Compliments are a work of art - a gift by the giver and a trinket for the receiver to cherish.
Compliments are made even more special when they are unexpected, as if the giver was waiting in a dark room to yell "SURPRISE".
Sometimes you see them coming, it's easy to do if you are paying attention to the conversation. A topic will come up, say...food...and your friend may say, "Oh, you make the best whatchacallits ever!" To which, someone like me will reply, "Oh...they are so easy anyone can make whatchacallits. It isn't even my recipe, I stole it from..."
Mission accomplished, compliment deflected....or passed along to, who I believe is, the proper recipient.
Sometimes compliments come along in the least likely of places, and you are FORCED to keep it because you didn't even see it coming.
The first compliment of this past weekend came from my aunt (who I SWEAR I will call back today, I PROMISE). I sent her a card, because she is massive amounts of awesome and I love her dearly and miss her daily. I can't even remember what the card said, or what I said, but it inspired her to call me and thank me profusely, but then she did it. She deflected it back to me and through her incredible Best Auntie In The Universe powers, she made it stick to me - VIA A PHONE MESSAGE. You can't learn talent like that, you are born with it. I didn't save the recording, because if I listen to it again I'll cry. I'm a HUGE CRY BABY.
And I haven't called her back yet - mostly because I've been busy, but partly because I don't want to unstick the kindness that has been trying to burrow into my brain in an effort to prove to me that compliments won't kill me. When I call her, she'll say wonderful things to me again (she always does, but these wonderful things are because of nice things I said to her first - this is sounding more like game of compliment tag). Hmm....
WARNING**THIS IS NOT A PHISHING EXPEDITION FOR MORE COMPLIMENTS* Please be advised that this is how my brain works - like it, love it, hate it, disbelieve it...the knowledge is now yours to deal with.**
The second compliment came in a haze of inebriation. I am always one to question the authenticity of a compliment (and a statement or story or memory or...) when the person has imbibed heavily - but I've decided that dissecting it is far less fun than accepting it.
Here is some background: Rumor has it that Hubbypants speaks well of me when I'm not around, which is one of the many reasons why I don't try to kill him in his sleep. This past weekend Hubbypants and I went on a brewery hop bus tour with some of his homebrewing friends. I chatted with some very nice people, whom I cannot name because I cannot remember shit - BUT I NEVER FORGET A FACE. Anyway, at the last stop, shortly before boarding the bus home one of the gentlemen commented on how I had lived up to and surpassed the image Hubbypants had created for me (perhaps not in those words, but I got the gist). That, my friends, was an example of a complimentary-cling-on -one that leaves you a bit speechless and in complete lack of a comeback. I was forced to keep it.
I'm still struggling with where to place it, though. Which is a typical Melissa thing to do.
Do I place it in the vault to cherish and think back upon (along with all the others) when I need a lift?
Or, do I set it on the "things-people-say-to-be-nice" shelf where it will whither away due to lack of belief?
I've done the latter A-LOT! There are compliments on that shelf collecting dust that probably shouldn't be there, but it is what I do. I know I'm not alone, you probably do it too...in your own way.
So, I've decided to take it to heart, because unless I strap the man down and hook him up to a lie detector I'll never know how much truth was sprinkled onto his words. And I've decided that it isn't for me to decide. He gave those words to me and took the trouble to wrap them up in party paper and a bow. I love packages and surprises and pretty things - so who am I to question this gift?
I'll take it, BOTH of the compliments, and I'll display them proudly, right here...THANK YOU.