On Women Complimenting Other Women

Missed Connection: Pretty lady with pixie cut – w4w -24 (Penn Quarter)

You had the type of close-cropped cut I’m tempted to get when my curls snap yet another comb, or a hairstylist looks terrified and asks me, “like…what do I…do with it?” You were dressed in a silky floral top and pants that I think were leather, because of course you would look beautiful in leather jeggings.

I was wearing a leather (-adjacent) pleated skirt, black top, and my cozy camel-colored fur vest. Buying it at a ski shop in Miami is the closest I’ve ever gotten to the slopes.

B and I were on the dance floor when you bounded up to me like a lively little sprite, clutching my shoulder and unleashing a torrent of compliments upon me with the sort of enthusiasm that only the truly drunken possess. I felt like you had picked up my soul off a dirty bar floor and held it up to the sun to be blessed, much like Rafiki did with Simba in one of the most pivotal moments in cinematic history.

Later, you took a break from your manic gyrating to grab a gorgeous, dark-haired, curvy girl walking past us. “YOU ARE WORKING THAT DRESS BETTER THAN KIM KARDASHIAN COULD,” you yelled authoritatively at her. Awed, I turned to B with my eyes wide, and in a tone of reverence whispered, “She’s like the fairy godmother of compliments.” It’s true. You are. I never caught your name.

What is it about late-night praise from other women? You know exactly what I mean. You come out of the bathroom stall. You wash your hands next to a total stranger. You admire her statement necklace and the way her hair does that thing yours obstinately refuses to do. You want to say something, you’re weighing the pros and cons, when you hear her go, “I have to let you know, that dress looks amazing on you. I just really needed to tell you that.” And then you automatically squeal (even if your voice never usually reaches the upper octaves, it does now) “OMG, I was JUST thinking that YOU look amazing tonight, TOO!” It feels just as good for me to bestow unexpected compliments on women I don’t know (only on the right occasion because I’m aware they aren’t always welcome). You can see how it immediately perks someone up that you’re basically saying, “Hey, I have no stake in your self-esteem because I’m not your mom, but just FYI, you’re doing something really right.”

The beauty of this, for me, comes down to knowing that there’s no ulterior motive. It’s just a simple, lovely action. She’s not trying to take you home (unless she is, in which case, maybe consider going?). She’s just speaking her mind instead of holding back for fear of seeming creepy. Is there anything more restorative? One such incident ended with the woman who approached me showing me pictures of her bulldog. SUCCESS!

There’s nothing better.

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