The Worst Compliment

Ladies and Gentlemen,

There is such a thing as a horrible compliment. Maybe you’ve received one before- “I love your new shirt, SO much better than the garb you normally wear” or “your face looks so chubby in your old pictures, you look great now!” I’ve received both “compliments” and neither quite gave me the warm and fuzzies.

Last week on my way to work, I groaned as I pulled up to the stoplight where a man selling newspapers hangs out. I have seen him every single morning for 2 years. Every day he asks me, “care to buy one?” and then he laughs because he knows my answer will be “no thanks.”

“I’ll get you one day!!!” he shouts at my taillights as I drive away, shaking his head because he probably thinks I’m one of those kids who solely gets my news from John Stewart and The Colbert Report. Okay, so he might be right. But I do read the Huff Post and other news apps on my iPhone, Mr. Newspaper Salesman. Also, I can just call my dad whose job it is to know everything that is going on in the world at any given time- so who needs newspapers?


My dad’s official military photo

Take one look at that American flag background and that power ‘stache and you’ll know that I get my news straight from the source, Mr. Newspaper Salesman.

But I digress.

So last week newspaper man says to me:

GEEZUS woman, you clean up well. You look gorgeous, so pretty and nice. This must have taken an act of God. What did you do today? How did this happen? WOOWHEE this is amazing, MAN! WHEE so nice, I can’t take it! You look like a movie star! 


My smile quickly faded as newspaper man went on and on, making more noises than actual words, about what an act of God it must have been to make me look so pretty. I was just wearing makeup and got a new haircut, that’s all.

The haircut that blew his mind

The haircut that blew his mind

You would have thought I just returned from 3 months on Extreme Makeover: Homely Girls Edition and was debuting my new, groundbreaking look on a Wednesday drive into work.

Ultimately, I didn’t let newspaper man ruin my day. Yeah, it was great that he thought my new hair (and face?) were smokin hot, but there was really no need to verbalize that it must have taken an act of God to clean me up. Regardless, I took his compliment for what it was worth and took solace in the fact that I definitely looked like a babe that Wednesday.  

Just a simple you look great today works, for future reference.


22 thoughts on “The Worst Compliment

  1. Pingback: 2013 In Pictures | The Other Courtney

    • haha dooooo it. I’ll pretend to act surprised when I see it randomly on Pinterest 😉 I love the cut too, my hairdresser rocks. Just got it cut again actually, too! Thank you!!

  2. You’re writing’s really good this time…just kidding I always enjoy your blog. My worst compliment…”I don’t care what everyone else thinks, I think you’re prettier than your sister…”
    Ugh stupid for so many reasons…I’m thrilled my sister; is pretty you don’t have to bring her down to compliment me, and seriously, you needed to point out that “everybody” else doesn’t agree with your assessment?….ya that means a lot.

    • Hahaha your first line cracked me up!! And geezus I can’t believe people say that to you, that’s awful!! It sounds like something from a movie, nobody would be that stupid in real life. I guess not.

      It makes me wonder if I’ve said really backhanded compliments before and just had NO idea. I hope not!

      PS I think you’re gorgeous from you pic! Apart from and totally unrelated to your sister haha

  3. I wonder if he feels like you two have some kind of actual friendship because he yells at you through your car windows each day. So great that you can hold the compliment in your mind rather than the awkward delivery. That haircut must just drive the men wild.

    • Good point- maybe he thinks our quick exchange of words that are the EXACT SAME every day are more meaningful than they actually are hahaha :-p

      I always thought men went bonkers over long, glamorous hair. Maybe short hair is a new thing? 😉

  4. I love your haircut! More pics of it, please 🙂 This newspaper man sounds like a real ass-wipe…. but at least, you know you are a beautiful woman ALL the time… whether you made yourself up to look extra hot, or just rolled out of bed! Act of God… geez (scoff).

    • Thank you!! I Actually just got it cut AGAIN today- I guess short hair is like tattoos, addictive! Isaac said he likes this new cut even more than the last! I’ll post a pic soon!!

      And thanks for the compliment, haha. The ACTUAL compliment, not a backhanded one 😉

  5. Oh no, I can just picture him and hear him saying it in my head. If only he’d known when to stop.

    I once received “you look normal today”, from a girl who sounded happy while she was saying it but it didn’t feel like a compliment. I hadn’t even done anything different.

    • Seriously! I guess he didn’t have much tact AND couldn’t ready body language- I’m pretty sure my face was screaming “WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU? STOP TALKING TO ME!”

      “You look normal today”- what a horrible thing to say!!! Yikes. You should have said “and you don’t look quite as bitchy today as your normally do!” :-p

  6. I can’t help but laugh at how ridiculous this guy must have sounded! I would have seriously asked…”are you in a relationship? Okay, yeah I didn’t think so…” Some guys are just so dumb and awkward when they are around pretty, confident, women such as yourself.

    Also the “power stache” comment made me laugh! It’s the truth; you can’t be in his position of power without one of those things!

    • Yeah, it was so crazy! I could barely believe my ears. He just kept going on and on even when I was clearly not smiling and wasn’t responding to him!!

      And yep- I think the power ‘stache is absolutely necessary for my dad’s job haha. Keeps him in a position of authorataaay.

  7. Ugh! How awful. It’s like… you appreciate the compliment but there are so many words that he could have left out to make you actually feel GOOD, not bad! 😦 If it means anything at all, I’ve always thought you were BEAUTIFUL…even on those days you were “bumming it” around WSHS!

    • Haha exactly!!! Those backhanded compliments are always a little awkward.

      And thank you, you’re so sweet!! If only newspaper man saw me at home wearing yoga pants, t-shirts, and looking a mess. He would be horrified 😀

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