For some reason when I woke up this morning my first thought was that I should make a list of some of the nicest or just coolest things people have said to me over the years. It seemed like a good way to keep a smile on my face all day, and it did.
In no particular order of preference.
1. When I lived in Paris in the 80’s, I worked as a personal assistant to a guy who worked at the Stock Exchange. Translations, errands, and on occasion some minor kitchen demo. Jerome was remodeling his kitchen. One evening, we were knocking down walls, and I got plaster in my eye. He drove me to his mother’s house. She was a retired eye doctor. While she was irrigating the plaster out of my eye, she was looking at me very hard. Not an unpleasant look, but I felt like I was under a microscope. After she thought I had enough saline dumped on me, she took my face in her hands and said to her son:
“You should marry a girl like this one. Look at her face. Her face is as serene as the Holy Virgin. She is radiant. “
I doubt very much I was either radiant or serene at the time, but I blushed very deeply and thanked her politely. I know it’s hard to believe, but I don’t get compared to the Holy Virgin very often.
Actually…that’s not true. I used to get a lot of comments about having a face like a Renaissance Madonna. South Americans, Turks and Italians are extravagant complimenters.
2. One night at the end of a girl’s night, a friend was helping me put my coat on, looked at me with sort of a puzzled expression and said:
“Oh my god. Your eyes are extraordinary.”
She had seen my eyes many, many times before. We are unsure what was so extraordinary about them right at that moment. Still. It’s always nice to have the word extraordinary used about you.
3. I once asked someone to tell me something cheerful. This was the reply. Clearly someone who knows me just a little too well:
“Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings eaten by a vampire.”
What? It cheered me right the fuck up.
4. When I lived in Poitiers, France (age 20-ish) I was walking home from the bus stop and heard someone yelling “mademoiselle! mademoiselle!” and then horns honking, brakes squealing and more yelling. A young man ran up to me, having apparently narrowly averted being run over and said
“Didn’t you hear me calling you? I saw you from the 2nd floor of the bar and wanted to tell you how much I like your look.”
In French, the word look is pronounced like it has about 6 o’s in it and I didn’t understand. After I understood that he was saying that he liked my style, I thanked him and turned down his offer to buy me a beer. I’d been in France for a few weeks, so I already had a jealous boyfriend. What was I wearing? Think Cyndi Lauper and Madonna’s love child and you won’t be far off.
5. Last year, while running errands in beautiful downtown Tigard, a man rode past me on his bike and said:
“That’s quite the set of pectorals you’re sporting there, Queenie.”
Normally, I am not overly fond of having random greasy strangers make comments about the state of my rack. But. But. I don’t know. He called me Queenie. No one ever called me Queenie before.
6. After my last vacation, while two of my cube mates were consulting with me about a problem, I made a sarcastic remark. I don’t even remember what it was about. Just a normal sarcastic remark of the sort I make many times a day. They both got big smiles on their faces and one of them said:
“We’re so glad you’re back. We tried to keep the sarcasm level up to your standards, but we aren’t very good at it. We missed you.”
I tried to get them to put it in my annual review, but they wouldn’t. They are not going to ever reach my level of personal sarcasm without taking risks.