk too much and spoil the moment. You'd think it wouldn't be so difficult to just say, "Thank you," and stop there. No explanation. No excuses why not. We all learned in kindergarten that when someone pays you a compliment, big or small, the right way to respond is simply with a smile and a single, "Thank you." Six year olds should struggle with this concept, not thirty-six year olds.
Today I took my son to his preschool in clothes not resembling items from the Lost&Found. And people took notice. Two very nice women complimented the color of my blouse (raspberry pink I learned) or gave me a nod and a, "You look nice!" You'd think I could've accepted those niceties with grace and dignity. I did not.
Instead I sounded like a moron. A thankless, probably deaf, definitely neurotic moron. Here, see for yourself. It went a little like this:
Nice Preschool Teacher: Oh, you look nice!
Moron Moi: (plucking dog hair off my black tights and not even making eye contact). Oh no, Thank you (at least I think I said Thank You? Not even sure at this point). I have SO much dog hair on me. I vacuum every other day it seems and still all this dog hair no matter how hard we try. Guess maybe I should give up wearing black. Oh, look at all this static! Dog hair, static cling, jacket on the floor, I'm a complete mess...
Nice Preschool Teacher: nowhere in sight.
So there it was. A perfect opportunity to graciously accept a gesture of warmth and I rottened it up with my big mouth. Too bad too because I really did want to let her know how much I appreciated her kind words toward me. Just couldn't make my own self-loathing dialogue stop long enough to do it the right way.
Next time I wear raspberry pink with black tights, I will remember to bring along the duct tape to apply instead of lip balm. I'm sure Stacy and Clinton would approve in the name of making strides toward grace and decorum.