How to give a compliment to a woman when you are a woman. That was my predicament this morning. Doesn’t sound like it should be a big deal, but it kinda was.
There’s this family that walks to school together every morning. While I’m in the drop-off lane I see them turning the corner all happy and beautiful. They really are a lovely looking family. All-American good-looks. Athletic. Just pleasant. And not just their looks. Their whole demeanor comes off as delightful.
So this morning as I’m pulling up to door, their walking towards my van. Walking isn’t even the right word to describe what they’re doing. Strolling…awesomely. The whole family was awesomely strolling next to my car. And I notice the mom. She has her hair pulled up in a pony tail, no make-up, no fakey-ness. She’s wearing shorts and a t-shirt and her body is amazing. Once again, amazing isn’t even the right word. It’s…wondrous…and stunning…and honestly inspiring. Beautiful. She’s beautiful! She’s not super skinny. She’s not a model. She’s tone and fit and still has a butt and boobs. Her body is my dream body. Her thighs in these shorts were…just…striking. She was really impressive. Impressive is the best word to describe her. Awesomely impressive.
I was thankful to be wearing my sunglasses, but then she and I made eye-contact. How did she know I was staring?!?! She probably has super-human powers like seeing through sunglasses. But then I think, maybe she’s just in awe of me. Maybe she’s jealous of my dust-covered mini-van and my wild and careless hair and my torn pajama top and the strawberry jelly smudged on my cheek. She’s so envious, she can’t take her eyes off of me! It’s a possibility. Or maybe she’s not looking at me at all. Maybe there’s something awful happening behind me. That’s more likely.
I say goodbye to Tommy and glance up at the mom before driving away. She smiled at me. A polite, ‘why are you staring at me?’ smile. Oh my God! She noticed, and she’s probably thinking, ‘I better smile at this weird ogling woman before she jumps out of her uncool-mobile and attacks my children!”
I smiled back and thought, ‘I should say something. Make it less weird.’ But what should I say?
“I like to watch your family!” No.
“I can’t take my eyes off your thighs, lady!” Nope.
“Girl, that body is boomin’!” Still fairly creepy.
I don’t know why I couldn’t come up with a simple, not creepy, compliment to give this woman. Instead I just waved enthusiastically as if I knew her. ‘Hey…best friend…how ya doin’?’ She looked confused. Which is good, because she could’ve gone with terrified.
So now what do I do when I see her tomorrow and the next day? Luckily Tommy only has 4 days of school left, so it won’t be too awkward too much longer. But still…
I have a blonde wig I got for Halloween one year. I think it’s still in my closet. I think my only option is to wear that for the rest of the school year…and drive a different car…and change my name to Annette. And Tommy’s name to Roberto because I’m fairly certain she heard me yell, “Have a good day, Tommy!”
All this trouble because I admired a woman, and wanted to pay her a much deserved compliment. I should just stick with being catty and jealous and talking about beautiful women behind their backs. Maybe that’s why so many of us do that. It’s not that we really are catty, we just don’t want to come off as creepy.
Feel free to do your own inner-soul-searching on that one. And thanks for reading!