Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fake Out Compliment

Today I was riding my new bike to the store, which doesn't exist anymore but that's something all together different from what I'm going to write about.  Anyways I was riding my bike to the store and these two Jr High kids rode up on their bikes.  We were all stopped at a stop light.  SO of course I was doing that stand where you straddle your bike so it doesn't move and you don't roll out into traffic.  But I was also still kind of sitting on my saddle, so my one leg was on my tip toes.  Anyways, this caused my calf to be flexed.

And this one kid who looked like a blonde Beiber says, "You have huge calves." 

And the other kid whispers to himself "Lucky."

No joke these kids were probably 13 at the oldest.  

So I said "Yeah I do."

"Do you ride your bike a lot?"

"Actually I just got it the other day."

"Oh...Do you run a lot?"

"Not really...It's more of a genetic thing"


"Ha Thanks."

So this made me think about how sometimes people say things and they think it's a compliment but it's really just a fact.  While I don't think this kid necessarily thought that telling me "Your calves are huge." was a compliment, it just is a weird statement to say to a stranger.  Not really the most flattering word choice either. But they are 13 so what can you do.  

My point is though that stating a fact about the way someone looks and expecting some kind of reaction from them is weird.  It's like going up to a person and saying "Oh hey you look like a human."  Which is sad sounding because it sounds like you thought they wouldn't or something.  

I know, I know, you don't mean to be offensive or anything.  Sometimes things take you by surprise and you must blurt out things like "Wow you have red hair." Or "Oh your eyes are blue." Or "Your hair is curly."  But do not be surprised if a person responds with "What the heck?  When I woke up this morning my hair was not red it was black!!" Of course in a quite sarcastic tone.  Or more often they will use my response of no response or "Yep."  

When I used to work at the MTC I would poll the red-headed Elders and ask them if any one had ever told them they had red hair and what their responses were.  Just a random story I thought I would share with you.

And not like noticing these things is bad, but if you like the red hair or the curly hair or the blue eyes it may be better to say "Wow I love your curly/red hair / blue eyes."  Or whatever it is that you may be noticing.

But if you don't like it it might be better to say nothing at all.  Because you know telling someone 
"Oh you have curly hair."  And then staring at them can make them feel kind of self conscience and want to straighten their hair all the time.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I guess that the boy who kept saying lucky was trying to make it sound like a compliment. HaHaHaHa! Funny post!
I love your curly hair!
Love Mom