Okay, I lied. I do have arms. But my arms are kind of flabby and I’m not that into them (Shut up, Ernie (my bee eff (TRIPLE PARENTHESES))) and I think that’s probably why the statue of Venus doesn’t have any arms. She was like, I WILL NOT HAVE THOSE WINGS ENGRAVED IN STONE FOR THE REST OF ETERNITY! And then she took the Greco-Roman equivalent of a bat to her own statue in feminine rage.
But I was just talking to my new internet friend Shannon (who has not turned out to be an internet predator…yet.) and I pointed out that I have a bad habit of just glossing over compliments and talking really fast about something else because I have no idea how to react to a compliment. It’s like how it took me forever to be able to accept hugs from people. To this day, I feel terrible that when my Marine Biology teacher (who was a completely adorable Persian woman with a fabulous ass and a tie-dyed rainbow labcoat) hugged me, my entire body tensed up to the point that she let go, startled, and asked me if I was okay. Sorry, Ms. Sahlolbei. It’s not that I hated you, it’s just that I got very uncomfortable any time anyone touched me for any reason. In fact, I really liked her. I drew a picture of her because she told the class she knew how to belly dance, but then I didn’t ever want to show her because it was insanely inappropriate and I wasn’t as scared of sexual harassment charges as I am now, but I didn’t want her to think I was weird.
Okay, but I got totally off topic. In addition to not being used to being touched ever and therefore becoming socially inept in the age where everyone hugged each other hello AND goodbye, I also was not at all used to receiving compliments until very recently. My mind goes into a panic any time anyone gives me a compliment. It goes something like this:
Awww, thanks. Should I say something nice back? I HAVE been thinking that her shirt looks awesome all night. Really frames the boobies nicely. Wait, would that be taken the wrong way? Will she think I’m just complimenting her because she complimented me and that I don’t even mean it? Maybe I should wait about a half hour and then tell her shirt looks nice…or maybe like a day. I could text her the compliment after I leave. I DON’T KNOW! Oh god, how long have I been debating this?! Quick! Say something! Anything! Talk about Hugh Jackman!
Stephanie: You know Hugh Jackman can juggle up to 4 balls and has an adopted son named Oscar? I think when Oscar grows up, they’ll be travelling clowns together.
Complimentor: What the hell are you talking about? You know, your hair looks really nice today.
Fuck, another one?! This soon?
Stephanie: Whenever I took my lunch at my last post, I would always forget to take my nametag down and a hundred old ladies and dumb guys would be like, “Heyyyy, you’re not Stephanie!” and I wanted to cut off all my hair and make a wig out of it so that the guys could put it on during my lunch and be all, “What do you mean I’m not Stephanie?!” It’d be awesome! You can get a wig made of your own hair for like, $300. AND AT THIS NEW POST, SOME LADY SAID HER DAUGHTER THOUGHT MY HAIR WAS A WIG AND I WAS ALL, “NOT YET!”
And then my head explodes!
I don’t mean to panic. I really don’t. But I have this thing where it’s hard for me think about my mind and my body as the same person so when someone compliments me, it feels like I should be able to say what I think about it too, but I don’t want to seem narcisstic (even though I totally am) and I also don’t want to seem too critical. THEN I realize that they’re talking about ME and not some random manniquin body and it gets even weirder for me to comprehend.
Anyways, if you say I look nice or am cool (or have in the past) and I go off on a random tangent or tell a ridiculous anecdote about whatever you complimented, this is why.